When Nick Stroud decided to open a bar, he wanted to create a speak-easy that mirrored the atmosphere of the Prohibition era, but lacked the exclusivity of speak-easies from the past.
His speak-easy, Belltree, opened in Carrboro in October and specializes in craft cocktails, which range in price from $9 to $14. The menu features drinks like the “Ol Gunner,” which consists of bourbon, lemon, jalapeno syrup, an egg white, Aztec chocolate bitters and activated charcoal.
The hidden bar is tucked behind a car wash in a nondescript brick building near the intersection of Merritt Mill Road and East Main Street. It replaced another speak-easy, Peccadillo, that closed in April.
Stroud, who is also a co-owner of The Baxter Bar and Arcade in Chapel Hill, saw an opportunity to satisfy the area’s demand for craft cocktails and bring something new to Carrboro’s bar scene when Peccadillo closed.
“What’s the point of opening a bar if it’s just going to be another bar that plays UNC games?” Stroud said. “With this level of service and creativity and skill, there is a much larger slice of the pie that we can grab in terms of the clientele.”