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New live music and bar venture The Royal is expected to open in early 2020. Rendering provided by Rountree Design Collaborative
New live music and bar venture The Royal is expected to open in early 2020. Rendering provided by Rountree Design Collaborative

Music, bar venue coming to Rountree in early 2020

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A high-profile corner in the Rountree neighborhood is starting to see some construction activity in preparation for more food, beverage and music options in early 2020.

Renovations started this month at 1427 E. Cherry St., a 1,700-square-foot building that most recently housed Josh Mitchell Fine Art Gallery. Moving in is a brick-and-mortar spot for Skully’s Food Truck and The Royal, a live music and bar venture owned by B.J. Lowrance.

Lowrance said he expects to open in the first quarter next year. He declined to disclose construction costs.

“It’s going to look great when it’s all said and done,” he said, noting the approximately 50-seat venue will have a French cafe design.

He took inspiration from movie director Wes Anderson, whose filmography includes “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

Lowrance has a management background in the restaurant and hospitality industry, having formerly been a co-owner of Pasta Express and 425 Downtown. He said he currently works at Queen City Wine Dive.

The property landlord is Pickwick and Cherry LLC, Lowrance said, adding his business will occupy about 600 square feet. Skully’s currently serves Asian fusion items, such as ramen and kimchi fries, in the parking lot, and it will fill 700 square feet. The two businesses will share some space, too, said Ross Chaffin of Pickwick and Cherry LLC.

Through Lowrance Entertainment LLC, Lowrance said he’s on a three-year lease for an undisclosed rate.

“We were hoping to get going sooner,” Lowrance said of project delays. “But it’s being done right.”

Ross Construction Group LLC is general contractor, and Lowrance said he employed Genesis Estes and Sharon Taylor of Rountree Design Collaborative for interior design work.

The Royal’s menu is under development, Lowrance said, but will feature “classic bar fare.”

“My goal is to not have silverware, so finger foods is where it’s at,” he said, adding mixed nuts with spices and honey, along with blue cheese kettle chips are planned.

Lowrance said the cocktail list would be a collaboration with Good Spirits Concepts LLC, co-owned by Josh Widner and Jim Wilson. Good Spirits also operates fellow Rountree business Cherry Picker Package and Fare.

Infill work for The Royal and Skully’s is just ramping up as another Rountree project near the Cherry Street and Pickwick Avenue intersection, Culture Counter, is nearing completion. The neighborhood market owned by Bryce Gott is expected to open in early November.

“That intersection, Cherry and Pickwick, is very lively,” Lowrance said, noting he lives in Rountree. “It’s like its own little neighborhood hub.”

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