Lincolnton Enjoys Burst of Redevelopment and Retail Renaissance

Written By: Ken Elkins Monday, April 2, 2018

Lincolnton Mayor Ed Hatley at first likes the word “renaissance” when describing all the development and renovation going on downtown in the Lincoln County county seat.

Then when he hears “paradigm shift” he latches on to that phase. It is an election year, after all, in the only incorporated city in Lincoln County, and Hatley is excited that craft beer is coming to Lincolnton.

“Everybody loves beer,” says Pete DeGregory, owner of the planned Tavern on the Square restaurant, pub and black-stage theater coming to a historic building on East Water Street downtown.

Something — a metamorphosis, a resurgence or even a paradigm shift, whatever you want to call it — is going on in Lincolnton’s downtown. At least a dozen projects — brewpubs, antique and collectible shops, townhomes and loft apartments, a butcher shop and deli, a brick-oven pizza shop, restaurants, an interior design studio, an events-planning place and even a mermaid tail manufacturer — are planned there.

“It’s a renaissance,” says And Lynn, executive director of the Downtown Development Association. “We want to see more excitement” in downtown Lincolnton, he adds.

But, you may ask, why now? Why has the core of Lincolnton picked 2018 to host this frenzy of redevelopment and new construction?

There are three answers: a 2016 change in the city’s rules on bars and brewpubs, a collection of city grants to support small business and entrepreneurs, and an entirely new philosophy on building-code enforcement in the city.

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