In the months before Dive ‘N’ Boar at 2541 N. Pleasantburg Drive closed for good in March, co-owner Chad Gangwer was already working on a Plan B.
“The writing was on the wall,” says Gangwer, also co-owner of the neighboring Southern Culture Kitchen and Bar.
That forethought accounts for the space’s quick turnaround from the foodie favorite Dive ‘N’ Boar to a brand new concept, LTO Burger Bar. A short three months since the close of the former gastropub, LTO opened Aug. 8.
“It’s a concept built around the community,” Gangwer says.
Inside, the décor has transformed from the stark industrial farmhouse feel of DNB to an early 1980s-inspired space with large pop art pieces covering whole walls, brightly colored accent walls and ceilings, and booths and barstools covered in faux cow hide. A newly constructed outdoor patio bridges the gap between Southern Culture and LTO.
“It’s a big representation of my personality,” he says. “I wanted to do a 180 and put more vibrancy in the space.”
The space, food, and music are designed to be entertaining for families, millennials, and “old guys like me,” Gangwer joked.
Indoors, there is seating for close to 200, with additional seats on the outside front sidewalk, as well as the back patio.
The menu, while certainly burger- and meat-centric, features substantial vegetarian and vegan options and salads. Meat for the burger patties includes 100 percent ground chuck, Greenbrier Farms grass-fed beef, ground duck, a so-called Beyond Meat vegan burger, and seared ahi tuna. Some of the more ingenious toppings include Bomb Mustard made with PBR draft beer, blueberry ketchup, root beer caramelized onions, kohlrabi slaw, and sloppy joe chili.
With burger names such as Grateful Garcia (field mushrooms, bacon, whipped blue cheese, steak sauce), Piedmont Mullet ’85 (sloppy joe chili, Bomb Mustard, American cheese, phat onion rings), and the Earth Quack Club (ground duck, devil on horseback jam, sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion), it’s clear Gangwer and his crew are prepared to have some fun.
Sugar coma-inducing milkshake concoctions include the Stone Cold Sally (peanut butter ice cream, Fruity Pebbles, Twinkie, Butterfinger sprinkles, Bugles), Cinnamon Roller Girl (vanilla shake, hot cinnamon rolls, icing, and spicy pecans), and a Mexican chocolate shake with a Choco Taco on top.
The cocktails are creative, too, and on point for the August heat — Screwdriver and Jack and Coke slushies churning side-by-side at the bar and “La-Croix-tails” served in a La Croix can.
Hours of operation are Monday–Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.; Friday–Saturday 11:30 a.m.–midnight; and Sunday 11:30–10 p.m.