New gastropub named The Degenerate is now open in Villa Heights

New gastropub named The Degenerate is now open in Villa Heights
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A new gastropub called The Degenerate is now open at 2100 North Davidson Street with craft cocktails, pillow-like pierogies, and an industrial vibe.

Owners Greg Guillorn and John Wentworth moved from New York City to Charlotte three years ago. The friends are food and drink industry lifers, and they moved here in hopes of opening their first restaurant together.

Guillorn and Wentworth had planned on opening The Degenerate on March 17, the same day North Carolina officials shut down restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic. In early June, The Degenerate could finally open. It’s located in the Villa Heights neighborhood next to The Hobbyist.

Food: The food menu, by executive chef Steven Gero (Sabor, The Waterman), is a mix of many cuisines — from hand-rolled pierogies to chicken banh mi to a NYC falafel. Guillorn and Wentworth say the menu represents their favorite flavors of New York, the flavors they missed when they moved to Charlotte. There’s also a dessert menu with a mango pana cotta, margarita pie, and a chocolate cremeux.

degenerate gastropub margarita pie

Margarita pie ($8) with a saltine crust, lime curd, tequila, triple sec, and meringue.

Drinks: The Degenerate has 13 beers on tap and wine for sale by the glass, plus a full bar and cocktail list. All house cocktails are $12. The Mariachi Static cocktail is a stand-out, made with tequila, a spicy ghost pepper tincture, Birdsong’s Jalapeño Pale Ale, lime, and sugar.

[Related Agenda guide: 50 best bars in Charlotte, ranked]

Vibe: The 4,000 square-foot space has an outdoor patio and a garage door that opens up the pub. It feels industrial with an entire wall covered with wood pallets, a statement piece the pair spent hours working on. “We spent Christmas Eve sanding them down,” Wentworth says. “This place is built on pallets and pierogies.”

Safety measures: For right now, tables are spread out for social distancing, and The Degenerate is operating at limited capacity. The staff is also wearing masks.

Hours: The Degenerate is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday through Wednesday and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursday through Saturday.

Let’s take a look inside:

degenerate gastropub pierogies

The Degenerate’s pierogies ($10) have been a fast favorite with diners. It comes with sour cream and a tart apple gastrique to dip.

degenerate gastropub banh mi

Chicken banh mi ($13) with fried chicken, carrot, jalapeño, pickled daikon, “banh mi butter,” and cilantro.

degenerate gastropub gyro

A NYC-style falafel ($11) comes with hummus, tomato, lettuce, red onion, “white sauce,” and hot sauce. Plus, potato chips on the side.

degenerate gastropub cocktail

Mariachi Static cocktail ($12) is made with tequila, Birdsong Jalapeño Pale Ale, ghost pepper tincture, lime, and sugar. It’s served on draft.

degenerate gastropub

The gastropub has plenty of TVs for sports and lots of space for social distancing.


Want to know what it’s like to dine out during a pandemic? Here’s our experience at a handful of Charlotte restaurants.

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