Opening today just a one-minute walk from the NoDa Lynx Blue Line Station is the neighborhood’s newest watering hole, market, and eatery. The Exchange at 36th is tucked neatly beside The Blind Pig at the corner of East 36th and North Davidson streets in the former home of Behailu Academy.
Run by Kevin Samuel, former executive sous chef at The Pump House in Rock Hill and current executive chef at both Bistro La Bon locations, the 1,400-square-foot space will serve as a gathering spot for people to grab a drink, a quick bite to eat or peruse the many assorted pantry supplies and essentials up for sale.
In a similar fashion to Earl’s Grocery in Dilworth or Common Market in Plaza Midwood, the shelves are stocked with local fares like Cloister Honey, Queen Charlotte’s Pimento Cheese Royale, Uncle Hamp’s Carolina Bacon, Motown Spice Provisions, Lenny Boy Kombucha, Green Brothers Juice Co., and Sweet’s Syrup, among others.
Dairy products from Homeland Creamery are offered at The Exchange, as well as fresh produce from a family farm in nearby Albemarle, where Samuel grew up. Live greenery from Plant Therapy decorates the store and is also offered for sale.
The Exchange is awaiting final approval of its ABC permit, so wine and beer may not be available during these few first days of business, but Samuel has plans for when they’re given the green light.
Once the permit is approved, The Exchange at 36th will start a sipping vermouth program, highlighting what’s often thought of as just a cocktail modifier in Manhattans and martinis as the drink it’s always dreamed of being. Both dry and sweet vermouth are gaining popularity as standalone drinks, and The Exchange at 36th will offer a selection of these fortified, spiced wines in-store.
For those more interested in caffeine than alcohol, behind the bar lives a coffee and espresso setup fueled by Pure Intentions Coffee. The Exchange partnered with the local roastery to offer a special Exchange house blend and nitro cold brew on draft. The market also partnered with Camp North End bakery Wentworth & Fenn to offer up fresh-baked bread, desserts and pastries.
Samuel obtained his associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and bachelor’s in Food Service Management at Johnson & Wales University before heading to Providence, RI, to continue his educatio, receiving an MBA with a concentration in hospitality. The Exchange at 36th is Samuel’s latest endeavor.
“As a former resident and frequent guest, I love NoDa and wanted to offer something unique to the neighborhood,” Samuel shared in a press release. “We hope The Exchange can become a favorite for neighbors to grab a quick bite, something for their pantry, or a spot to gather with friends over their favorite beverage.”
The Exchange is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and located at 451 E. 36th Street.
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