Local bar embraces Carolina shine

Celebrating the grand opening just a little less than a month ago, Matt Miller's new bar, Bootleggers' Whiskey Bar Grill is open and ready to welcome locals with a taste of Carolina liquors.

Miller, who also runs the adjoining Bistro 127 said after his sub-leaser brewery left he decided to convert the space into his own bar, focusing on North Carolina products. While supporting local products Miller has been able to promote local whiskeys and shines like Junior Johnson, Cat Daddy Spiced Moonshine, Broadslab, Troy & Sons Moonshine and Defiant NC Single Malt just to name a few.

Miller's dream of a bar was realized after 3 months of remodeling. From the tin on the walls to the custom lighting and bar, Miller said the goal of having a more diverse crowd has worked thus far, and he sees customers coming in from board meetings and construction sights. He said the look he was going for was modern industrial, and said everything that was planned is found in the bar.

“This is a man cave but the ladies love to come hang out too,” Miller said.

The bar isn't just for a quick drink, Miller said guests can still order food from Bistro 127 on a slimmed down menu. Through the menu as well as the adjoining location, Miller said the bar has really complimented the restaurant nicely.

“People have a drink and then get dinner or can have dinner and get a drink,” Miller said.

Miller said after working in the food industry for 25 years he's learned not to push anything, but hopes Bootlegger's provides a cool atmosphere. He said he is also always working to progress, including working with some of the local distillery's he sells to do pairings and tastings. Miller said a great example of that is with Defiant NC Single Malt on Nov. 7. Miller said the pairings will include Defiant single malt, North Carolina pork and other foods. Miller said he was also planning a pairing with Jones vonDrehle Vineyards.

Bootleggers’ Whiskey Bar Grill is located at 2033 N. Center Street in Hickory. The bar is open daily at 11 a.m. and are closed Sunday. For more information about the bar or upcoming events contact them at 828-328-3432.