A former Apex sports bar is trading out its beer mugs and bar stools for Bibles and church pews.
The Point Church is converting the former Chevy’s Ale House off of N.C. 55 into a church campus.
“People have gone there before looking for answers in the bottom of a bottle,” churchgoer Jim Miller said. “We want to be able to provide them with real answers.”
The renovation is underway, and church leaders hope the facility will be open by the fall.
The Point Church already has locations in Cary and Raleigh. An Apex group of 105 church members has met at Apex Middle School for almost three years.
Chevy’s Ale House closed its doors in December, but the owners have since opened a new restaurant, Chevy’s Sports Bar on Center Street in Apex.
Matthew Bradham, the Apex pastor for The Point Church, drove by the former bar every day. The church wasn’t looking for a permanent location, so he didn’t give the vacant building much thought.
But one day, he saw a phone number listed on the property and took it as a sign from God. He picked up the phone, and the next thing he knew, workers had started renovations on the building.
“If you asked me in April, I would have thought it was impossible,” Bradham said.
Eleven church members raised $112,700 in a week to get the process started and to lease the building, he said.
The church hopes the new location will help attract more members. Bradham believes more than 44,000 people pass the building every day.
“We are quickly expanding, and it’s a great location,” Miller said.
At the new space, The Point Church will hold church services and also offer space for counseling and group meetings.
The church currently operates a food pantry out of its Cary location, and church leaders want to expand the effort to Apex.
“We want to meet people’s needs,” Miller said. “Now people won’t have to drive as far.”
The Replenish Food Pantry at the church’s Cary location has served more than 1,200 people since it opened in February, Bradham said. The pantry also offers hot meals, financial aid, prayer services and clothing to those in need every Saturday.
“It’s become life-changing,” Bradham said. “Some of the people who come to receive food have ended up a part of our community.”