Places to Go:
Revival 1869: N
evival means taking something old and bringing it back to life again. Revival 1869 in Clayton, North Carolina is doing just that. It’s the brainchild of partners Mike Stojic and Maleah Christie. Mike and Maleah see it as a return to the era of elegant cocktail bars where people sat around on overstuffed sofas and easy chairs and carried on conversations or listened to a pianist as they sipped carefully crafted drinks instead of slouched at a bar and watched television or stared at their cell phones. Both the old and the new about Revival 1869 are interesting stories. The date refers to the year Clayton was chartered. When they found the building at 222 E. Main St., Mike and Maleah knew it was over a hundred years old but there were some secrets about it they didn’t know. Its last occupants had been two real estate offices, one recently vacated and the other deserted for over a year. The place was in disrepair with peeling paint and an ugly drop-ceiling, but Mike and Maleah loved it. They kept the exposed brick and multi-layered peeling paint and removed the drop-ceiling tiles to expose an antique tin ceiling. Looking around the lounge, it could well be 1869. It’s furnished with elegant upholstered sofas, easy chairs and an upright piano.
By Kathleen Walls Editor ofAmerican Roads & Global Highways
No TV. Furnishings are placed in groupings to facilitate easy conversation. Even the ladies room is stocked with toiletries and has soft lighting to make it more attractive. Nothing is left to chance here. Mike explained why they are established Revival 1869 as a club. “In North Carolina, if you want to serve liquor, you need to be either a restaurant or a private club.” They are not doing it to be restrictive. Anyone is admitted. You become a member by just signing the guest book. Rules mainly say you must be polite and civil. The liquor they serve is extensive. The bottles reach from the bar counter all the way up to the extremely high ceiling. Maleah explained to me one of the reasons they stock so many brands is that they don’t want to be considered “just another old boys club.” They want to attract the women. As she sees it “If the women come then the guys will also.” She pointed out that a man will just order a “whiskey on the rocks or a scotch and soda” but women are more likely to ask for a specific brand of whiskey, scotch, or whatever. They offer a huge assortment of their own cocktails. Orphan’s Hex, one of Mike’s concoctions containing white moonshine, cardamom bitters, apricot puree, an apricot garnish as well as some other ingredients, takes its name from some of Mike’s experiences
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in the marines with, as he put it “a not so nice commanding officer” causing his team to consider themselves “orphans.” It may also be a clue to a former incarnation of Revival 1869’s building, a funeral home. Maleah showed us an aged and faded sign on the wall showing a “Jno L Barnes, Funeral Directors.” She told us of the strange happenings that occur in the club. “We