Lucky Turnaround: A place where anyone could feel at home

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 3, 2009

By Noelle Edwards
CHINA GROVE ó On U.S. 29 in China Grove, there’s an unassuming building, kind of small, with a gravel parking lot in front and a tall wooden fence around the edge.
But behind that fence is a horseshoe pit, covered and lighted, with speakers that play the inside music outside. And inside that building are pool tables, TVs, a juke box, and, depending on the night, tournaments for pretty much every bar sport known to man.
Charlene Nolt and Kristina Burton opened The Lucky Turnaround to provide a place where anyone could feel at home.
“Everybody is welcome in our bar,” Nolt said.
The bar is open Mondays through Fridays 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Thursday, opening night, about 40 people had shown up three hours into the evening. People were sitting at the bar ó where they can get only soda, water and beer in bottles or cans for the time being ó and playing horseshoes and pool.
The owners plan to add draft beer Monday, and in April they plan to get a license to start selling liquor by the drink. They also plan to add a full kitchen in the future.
Also in the future, Nolt and Burton plan to add an outdoor space for cornhole games and a stage for bands. They hope to be able to add a barbecue pit too. Inside, they need to expand the ventilation system to cut down on smoke in the room.
So there’s still much to be done. But they’ve already come a long way. Three weeks ago, the bar was a mess, Burton said. In that time, with both women working full-time jobs and without hiring a single contractor, the owners and their families and friends renovated the space and got it ready to open.
“As true as I stand here, if it wouldn’t have been for our friends and family,” Nolt said, they wouldn’t have been able to open.
“Our husbands, we worked them to death,” Nolt said.
It’s been a busy year for the two and will continue to be. Burton bought the South End Tavern in China Grove only four months ago and is still operating it. Nolt is running for the Landis Board of Aldermen. Oct. 30, they’re hosting a grand opening party at The Lucky Turnaround, an all-evening event with music, a Halloween costume contest and prizes.
“The adventure doesn’t stop here,” Nolt said. Feb. 1 the two will open a bait and tackle shop on Main Street in China Grove, filling what they say is a need in an area without another bait and tackle shop for miles.
“We figure we’ve started it and we’re going to finish it,” Nolt said.
Although they’re both running on barely any sleep and don’t see their schedules freeing up any time soon, they aren’t daunted.
“If you don’t take a chance, how are you going to know if it’s going to work?” Nolt said.
So they’ll wait to find out if The Lucky Turnaround ó named because they felt lucky to find the building and because they plan to turn it around ó will, indeed, work.