November 28, 2021

Lulu’s owners to open Hideaway, a new bar in Charlotte, NC

Jay Davis, the co-owner of Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood, recently unveiled a soft…

Jay Davis, the co-owner of Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood, recently unveiled a soft opening of his newest venture: Hideaway Bar & Lounge.

Jay Davis, the co-owner of Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood, recently unveiled a soft opening of his newest venture: Hideaway Bar & Lounge.

It’s been a crazy year. So when you need a place to get away from the house — a hideaway, perhaps — Joseph “Jay” Davis has you covered.

The co-owner of Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood recently unveiled a soft opening of his newest venture: Hideaway Bar & Lounge.

“When I was a kid, what really made me want to open a bar and lounge was the show New York Undercover,” Davis said. “Torres’ father owned a lounge called Natalie’s, and they would go and hang out there at the end of the show. And since I was a kid, I wanted Natalie’s Lounge. That’s where my original idea came from.”

Hideaway is Davis’ very own Natalie’s, named for his first thought upon approaching the building.

“The name came from the location,” Davis said. “If you come down Tuckaseegee from one direction or another, you’ll see all these buildings, and then hidden away in the back is a small building. It was the very first thing I thought when I saw the building.”

The building itself was one of the first Davis scouted when initially opening Lulu’s first location, closely followed by a second. Though he didn’t get it back then, the real estate agent reached back out to him when the owner wanted to sell and offered it to Davis before putting it back up on the market. He called his wife, Miketa Davis (more on their incredible love story here) and said, “I think I could turn this place into something else.”

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Jay and Miketa Davis have been busy with a wedding and restaurant openings, but they always have time to make each other laugh. Alvin C. Jacobs Jr./Courtesy of The LEPR Agency

If you’ve followed Davis’ ventures, you already know he’s cool. But he’s even motorcycle-club cool.

When he first planned to purchase the building, Davis approached members of his motorcycle club for the business venture, but didn’t hear back soon enough, so, with Miketa’s support, he decided to make his bar and lounge dream a reality.

“I told her the guys weren’t jumping on the idea, and she said, ‘Well, just do it by yourself. You have a lot of ideas, a lot of creativity.’ She is my coach and my cheerleader.”


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Think ‘Cheers’, but in Charlotte

The vibe for Hideaway is simple: relaxation.

While the bar caters to Baltimore Ravens and Orioles fans, it’s meant to be a space where adults can sit back and relax with other adults who want to sit back and relax.

“It’s a place where you can enjoy some good music, good people and good sports,” Davis said.

He compares it to the sitcom “Cheers.”

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Jay Davis, the co-owner of Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood, recently unveiled a soft opening of his newest venture: Hideaway Bar & Lounge. Courtesy of Hideaway

“Cheers was a place that everybody went to unwind, regardless of their lifestyle. So I see the advantage of being able to have that place where you can go and feel like you’re at home, but you’re away from home. So you don’t have the obligations of being a father or a mother, all those pieces, but you can still relax and enjoy yourself before getting back to reality,” Davis said.

Inside, there are booths, tables and barstools, and outside, you’ll find a patio lounge. The lounge will offer both space for small groups as well as reservable VIP space, complete with a dedicated server.

While Charlotte has been put on the map because of its brewery scene, Davis looks at his business ventures to fill spaces that are missing.

“I don’t ever want to do what everybody else is doing,” Davis said. “I want to find my own lane and just master that.”

Bar food, but better

The menu caters to what you’d expect to find at a bar. But with Davis behind the project, you know the food will far surpass your expectations of bar food. Sure, you’ll find salads and bacon cheeseburgers. But you’ll also find a honey buffalo sandwich, complete with a honey-buffalo-glazed fried chicken breast on brioche with bacon, lettuce and tomato — one of Davis’ personal favorites. He also recommends the brisket quesadilla and the chili cheese fries. And these aren’t just any chili cheese fries … these are chili cheese fries with brisket in the chili. (Honestly, can you even go back to regular chili cheese fries after that?)

On the beverage side, Hideaway will offer normal beer and alcoholic drinks, but will also have twelve specialty drinks, including a “Baltimore Ravens” cocktail and a “Quickie on the Lake” — a cheeky reference to the ever-popular Sex on the Beach cocktail. Drinks will be made daiquiri-style, served frozen in a glass topped with an umbrella.

At this time, Davis is waiting on some permits for in-person dining, but you can still order takeout. Upon fully opening, he plans to offer poetry nights, jazzy summer nights with live music and days dedicated to working women. While waiting for permits to be finalized, he’s taken COVID-19 precautions into account, and will have six-foot spacing between tables inside and in the patio area. Some booths will be blocked off as well, and bar stools will be spaced to allow for social distancing. All staff members will wear masks and keep sanitizer on them at all times.

Hideaway

2710 Tuckaseegee Road

Open noon to 12 a.m., Thursday-Monday. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

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Jessica is a writer fueled by coffee, cookies and long walks in the Magic Kingdom. She’s often found exploring the culinary scene (mostly pasta) and traveling. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @jessicaswannie.