Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co. opened its second location this month. Dubbed Hoots Satellite, it's at 701 N. Trade St. at the intersection with Seventh Street in Winston-Salem's Downtown Arts District.
The new spot gives significantly more visibility to Hoots, a bar and craft brewery whose original location opened in 2013 at 840 Mill Works St. That location is still going strong, and Hoots continues to sell kegs of its beer to area bars and restaurants.
The new bar is simply a way to extend the brand and to expose Hoots to a wider audience.
"We feel that this is reintroducing, or even introducing, us to Winston-Salem, because a lot of people don't know where we are at West End Millworks," said co-owner Eric Weyer.
Hoots is owned by majority partners Weyer and Brian Cole and minority investor Perry Smith. Weyer is the only remaining founding partner. Co-founder Eric Swaim sold his stake earlier this year, though he continues to do marketing and design for the business.
The Hoots team spent the better part of a year renovating the Trade Street location, which most recently was Test Pattern. The same spot also was previously occupied by Luna Lounge and Tiki Bar and Elliot's Revue.
Weyer and company have transformed the space. A large mural on the Seventh Street wall depicts the diver motif from the original Hoots location.
A large covered patio greets customers out front. It can seat more than 30 people outside, and a glass window connects to the bar — when it's opened in nice weather, customers will be able to order drinks from the patio.
Inside, the 1,700-square-foot bar are essentially three rooms on three levels. Where you enter is the main bar area, whose wall features a large sculpture of an owl, wings spread, that is made of scrap metal, including car wiper blades and bicycle parts. Beyond that is a raised seating area with restrooms and an arcade game, and a one-step-up back room with semi-circular cushioned booths. Altogether, the bar can seat about 50 people inside.
Heather Morris is the bar manager. The beer taps here are exclusively the Hoots beers — about 10 at a time — that are made by brewer Dave McClure a mile down the road. Beers are available in pints for $6 and half-pints for $3. They will include such best-sellers as the ESB and Gashopper IPA, plus the Morning Stout, 3 Grain Hazy IPA, Raspberry Grizzette and Satellite Saison. “We’ll always have a lot of seasonal beers,” Weyer said.
Like the original Hoots bar, Hoots Satellite also has an extensive cocktail menu. The popular "fizz" program of house-made sodas has been carried over here. They come in such flavors as basil, berry and citrus, and people can drink these as is or use them in cocktails.
During the winter, Hoots is offering hot drinks, including hot toddies and hot buttered rum. Other specialty cocktails include Prickly Peeress, with tequila, prickly pear, lime and candied ginger; and Blameful Basil, with gin, basil, lime and cucumber.
Weyer said that Hoots is working with Mission Pizza Napoletana next door for people who want to order a pizza and eat it in the bar.
"This is like a tasting room for the brewery," Weyer. "You know, we were one of Winston-Salem's first (craft) breweries, but a lot of people still don't know about us. We just want to spread the word about Hoots and let people know we have good beer."