#CLTNIGHTLIFE Blog 290 Posts

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Sep 20, 2018

It's Time to Get Your Costume Ready Because Halloween is Coming

Posted by Dara Brewton • Nightlife Events

I know it is only mid-September, but fall rolls in quickly. Before you know it, Halloween is upon you and all the quality costumes have already flown off the shelf. Then where will you be? Stuck wearing a ghost costume made from an old sheet, and that is no way to win the costume contest. 

So, to save you from the last minute dash to Party City, here is a list of the upcoming Halloween parties going down in the Queen City. Now, you’ll have plenty of time to get them on your calendar and plan your custom couples Game of Thrones costumes.

Saturday, Oct 20th

2018 Halloween Bar Crawl by Elite Bar Crawls: Check-in starts at 1 pm at Whisky River, and the bar crawl will include 6 venues (to be announced.) Expect live performances by Lectro Raiders.

Sunday, Oct 21st

Nobody’s Safe Blackout Ball: WhiteHouse on Wilkinson wants you to break out your best black attire. There will be multiple contests with over 5k worth in cash prizes.

Wednesday, Oct 24th

Stranger Things Trivia: World of Beer is hosting a Stranger Things trivia night. Head to the upside down with Eleven, Mike and Will and win a few prizes by showing off your trivia chops.

Friday, Oct 26th

Masquerade Party: Lenny Boy Brewing is throwing a masquerade to benefit Carolina Calouche, Charlotte’s only dance and cirque nonprofit. There will be a food truck on site, a performance by the dancers, and plenty of beer and wine. Attire is casual cocktail and of course, your mask.

14th Annual CharloWEEN by Charlotte Nightlife: This is Charlotte Nightlife’s own all access bar crawl, and this year the theme is Dawn of the Dead! Check-in starts at 5 pm at Rooftop 210, and the VIP ticket includes entrance to Gravediggers! GET YOUR TICKET HERE!!! And get them fast! The first 25 to check in will get a creepy Dawn of the Dead face painting!

Saturday, Oct 27th

Adult Halloween Costume Party: Rack n Roll Sports Bar is hosting an adults-only Halloween party with a costume contest and free buffet. Don your sexiest or scariest costume attire to win prizes.

Sexy Halloween by YoniMe: Village at Commonwealth apartments has partnered with YoniMe Steaming for their first sexy Halloween party. Expect hors-d'oeuvres, cocktails, music, and plenty of sexiness.

Halloween Bar Crawl Plaza Midwood by Quiet Party: Get your capes ready for this superhero vs villains themed costumed bar crawl starting at the Rabbit Hole on Commonwealth. There will be plenty of drink specials whether you choose to go good or evil.

Halloween Costume Party: Banquet 49 is hosting a Halloween costume party that includes dinner and two drinks. Expect music, drinks, and a costume contest with three winners.

Wednesday, Oct 31st

Nightmare on College Street Bar Crawl: Starting at Lucky’s Bar and Arcade, this 8-venue bar crawl lasts until 2 am. Your crawl ticket covers your entry into Lucky’s, QC Social, Imperial, Flight, Suite, Blackfinn, Rooftop 210, and Whisky River.

Hocus Pocus Trivia:  World of Beer is at it again with another Halloween themed trivia night. The black candles will be lit at 7 pm, just enough time after work to grab a beer from one of their 50 taps and settle in for some witchy trivia questions.

Sep 15, 2018

Florence is here to party, so you should to

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Events

First things first, Hurricanes are no joke.  Florence has struck land and is wreaking havoc on the coast and is expected to bring some terrible rain and winds to the Charlotte area this weekend.  With that said, do anything and everything you can to stay safe and keep others safe. This storm also has probably changed your plans for the weekend, I know they changed mine, and I have some newfound free days which will, fingers crossed, be minimally impacted by the storm.  So, making a bit of lemonade out of lemons is what this post is going to be about.

If you live around the Uptown area, within walking distance, and have already started to feel the cabin fever kick in, here are some establishments that plan to be open and offer some Hurricane Party atmospheres.  (This is as of Friday afternoon, we have linked to their Facebook pages where you can double check to make sure they are still open before heading over!)

Now, even if you live within Uptown, but the weather is going to keep you indoors, or if you live outside of walking distance, then here are a few tips for hosting your own Hurricane Party:

  • Visit your nearest store to pick up the appropriate beverages (water, wine, beer). There are plenty within walking distance Uptown!

  • Get to know your neighbors and invite them to gather

  • Bring all your perishable snacks (if the power goes out you want to eat that food up!)

  • Stay safe inside but enjoy getting to know your neighbors and telling stories and maybe playing a few weather-related games.

