Jackbeagles & NoDa's Fire Department #7 (FD#7)
Backstory and Context
User Uploaded Audio
The first thing you will notice walking up to JackBeagles restaurant is that the outside is painted to look like a doghouse. The dog on top of it, however, is not Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoon. It is actually the restaurant’s namesake, who lived with his best friend Chris Ingram just a few blocks away. Chris is one of the owners of JackBeagles and named the restaurant in honor of his friend who still watches over it.
Walk around the corner of the building to find a large mural that spans the entire side of the building. And don’t be surprised if you think some of the characters in the mural look familiar. Over 300 NoDa residents and workers are captured in this tribute to NoDa painted by Will Puckett. He named the piece “Als ich Chan”, which is Flemish, and translates to “As Best I Can.” Will and his wife Lauren took photos of locals as they were prepping the space and then used the photos as reference to fill in the mural. What started as a blank wall quickly turned into a collage of NoDa’s eclectic cast of characters.
As you look at the mural you’ll see that a halo is painted above one man’s head. This angelic touch was a way to pay homage to Stu Sloan who passed away in 2010 just as the mural was being completed. Stu owned the Salvador Deli next door, which was known for great sandwiches and for the surrealist elephants flanking its doors.
It was also known as an impromptu music venue. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, Stu would host free live concerts where the mural is now featuring local and regional bands. Donations were accepted, but anyone was welcome to see great live music for free along with fire jugglers and other random forms of entertainment outside of Salvador Deli. The same Chris Ingram who is a partial owner of JackBeagles is also part owner of Stu’s Barrel House. He named this bar after Stu and kept the elephant murals as a tribute to the special place that Salvador Deli has in NoDa’s history.
Across the street is the venerable Fire Department #7 station. Built in 1936, it is one of Charlotte’s oldest original firehouses. In the early days, it also had a couple of jail cells so that drunk mill workers could sleep off the night if they got too rowdy at one of the downtown taverns. The fire workers are still popular around NoDa, and you would often catch them watching the bands play at Salvador Deli from their balcony perch. See if you can also spot them in Will’s mural.