'A Huge Deal For Us': Greensboro's Revolution Mill Adds Popular Downtown Bar

GREENSBORO, N.C. — When The Bearded Goat lit up its "open" sign Friday night, the bar became the latest addition to an ambitious development converting a 120-year-old textile mill into a modern destination to live, work, and play.

Greensboro's Revolution Mill has packed a lot into what used to be an aging flannel mill, the first in the U.S. South. The property is large enough to need a "campus map" to help people find their way around the 150-unit apartment complex, cafe, pizzeria, restaurant, workspaces for 109 companies, and more on site.

"All of the sudden, this little kind of campus community has come alive," said Nick Piornack, General Manager of Revolution Mill, whose job includes managing leasing, construction, and third-party relationships.

Beneath towering smokestacks built in 1898, family and friends gathered at the Bearded Goat on Friday night for a soft opening. 

The grand opening for the general public at the Bearded Goat bar at Revolution Mill is Saturday, June 29 at 6 p.m.

"We're very casual. Our motto is, 'Come as you are.' Come as who you are. It doesn't matter how much money you have in your pocket. If you want to spend two bucks or if you want to spend 100 bucks. And we've just really lived by that motto," said Seth Mapes, owners of the Bearded Goat.

The Bearded Goat is expanding to Revolution Mill from its original location in Downtown Greensboro, which opened in October 2016. Revolution Mill first approached Mapes about the prospect of growing to the revamped textile mill about a year and a half ago, said Mapes.

"When we first opened up downtown, I had, I think, three employees for the first couple months. Right now, with Revolution Mill opening, we have roughly between 20 and 28 people working for us with security, bar-backs, bartenders, everything like that," said Mapes.

As for the larger Revolution Mill project, the Bearded Goat is one of the last additions in phase one of development, said Piornack. Architects for the project aim to preserve the historic textile mill atmosphere. 

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Revolutionizing History At Revolution Mill In Greensboro

In 1898 the Cone brothers opened the South's first flannel mill in northeast Greensboro. In 1982 the mill closed but in 2017 new business is opening.

Self Help Ventures Fund bought the 45-acre property in 2012 and began the $100 million redevelopment. WFMY News 2's Maddie Gardner stopped by the historic mill to check out what's new. 

Cugino Forno Pizzeria opened March 9th. They chose Revolution Mill because they wanted to combine the American history of the mill with the Italian history of the pizzeria. Their wood fire ovens can bake a pie to perfection in 90 seconds and they say they use only the freshest imported ingredients. 

A Greensboro favorite, Natty Greene's is opening a third location at the mill. Owner Kayne Fisher said the new spot will be, "a butcher, a baker and a beer maker," but we'll have to stay tuned to see what that means. Fisher says Revolution Mill is the perfect spot for Natty Greene's because of the Greensboro history that lives there. 

Urban Grinders, a Greensboro art and coffee house, will open their second location in the mill in April. Owners Jeff and Marcus say they can't wait to be at the historic property.

The mill also features 142 loft apartments. One and two bedroom spaces are available to rent. The lofts are in the oldest building at Revolution Mill and many of the original features are highlighted in the floor plans. The tenants are also able to enjoy a fitness and yoga studio, a theater room, demonstration kitchen, dog park and community grills.

See video coverage of Revolution Mill on WFMY2 >> 

History Comes To Life At New Revolution Mill Apartments

An old factory transformed into modern, stylish apartments. 

Greensboro's history in the textile industry is undeniable when you step into the newly transformed Revolution Mill Apartments

Exposed brick walls, original hardwood floors, and high ceilings and windows are all evidence of the area's evolution. 

Revolution Mill was first known as the Proximity Cotton Mill. The factory was built in the late 1800's and was a leading manufacturer of denim through the 1900's. 

The mill eventually closed in 1982 due to decreasing popularity in flannels. 

Revolution Studios purchased the old mill in the early 2000's and has since been transforming the campus into offices, event space, restaurants, and now apartments. 

The first generation of tenants moved into the new apartments in February. 

See the WFMY article here >>