A new craft beer bar is opening in Hickory in place of Craft Beer Cellar, which closed in April.
Barley Market is set to open in June, co-owner Jeremy Langley said. The bar will serve craft beer and wine with an emphasis on bringing people together, he said. Barley marketing is jointly owned by Langley and Charlie Dyer.
Dyer also owns the original barley market at Cornelius.
“We are focused on being a social platform for people,” he said. “You don’t set up a bar that big if you don’t want people to sit down.”
The reconfiguration of the space and the addition of a larger bar were the biggest changes Langley made to the bar. He bought the space and all the seats, refrigerators and canned and bottled beer from the Craft Beer Cellar, he said.
In May Langley began cleaning up the bar, rearranging the shelves and adding a new bar. Its goal is to add more seats and remove some storage space. While Barley Market will still sell beer and wine to go, the focus is on people sitting and drinking from the bar’s 16 taps.
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“For me, the fact that I can bring people here and bring them together – you could sit next to someone you don’t know and at the end of the night you know it. For me, it’s such a huge thing,” Langley said. “That social aspect is my favorite part of this business.”
Langley’s background is in teaching, but even as a full-time teacher he always had side jobs in craft beer, he said. When he and his wife moved to Hickory, he worked at the Fyreside Taproom and Eatery in Granite Falls and Hickory and discovered the craft beer scene in the area.
When the Craft Beer Cellar announced it was closing, the opening was too good for Langley to pass up. The city’s downtown social district, where people can carry beer in take-out mugs, was a draw for the location, Langley said.
“We are looking to partner with other local places,” Langley said. “It’s a small company focused on small businesses. It’s really about community partnerships.
Eventually, Langley said he planned to renovate the basement of the building to create event space and another outdoor space.