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Belly Up To...

Carbon’s footprint on Court Avenue

11/18/2015

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Carbon’s owner aims to bring in guests through hard work, a unique drink menu and special events.

Six months ago, Chelsie Lyons opened her second bar, Carbon. Carbon has become a new and challenging adventure for Lyons, but one that she loves.

“It’s the only thing I’ve ever known,” said Lyons. “I started working in the restaurant industry when I was 20. I did a lot of waitressing, and I just wanted to learn the restaurant. At that time, I had no intention of opening up my own restaurant, but I started working as a shift manager, an employee trainer. I started to do everything for the restaurant, and at some point it felt like I was running the restaurant.”

And that is exactly what she did. Lyons currently owns and runs Players Sports Bar and Grill along with Carbon, which joined the array of downtown bars last summer. While searching for a location for a second bar, Lyons knew that she couldn’t fit a location to an idea. So when she bought the space on Court Avenue, she built her bar from the ground up. Research landed her with the idea for Carbon: the name, the look and a very popular drink menu.

“Our slogan is ‘Where Chemistry Happens,’ but the concept behind Carbon is that carbon to carbon is one of the strongest [chemical] bonds there is,” she said. “So people are going to come here for the bonds and relationships.”

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Carbon also features a periodic table of drinks as one of the biggest hits on its menu. The table features 103 different cocktails, shots and beers, such as Area 51 and Pink Mustang, crowd favorites based on an actual periodic table.

The bar — featuring glittery floors, chandeliers and pool tables — is a great location for bar goers any day of the week. Offering versatility, weekday guests can come in for a relaxed atmosphere, allowing relationships and conversation to develop, while weekend visitors get to experience the classic downtown party vibe with a full bar and an open dance floor.

A unique atmosphere and drink menu definitely strengthen Carbon’s presence in the biggest bar population of downtown. Court Avenue features many great bars and nightlife activities, but Lyons says Carbon has three strengths that put it in the spotlight: a creative menu, a versatile atmosphere and hard-working staff to keep customers coming back for more.

As the owner of two separate bars, Lyons puts in a lot of overtime, working just about every day each bar is open. She said her strong work ethic and her strong staff are what her developing customer base see and love, but it takes a lot to get people to come in the door. In the downtown atmosphere, people don’t just go to one bar for a night, and that can be a steep hill to climb for new bar owners. Lyons is learning the difficulty of downtown bar owning, but she is strengthening the bar’s presence.

Carbon, open Thursday through Sunday every week, features new drink specials daily and offers customers special events frequently, such as past events surrounding the Halloween weekend and support for breast cancer awareness. Future events are always in the works, including Christmas events that are still in the making. CV

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