This winter has brought a few new hot spots to Cornelius, and here’s my take on two that are definitely worth a visit: Drifters Bar and Grill and Paddy’s Pour House. Also, the latest on the old Midtown Sundries space.
DRIFTERS BAR AND GRILL
19707 Liverpool Parkway
The former RJ Gators building has been totally gutted, and the new layout provides the perfect space for building up a crowd. And who’s in that crowd? Drifters seems to be drawing people who aren’t really in the mood to “dress to impress,” but wouldn’t mind listening to a live band, dancing to a DJ, shooting pool, or just chatting with folks around the bar.
As many of you know, we continue to see bars and restaurants come and go quickly around here, and the reason is the “Lake Crowd” is pretty picky about what they are looking for. Personally, I think Drifters is filling the hole that the Double Door left when it closed, while also pulling some of the old Midtown Sundries crowd. (Yes, I know Midtown was most recently Latitude 36, but if it doesn’t last at least a year I still call it by its original name. Well, truthfully, my poor little pea brain needs at least a year to make the transition – especially when the prior establishments have been in existence for 10+ years like Midtown.)
So, long story short, if you’re looking for a location where you can go dressed as you please, don’t want to be alone at the bar, and don’t want to worry about people whispering behind your back about your funky dance moves, Drifters just might be the place you are looking for.
PADDY’S POUR HOUSE
20930 Torrence Chapel Road, Shops on the Green
The newest location to open its doors is Paddy’s Pour House, in Shops on the Green where Fusion, Solace, Lake Norman Sports Grill, and a couple others have been. Yeah, it sounds like the venue is cursed, but I always bet on the jockey, not the horse, if you know what I mean. And Paddy’s “jockey” (owner) Tim Flynn, who moved here from Rochester, N.Y., has been in the restaurant/bar business for more than 25 years.
For the next week or so he’ll have $5 meals and $2 beers for everyone who walks through the doors. I was there Wednesday night for Paddy’s very first time to fire up the kitchen, and I have to say I was impressed with the food, service, and really just the way Tim is working with all the people to walk through the door.
Paddy’s has an Irish theme, but it’s not overwhelming, and the menu has dishes that aren’t so much “Irish” – just good old Pub Grub, but not like it just came off the Sysco truck. Tim offers his own hand-made sauces, and a pulled pork BBQ sandwich with a sweet heat sauce that is amazing. I also sampled the wings – it seems all his homemade sauces are something special.
I’ll be at Paddy’s again Thursday, so drop by and say Hi. I think they’ll be walking around with samples again.
18626 Harborside Drive
On the horizon I’m hearing all sorts of rumors about the old Midtown location. From what I hear there are three different groups interested in the space, and from what I hear we should expect to know more about one of the two lake front establishments by mid February or early March. The good news is I’m not hearing about it being turned into condos anymore… so chalk one up for the locals who already have too few locations at which to enjoy a view of the lake while dining. I’ll definitely keep you posted as I hear more on this one. Keep your fingers crossed – the old Midtown could be a great destination once again… let’s just hope they get the right jockey!
Nate Davis is a Cornelius resident and web entrepreneur and writes weekly about life in the area.