When I entered Tails Piano Bar, I turned to my husband and said, “I feel like I’m in New York City.” Gregg Thomas, owner, and Robin Brownlow, manager, managed to bring a taste of the Big Apple to the Port City. When you enter Tails, you immediately feel as though you’ve been transported into the 1920s. The Art Deco décor, impressive chandelier, and playful lounge seating welcome you to relax and sip on a signature cocktail in style. Wilmington socialites can enjoy the privacy of intimate seating while live music provides a peaceful backdrop to their conversation.
Thomas, a Fuquay Varina native, enjoyed traveling to Wilmington frequently for summer vacations. In 2010, nostalgia drew Thomas to Wilmington where it has become his permanent home. While retirement was the motive for his move, Thomas’s calling to create an upscale piano bar in the Wilmington historic district never left his mind. He toyed with the idea for two years before real estate on Front Street caught his eye in January 2018. Thomas labored for two months to transform a former restaurant into the Tails guests experience today.
Local musical talent has poured into Tails since its opening in March 2018. Robin Brownlow, Thomas’s close friend and Tails Manager, meets with each performer to get a feel for their style and to ensure superlative entertainment for guests. Patrons are pleasantly surprised with a variety of musicians including pianists and saxophonists and frequently find themselves dancing by the white baby grand piano or singing along to Frank Sinatra classics.
If guests would like a change of tune, the back patio offers a fresh playlist, additional lounge seating for large parties, and a brand-new bar opening May 2018 for convenience. The patio’s roofline ends enchantingly before reaching an exposed, free-standing brick wall creating a garden-like ambiance and providing guests the option of relaxing under the stars.
“I don’t want [our patrons] to have to wait to want to come back again,” Thomas exclaims. And guests shouldn’t. With an annual membership of just $1, guests can enjoy live music five nights a week at no cover charge. Brownlow effortlessly welcomes new visitors as they enter Tails and gives guests the feeling that Tails was created especially for them. Word of Wilmington’s newest gem is quickly spreading, so stop in on Wednesdays to enjoy a refreshing craft cocktail or glass of wine without the weekend crowds.
“We want our guests to leave smiling,” Brownlow says. With delicious drinks that focus on quality, top-class entertainment, and a sophisticated 1920s motif Tails is sure to please all those who stop by.