Restaurant delivers ‘understated elegance' in historic Gastonia building

Restaurant delivers ‘understated elegance' in historic Gastonia building

Executive Chef Kyle McKnight cooks what he loves — and he’s ready to share that with the community.

Barrister’s opened its doors in downtown Gastonia this week, roughly 16 months after construction began. For McKnight, that restaurant offers his latest challenge: merging his passion for food with the desire to bring the community together to break bread.

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“This is my heart, my soul,” he says.

He’s teamed up with Nathan Kirby on a project to breathe new life into the historic Lawyers Building in downtown Gastonia. That building — first a bank, then a home for lawyers — is located at 168 W. Main Ave.

“I like small towns and big challenges,” McKnight says. “It’s the only way you can grow.”

The 1916 building also will be home to a 35-room boutique hotel, called the Esquire Hotel. Work on the hotel rooms is expected to wrap up by November.

Read more and check out photos of the establishment here.