New tropical bar opening this summer will serve Dole whip and frozen cocktails

New tropical bar opening this summer will serve Dole whip and frozen cocktails

Photo: LunahZon Photography, courtesy The Royal Tot and Plaid Penguin

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A two-story bar with skyline views called The Royal Tot is opening this August or September on Louise Avenue near Catawba Brewing.

The bar, from the ETA Group (Stroke, The Ice Trade), aims to transport guests to paradise, serving classic tiki drinks and frozen rum-based cocktails.

What to expect: Skyline views, bright colors and vintage furniture will round out the new bar’s “urban oasis” vibe. It’ll have an interior bar, patio, rooftop deck and a private event space.

  • Craft cocktails will be from local mixologist Larry Suggs, who’s also a business partner at sister concepts The Ice Trade and Stroke.
  • The Paper Plane Deli & Market is partnering with The Royal Tot to provide tropical dishes like tequila pineapple marinated Spam, Kona coffee rubbed chicken wings, tuna poke and ceviche.
  • It’s all going to be very Instagrammable (just look at Stroke!).
the royal tot tropical bar 4

This is a temporary display, but gives a good look at what to expect from The Royal Tot’s vibe.

The big picture: This concept is the latest from the ETA Group, which also owns the mid-century modern putt putt bar Stroke and a new concept that sells crystal-clear ice called The Ice Trade. The group is also the founder of Axe Club of America, which they sold in 2019.

  • Owners Ashleigh and Scott Gadd businesses have helped transform Charlotte’s bar scene. Like Stroke, they want The Royal Tot to give guests an experience beyond just having a drink.
  • “The goal is to escape you to a tropical island for the time being, even though you’re five minutes from Uptown,” Scott says.

Photo: LunahZon Photography, courtesy The Royal Tot and Plaid Penguin

Layout: The two-story space has several distinct zones for gathering.

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  • Ground floor: The main level will have seating around the bar, in the dining room and on the patio. If you want a more upscale experience, this is where you’ll want to be. Reservations are recommended.
  • Rooftop bar: Go up the grand stairwell for stunning skyline views and a more laid-back vibe with frozen cocktails and tiki drinks. No reservations needed up here, Scott says. “This will be more of a party [atmosphere].”
  • Pick-up window: Back downstairs, there will be a pick-up window for Dole whip, a pineapple-and-vanilla soft serve with a cult following, Scott says.

Location: The Royal Tot is located at 933 Louise Ave., Ste. 350 on the edge of Plaza Midwood and Belmont.

1 fun thing: The Royal Tot is named for an old tradition from the Queen’s Navy in which each British soldier got a daily ration of rum. In keeping with its name, the bar will have a rum club that introduces members to rare and vintage rums.

Here’s a look around the construction progress:

the royal tot tropical bar 4

the royal tot tropical bar 4

the royal tot tropical bar 4

Rendering courtesy ETA Group and Plaid Penguin

And a preview of the drink menu:

Photo: LunahZon Photography, courtesy The Royal Tot and Plaid Penguin

Photo: LunahZon Photography, courtesy The Royal Tot and Plaid Penguin

Photo: LunahZon Photography, courtesy The Royal Tot and Plaid Penguin

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