MATTHEWS – For the past year, Seaboard Taproom and Wine Bar has been offering 24 beers on tap and over 1,000 bottles of wine to thirsty customers, but soon the establishment will be throwing its own craft beer into the mix.
Enter Seaboard Brewing Co. – a five-barrel brewery slated to open at the end of January behind the taproom, located at 213 N. Trade St. Once open, it will be the first brewery in Matthews and the last piece of the puzzle for owner Rob Jacik.
“When I opened Seaboard, the plan was always to have a brewery here, and now it’s finally happening, so it’s really exciting and there’s a lot of potential,” said Jacik, who also owns Temple Mojo and two Carolina Beer Temple locations.
Jacik said brewer Greg Nichols will start by making a German-style Kolsch, and then eventually brew an Irish red, as well as an IPA.
“We’re going to take it slow with one and get it right and serve it in our taproom and build it from there,” he said, adding that the beer will also be available at Temple Mojo in Matthews and Carolina Beer Temple in Ayrsley.
The brewery, however, is not the only new addition to the taproom. Jacik has also been itching to expand Seaboard’s food options, so he brought Brendan Ciganek on to open The Exchange Pizza Depot in a small building next door.
The name is a nod to the building’s original use as a switchboard station, or telephone exchange, for the town of Matthews.
“Every time we looked at this building we thought, ‘Glorified permanent food truck,’” Jacik said.
The eatery will offer a walk-up window where customers can order 12-inch pizzas as well as salads, wraps and quesadillas. Pizzas range from create-your-own to sausage and pepperoni to wild mushroom with truffle oil, or just the classic cheese.
Ciganek thinks “The Maddierita” pizza – house-made red sauce with bocconcini mozzarella, heirloom tomato and fresh basil – will be a popular choice.
“You don’t get much more old world than that,” he said. “That’s the original pizza.”
Seaboard will be Ciganek’s primary customer, but he also plans to hire food runners to deliver to other bars and businesses along the downtown strip.
“Our goal is to be small, but mighty,” Ciganek said.