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Beer and BBQ Are Just the Beginning at Towel City Tavern

Contributor: Jamie Richardson


📍 126 West Ave, Kannapolis, NC
Website | Facebook | Instagram

The highly anticipated Towel City Tavern has opened its doors and is bringing a unique dining and beverage experience to Cabarrus County. Located on the ground floor of the Stadium Lofts, adjacent to the Atrium Health Ballpark, this exciting new venue is the result of a collaborative effort between Cabarrus Brewing Company (CBC) and the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. With a focus on Southern classics, innovative craft beers, and a vibrant community atmosphere, Towel City Tavern is set to become a staple in downtown Kannapolis.

Towel City Tavern Sign

Photo credit: Kannapolis Ambassadors Facebook

A Collaborative Vision for Downtown Kannapolis

The inception of Towel City Tavern began with a clear vision from Cabarrus Brewing Company to collaborate with the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers to create a smokehouse that could potentially brew beer on-site at the stadium. This dream began to materialize when Temerity, the group behind the Stadium Lofts, approached CBC with the idea of opening a restaurant on the ground floor of the loft building. Steve Steinbacher and the CBC team eagerly embraced this opportunity.

Rusty Olson joined the CBC team two and a half years ago as Director of Retail Operations and came on board right at the beginning of these discussions. Rusty, who has helped CBC create and open several business ventures including The Depot Deli and The Market Bar, is thrilled to be managing a team in a sit-down dining experience, which he describes as his “wheelhouse.”

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Towel City Tavern director of retail operations

Photo credit: Towel City Tavern Facebook

Crafting the Restaurant’s Space

His influence is evident in every detail of the tavern, from the open kitchen design to the color scheme of the walls and brickwork, the lighting, and even the tables and chairs. Olson’s vision has played a vital role in bringing Towel City Tavern to life, creating a space that is both inviting and functional.

Speaking of the unique space, one of the standout features of Towel City Tavern is its tables. Handcrafted by local woodworker Grant Maginnis, these tables are more than just furniture; they tell a story. Maginnis crafted 76 tables for Towel City Tavern, all sourced from a single Red Oak tree in Cabarrus County. This unique touch adds a layer of local heritage and charm to the dining experience.

Towel City Tavern began its soft opening on June 18, 2024, with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony planned for July 17th. Spanning two floors, the restaurant offers over 11,000 square feet of space, providing seating for more than 300 patrons. The first floor boasts 8,000 square feet of space with seating for 200 guests inside and an additional 40 outside. The second-floor outdoor space, known as the Towel City Terrace, features a mix of tables, sofas, and an outdoor bar, offering picturesque views of the baseball stadium and Downtown Kannapolis.

Guests can reserve one of the seven upstairs tables for an additional fee on game days. This includes the use of the full patio area and lounge, while watching the baseball game, creating an immersive and unique experience.

Towel City Tavern Bar

Open kitchen at TCT

Photo credit: Kannapolis Ambassadors Facebook

Chef Focuses on Elevated Southern Classics

At the helm of the kitchen is Chef Jeremy Singh, who brings a wealth of experience and a dynamic approach to the menu. Originally from Trinidad and previously working at the Jim Beam Distillery in Kentucky, Chef Singh joined Towel City Tavern after discussions with Rusty in November.

Together, they crafted a menu that “levels up Southern classics,” ensuring seasonal offerings to keep the menu fresh and exciting. All dishes feature a distinctive smoky flavor, achieved using a Texas-style offset smoker located in the new Centerfield SmokeHouse concession stand inside the ballpark. The SmokeHouse has already been providing delicious barbecue to fans attending Kannapolis Cannon Ballers games this season.

Photo credit: Towel City Tavern Facebook

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Some of the must-try dishes include the dip trio, pimento cheese-stuffed hush puppies, the brisket, and the smoked chicken and turkey. Rusty’s personal favorite is the mountain trout with lakeside aioli. The tavern burger, made with brisket trimmings, is another specialty that showcases the creativity and attention to detail in the kitchen.

Photo credit: Towel City Tavern Facebook

Signature Brews and Cocktails

The cocktail menu offers a seasonal rotation, including highlights like the Hot Honey Peach Sour, Blood Orange Margarita, and Maple Pecan Old Fashioned. Towel City Tavern features five exclusive brews crafted onsite by the CBC brewing team, along with CBC beers available in bottles and cans. Each craft beer has its own unique flavor profile:

Outfield Oasis: A tropical sour ale with passionfruit, orange, and pink guava, offering a mouth-puckering experience

Moonshot Wit: A witbier brewed with coriander seed, sweet orange peel, and Mandarina Bavaria hops, providing a spicy and citrusy aroma

Bullpen Brown: An English-style brown ale with flavors of toffee, toasted nuts, and chocolate

Czech Swing: A true-to-style Czech lager with a refreshing taste, conditioned for six weeks

Foul Line Foggy IPA: A New England-style IPA with creamy mouthfeel and aromas of golden pineapple, citrus, and pine

Photo credit: Towel City Tavern Facebook

Current operating hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 5–10pm. Eventually, the restaurant plans to operate seven days a week, including lunch and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations can be made through Towel City Tavern’s website, ensuring a smooth dining experience for all guests.

Towel City Tavern promises an unforgettable dining experience that combines great food, local beers, and a vibrant atmosphere. The response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive, with locals expressing their excitement and pride in the new space, appreciating its unique and cool concept. Rusty invites everyone to visit, saying, “The doors are open, and we can’t wait to see everyone!


Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!

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