Clearly, there are plenty of options out there for you to stay entertained.  However, please do not lose sight that the biggest thing to do is to stay safe and to stay calm.

Sep 12, 2018

If you're looking for a swanky date night, paired with a 1-lb. donut, Stoke is the place to go

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Reviews

Are you looking for a good night out? Perhaps something that is upscale yet low key. Where you can put on your swankiest outfit, feel grown and sexy, but not worry about club music bumping your ear drums out of your head?  What if during that night, you could also you start off by enjoying a few appetizers, some fine upscale cuisine with a twist, and the best hand-crafted cocktails? Still interested? What about if you could night cap with a glass of wine and a one-pound donut? Yes, a one-pound donut that comes with zero shame and all the encouragement to polish that baby off.

Sounds fairly spectacular, right? Well, fantastic news, I have the place for you! Located within the Marriot City Center, on 100 West Trade St, is that place. Stoke, is a swank establishment serving made from scratch-American cuisine out of locally sourced ingredients baked in an open-wood oven. Seriously, I am getting all nostalgic and hungry just recalling the set-up.

The first time I went to Stoke was for a date night a few months ago. We had been looking for a change of pace and to feel like we were on vacation in “the big city.”   We checked out Stoke because of a recommendation from a friend. She said it tasted three times more expensive than it was, and that you could be dressed up in your best jeans, tank and heels.  Yes, part of our motivation was to figure put what the heck she meant by all that, but it was meeting the criteria we did not know we had.

Walking into Stoke you are greeted by a friendly and sophisticated host in a modern and open venue.  The lighting is low but warm. The kitchen is open and vast, and the bar is huge and tucked in the back corner! Everything feels welcoming and the décor is fresh and modern.

Now, that food crafted in the open kitchen in the wood-fire oven?  It is AMAZING. We treated ourselves to the pretzel brioche served with whipped butters (omg, the cheerwine butter!!!), the sticky pork shank, scallops, and a side of asparagus. We also enjoyed some crafted cocktails, the Stoke Fashioned (their take on an Old Fashion) and the Cucumber Tulip (vodka, apple pucker, lemon, lime, celery shrub bitters). Both were delicious and had to be sipped and savored.

One would think we would be stuffed, right?  Negative. We were told by our waitress that we absolutely had to save room for dessert and that dessert absolutely had to be the one-pound donut.  Yes, one-pound of deliciousness, served warm with fresh whipped cream and heath bar crunchies. There goes that watering mouth again…

As promised by my friend, the experience overall felt lush and posh, but the bill was not.  It was incredibly reasonable given our high-end experience. Stoke quickly transitioned from being a one-off visit for “something different” to one of our favorite date night locations.

Sep 05, 2018

9 South End businesses that have closed this year, and what we'll miss about them

Posted by Amanda Erskine • Nightlife News

This past year, we've had a lot of new comers join the South End neighborhood, but we've also had to say goodbye to a lot of our favorite businesses. This doesn't come at too much of a shock because of the high-cost of rent in South End, the similar concepts that some of these closings held to other established businesses in the area, and the completely outlandish concepts of others (looking at you, Wu's), but we sometimes still cry thinking about them. And while we love all of the places that have joined the South End family, we would like to pay our respects to all of the South End businesses that we've lost this year, and share what we'll miss the most about them.

1. Liberty Gastropub: Liberty Gastropub was a God-send when Tupelo Honey's wait was too long for brunch. They always had a table waiting for you with open arms and a small menu full of delicious food to choose from. Not to mention one of the best burgers I've ever had in my life. We will truly miss your English-style fare and your availability. Luckily, the South Charlotte location is still available!

2. Fidelli Kitchen: Gone too soon, but not to be forgotten, Fidelli's Fast-Casual Italian concept was home to the city-renowned meatball cone. While this delicacy also left us too soon, we are brought comfort in knowing that Sabor Latin Grill will be opening up in it's place in late September (and the concept will be returning in 2019! Save your wine cards!). We will miss your half-priced wine nights on Thursday and as always, the meatball cone. 

3. Stache House: This lively business was located next to the Aveda Institute, and you most likely mistook it for a men's barber shop. In reality, the Stache House was an exclusive, members-only club that had both hookah and a dress code. We will definitely miss seeing your members always getting crazy, even on a Sunday night. 

4. Noodles & Company: This space will be taken over by Poppy's Bagels in late September or October, but that doesn't stop us from mourning the loss of a restaurant dedicated to noodles. Being able to walk to a place and create-your-own noodle masterpiece is something we should never take for granted. We will miss you being there for us during our carb-craving times of need. 

