Menagerie Hospitality Group announces the expansion of The Vintage, Charlotte’s premier membership whiskey and cigar lounge, by acquiring Gastonia’s staple cigar spot, “Whiskgars Cigar & Co.,” at 190 W. Main Ave. For the short term, the Vintage team will operate Whiskgars in its current capacity, leveraging the gorgeous space and amazing team; rebranding to The Vintage Gastonia is a mid-term goal.
The Hibberts family founded Whiskgars in 2021, housed in a 90-year-old historical building, breaking the space into a dual lounge layout: a 3,000 sq. ft. non-smoking cocktail bar area and a private 2,500 sq. ft. smoking lounge with a VIP room, walk-in humidor and lockers equipped with two separate HVAC units to cut down smoke migration.
Similar to The Vintage Charlotte, the Gastonia lounge serves craft cocktails made by expert bartenders and elevated shareables like charcuterie boards and seasonal tapas plates with hopes to expand the food menu in the lounge’s larger kitchen. The Vintage Gastonia is an extension of the Charlotte lounge, and the team plans on making only minimal changes, including adding a back patio so members can listen to live performances at the Rotary Centennial Pavilion, and will continue perks that Whiskgars regulars have come to love like live weekly local music.
“The location emulates everything that The Vintage stands for, from the luxurious leather couches and chairs to the 36-foot granite bar. We felt a calling to continue the previous owner, Jacob Hibbert’s dream and honor all the work and effort he has put in to make a place for the whiskey and cigar community,” said Dan Weiss, President of Menagerie Hospitality Group. “Gastonia is also the perfect place for our growth for many reasons. We will offer reciprocating membership benefits so guests can visit either spot to have a variety of experiences, and because we’ll be operating in a new county, there is less competition for top-tier spirits – we’ll be able to snag some really cool stuff for our Gastonia guests to enjoy, spirits that have been too hard to come by in Charlotte.”
“The project and final development of the Whiskgars concept was a dream come true. I believe the cigar and whiskey experience has brought tremendous growth to the downtown area and Gastonia as a whole,” said Jacob Hibberts, the previous owner of Whiskgars. “I truly appreciate all of the support from our members and the greater Gaston community, and I am confident that Dan Weiss and his team are more than capable of continuing and improving Whiskgars going forward!”
“We’ve had an eye on Gastonia for a while because the market is growing so fast. We are really looking forward to embedding ourselves in the community and welcome Whiskgars guests to stop in and meet our team soon. It is our goal to manage a smooth transition, ensuring a lovely guest experience without disruption,” said Ben Torres, VP of Operations for the Menagerie Group.