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  • Camille Renner

Unique, Historic and Just Plain Cool Spaces in Gaston County

All around the county, from Belmont to Bessemer City and everywhere in between, are little pockets of historical architecture accompanied by well-designed interiors. Antique books, victorian furniture and local relics adorn walls and halls of businesses and museums, paying tribute to the eras that first brought us these beautiful buildings.

Blossom Cafe & Bakery

Camille Renner, Gaston Outside

101 E. Virginia Ave., Bessemer City

Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

A bakery, cafe and event space, Blossom in downtown Bessemer City plays on the venue's historic elements with a sunny ceiling, complete with original textured tile detail. Antique furniture and glass-paned doors make for a bright and open space, with greenery and flowers throughout. The events venue boasts rustic wooden floors with industrial elements, perfect for a variety of event styles in this historically significant space.

Cavendish Brewing Company

DeLauren Everett, Gaston Outside

107 N. Chester St., Gastonia

Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

What as once a Studebaker factory and later a Dodge dealership, Scott Cavendish and his team spent a year renovating the historic space that would become Gastonia's first brewery, Cavendish Brewing Company. The interior's polished concrete floors compliment exposed brick and painted metallic gears, a nod to the building's beginnings. An exposed 16-barrel brewhouse is central to the experience of Cavendish Brewing who prides themselves on Old World beers in the heart of Gastonia.

Central Drug

Camille Renner, Gaston Outside

112 W. Virginia Ave., Bessemer City

Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

A quintessential piece of Bessemer City history, Central Drug has sat on West Virginia Avenue since 1927, with walls lined with wood and glass medicine cabinets, an old-fashioned food and ice cream counter serving some of the best orangeade around and wooden booths tucked between antique Coca-Cola coolers. Many elements are original to the building's original design, taking visitors back in time with every visit.

The Esquire Hotel

Camille Renner, Gaston Outside

168 W. Main Ave., Gastonia

By reservation online or by phone at 980-888-1500

In 1918, a bank that would come to be known as The Lawyers Building opened in downtown Gastonia. After having sat closed for decades, the building underwent seven years of careful restoration and renovation and became The Esquire Hotel. An alleyway patio with brick and ivy, rooms with banking memorabilia and The Notary, a coffee shop with exposed brick and reclaimed wood highlight Barrister's, the lobby-turned-restaurant which serves dishes as beautiful as the architecture itself.

Gaston County Museum of Art & History

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

131 W. Main St., Dallas

Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Gaston County Museum of Art & History is in one of the county's oldest buildings—Dallas' 1853 Hoffman Hotel. Along with antique fiber mill artifacts, Civil Rights Movement (from slavery to today) newspaper clippings and photographs, and a rotating artist display, the Hoffman Hotel Rooms exhibit showcases rooms as they were kept at the hotel's 19th century inception.

Jekyll & Hyde

Camille Renner, Gaston Outside

10 Catawba St., Belmont

Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

The breezeway in this Victorian-themed steampunk brewery, Jekyll & Hyde, holds caged books dating back to the late 1800s. purchased and picked-up from the historic Wither's Library in Kentucky. This historic building—Dixon Ford in the 1930s and Kimbrell Furniture after that— still holds little nods to its history, with hooks for car parts in the second floor events space that is lined with Victorian couches with their original horse-hair stuffing.

Meraki Flower Shop

Camille Renner, Gaston Outside

35 N. Main St., Belmont

Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Their little pup typically walking around or setting up on the counter, Belmont's Meraki Flower Shop has found its way in Apartment Therapy and it's clear to see why. Plants and local goodness abound in this downtown Belmont plant boutique.

Mount Hollywood Vintage

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

126 S. Main St., Mount Holly

Tuesday-Friday, 12 p.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

A must-see in downtown Mount Holly, the aptly named Mount Hollywood Vintage carries clothing, accessories and other vintage items and oddities. A hammerhead shark sits above a drink cooler which boasts the red "88" from North Carolina NASCAR legend, Dale Jarrett, while Dia De Los Muertos busts display hats atop clothing racks.

Ole Dallas Brewery

Liz Logan, Gaston Outside

136 Durkee Ln., Dallas

Thursday 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; Friday 3 p.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 12 p.m.- 10 p.m.

At the end of Durkee Lane just outside Downtown Dallas, you'll come to an old machine-shop-turned-brewery filled with Gaston County relics, among other interesting items. Vintage cans sit behind the tap tower while patrons sit at, as brewer Beau Norwood so eloquently puts it, a "1970s trailer park living room set-up" complete with a wagon wheel chandelier. Dallas relics, like yearbooks dating back to the 1950s, can be found on shelves and retired sports jerseys from local legends like A.J. Blue, as well as a portrait of resident cat, Don Rodriquez, in early-American war general regalia.

Pita Wheel

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Moss - Moss Videography

110 S. York St., Gastonia

Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Set up in a historic Sinclair gas station in downtown Gastonia, Pita Wheel's second location is filled with antique accents, like painted car doors and hoods and vintage-style gliders. The most quintessential Pita Wheel piece, though, is the floor-to-ceiling Lucille Ball mural bringing brightness character to this renovated restaurant.

Sleepy Poet Antique Mall

Chandler West, Gaston Outside

111 W. Main Ave., Gastonia

Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m.-6 p.m.

Floor after floor of antiques awe and inspire patrons at Gastonia's Sleepy Poet Antique Mall. Vintage clothing, furniture and neon signs wow visitors at every corner in this seemingly-endless expanse of a mall.

Thirsty Dog

Camille Renner, Gaston Outside

508 Woodlawn St., Belmont

Tuesday-Friday 4 p.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday 12 p.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.-8 p.m.

New to scene, Thirsty Dog has filled their pup-specific space with art, plants and exposed beams lined with lighting, making an intimate space of the expansive taproom. Antique yellow chairs sit by an ivy-covered walls, the block-text logo hanging center. Long wooden tables at Gaston County's first dog bar is a space perfect for pooches, pet parents and pup lovers to share a community table (at a safe distance for the time being, of course).

WinterPast Flowers

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

116 N. Main St., Lowell

Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Exposed brick peeks through antique white walls filled with industrial shelving in Lowell's WinterPast Flowers. Raw edged wood holds pots and plants, creating an earthy interior compelling visitors to pick a plant or two for their own home displays.

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