Print
Restaurants

The Liquid Room Rebrands And Reopens As Varnish Ale & Spirits

By Jessica Maurer, posted Jan 23, 2019
The Liquid Room in downtown Wilmington is now Varnish Ale & Spirits. (Photo by Jessica Maurer)

To kick off their 10th year of ownership, Shawn Booth, Lee Hauser and Nathan Mitchell closed the doors to The Liquid Room on Jan 2 for rebranding and renovations.

"While we made updates over the years since taking over the bar in 2009, the time had come to make it our own," Shawn Booth said.

And part of making it their own meant not only a new look, but also a new name: Varnish Ale & Spirits. The name fits the historical context of the building that housed the largest paint and varnish depot in North Carolina, M.W. Divine and Company. The original building was destroyed in a fire in 1830, but was rebuilt in 1840.

In 1901, M. W. Divine and Company was awarded the contract to paint the exterior woodwork on the courthouse in downtown Wilmington. 

"We really wanted to use a name that would bring the building back to its roots," Booth said. "This brings everything full circle."

As for renovations, Booth, Hauser and Mitchell have replaced the high top tables opposite the bar with five new booths, creating more intimate, comfortable gathering spaces. A new bar has been installed, as well as new lighting, fans and a large window facing Market St. The mix of dark wood and exposed brick creates a rustic, relaxed atmosphere. 

“The window brings natural light, as well as a view of the street,” Booth said. “Before no one could see into the bar, but now people can see in from the street, making it more inviting.” 

The bar is now serving several new signature cocktails as well as daily drink specials. There are 24 beers on tap, 16 of which are dedicated to locally brewed beers. 

The landing at the rear of the bar houses a pool table and television, and the upper level, which is open from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, features a dance floor and two bars, and a DJ. 

“We reopened our doors this past Saturday afternoon, and remained at capacity throughout the night,” Booth said. “The reception so far has been fantastic.” 

Varnish Ale & Spirits is located at 23 Market St. and is open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily. 

Have a tip for Restaurant Roundup? Email [email protected]

Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Chris coudriet

Purpose-Designed Government Center and Redeveloped Land Will Benefit the Community

Chris Coudriet - New Hanover County Government
Sherrip2019 insights profile

That’s Who We Are

Sherri Pridgen - Cape Fear REALTORS®
Aaeaaqaaaaaaaaidaaaajdhiztrkodm0lte2yjetngrkmy1hotrmltawmdvlmwqyztmymw

Growing the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Diane Durance - UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Trending News

Firm's Expansion Expected To Lead To New CRO Jobs In Wilmington

Cece Nunn - Aug 22, 2019

Brewery Owners Share Economic Impact, Hurdles Of Their Industry In Wilmington

Johanna Cano - Aug 23, 2019

Wilmington Boat Show To Bring Economic Activity, Visitors To The Region

Christina Haley O'Neal - Aug 23, 2019

Potential Remains For Third Office Building At Barclay Center

Cece Nunn - Aug 23, 2019

In The Current Issue

Advocating For Realtors

Anne Gardner, the new CEO of Cape Fear Realtors, talks about her role leading one of the region's largest trade associations....


Thinking Smaller For New Subdivisions

Some homebuilders and developers in the Wilmington area are working on creating smaller subdivisions and infill communities....


Battleship Opens New Tour Section With Food Focus

An area landmark has a new tool for providing insight into the daily lives of the men who served aboard the World War II vessel....

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

WILMA's Leadership Accelerator
Power Breakfast - The H Word (June 13, 2019)
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`