Two years ago, a beloved NoDa music venue closed. Now its owner has a new project

Two years ago, a beloved NoDa music venue closed. Now its owner has a new project

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Katherine Peralta | The Charlotte Observer) - It's been almost two years since the beloved Chop Shop closed in NoDa to make way for a new development. But meanwhile, the concert venue's owner, Jay Tilyard, has been quietly working on another makeshift event space nearby that he plans to make permanent.

Tilyard describes The Shed as a pop-up-like concert venue. Located outside an old warehouse near the new Sugar Creek light rail station, the venue's stage area is made up of reclaimed materials, including five 40-foot shipping containers.

This fall, The Shed is hosting a handful of concerts, including a James Brown Dance Party Nov. 3, Tilyard said. The next steps for the development of the adjacent warehouse depend on the success of the outdoor shows this fall. Access to the spot, he added, should ease once construction on the light rail and Sugar Creek bridge nearby is completed.

"It's a trial run to see how people feel about it," Tilyard says of the spot.

For now, the plan is to start renovating the approximately 50,000 square-foot warehouse after this fall. Tilyard says he envisions a mix of tenants, such as offices, a coffee shop and a brewery, in addition to a covered Chop Shop-like arena, inside the building, which is owned by the Flywheel Group.

Chop Shop was a funky NoDa music venue located behind Cabo Fish Taco that closed in mid-November, 2015, to make way for a 7-acre mixed-use development by Crescent Communities under construction that includes apartments, a grocery store and a hotel.

Many have blamed Charlotte's ongoing development boom for the loss of several of the city's cultural hotspots.

Chop Shop, for instance, was among several locally owned performing arts theater to shutter in recent years: Others include the Neighborhood TheatreAmos' South End, Tremont Music Hall and the Double Door Inn.

"You're in a market where you're up against the big guys. The little ones are having a harder time," Tilyard said.