5. Your Pie: Another location that in my opinion, is gone too soon. Unfortunately, their location proved to be detrimental, what with the already-established Blaze Pizza being right down the road, and the general inconvenience of South Boulevard. We will truly miss your cheese pizza layered with fresh mozzarella on the bottom, shredded mozzarella on top, Parmesan on top of that, and Gelato on the side.

6. Claire De Lune Boutique: This high-end boutique, with affordable prices was located right beneath Tupelo Honey and added a bunch of cute items to my closet throughout the past two years. We can't mourn for too long since another boutique, Adair, will be taking it's place on September 8th, but your clothes and adorable puppy will truly be missed. 

7. Lady M Cake Boutique: This business will become the new home of Craft Beer and Growler shop's new cocktail bar concept, which is definitely a cause for celebration, but South End is now definitely lacking in places to get a cupcake, when the craving hits. Let's fix this ASAP. We will miss being able to buy individual slices of your delicious and beautiful cakes. 

8. Studio Cellar Wine & Design: Another thing that South End is lacking are places that offer activities to pair with alcohol. I wish I had taken advantage of this place more, along with their paint-your-pet deals on Sunday's. Studio Cellar's space is now home to the furniture store, Design Within Reach, but being out of my Ikea-price range, I don't get to benefit from it. We will miss your wine & design classes and all of the girl's nights we never got to have. 

9. OFO bikes: I know this isn't technically a South End-specific business, but we mourn where mourning is due. OFO, you put up a good fight and were one of the only two bike-share apps on my phone. We'll miss your contrast to the orange and green. 

10. Wu's Cajun Seafood: We get that the time to mourn this place has come and gone with the addition of the Rosemont, and no one REALLY mourned it to begin with, BUT I never got to try it, so I will count it's loss as a personal one. Wu's we will miss your alligator decorations and the potential that you had to be a really cool place to grab food. 

Other notable mentions:

Monsoon Thai

Carrabba's (closed 2017)

Aug 28, 2018

Brunching in Uptown, because no one cares if you are drinking before noon when you are at brunch

Posted by Dara Brewton • Nightlife Reviews

It’s no secret that Charlotte loves to brunch. A quality brunch spot can be found every few blocks, in each and every corner of the city, and one of the best things about this brunching obsession is that no one blinks an eye when you choose to imbibe a little at brunch. Right? I mean, if you order a cocktail at breakfast, you might get the side eye, but if you order a cocktail at brunch…

Brunch is serious business in Uptown, and there are quite a few places where you can go and pair your scrambled eggs with a quality cocktail. However, there are a couple of places that should be moved to the top of your brunching list pronto.


Stoke is located on W Trade Street and is the home of Chef Chris Coleman who specializes in farm-to-fork Southern cuisine. Brunch is served all week long at Stoke until 4 pm, and it includes items like Tim’s Stuffed French Toast, a dish that contains Rice Krispies, ricotta cheese, and fresh berries. Also on the menu are Coleman’s Garbage Fries which come smothered in pimento cheese and beef gravy. Whatever you choose to eat, you may want to pair it with the Rise & Shine, an aptly named cocktail for drinking in the am hours.

The Asbury

Located in the Dunhill Hotel, The Asbury is a modern Southern restaurant with a seasonal menu. The brunch menu is no exception, and they are currently running a Summer menu with dishes like Maw Maw’s Cast Iron Biscuits which come with bacon jam. You can also grab a coffee-based cocktail called the Wake Up Right which is a combination of iced coffee, bourbon, chocolate, almond milk, orange, and cinnamon. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 9 am.

Mert’s Heart and Soul

The weekend brunch at Mert’s brings a little soul to your dining experience. Featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, this restaurant has been a Charlotte staple since 1998. The fantastic brunch menu includes Sweet Potato Pancakes, a Shrimp Creole Omelette, and that famous Mert’s cornbread. They also have an Unlimited Mimosa on the menu which could get quite dangerous if you’re not careful.


Valhalla is located on Church Street right across from Romare Bearden Park, and it may not be the first place to come to mind when considering your brunch option. However, Their Warrior’s Omelet and English Breakfast should not be overlooked, especially when you throw in their signature Lingonberry Lemonade.

204 North

Enjoy the farm-to-fork, locally sourced brunch in the upscale 204 North located on N Tryon.  The Hashtag Basic (a vodka and raspberry cocktail) is just one of the many libations they offer to pair with your preferred menu options. The Toast Trio and the classic brunch dish, Chicken & Waffles, are definitely ones you should consider.

Ink n Ivy

The eclectically decorated dining room and the large outdoor deck are the perfect places to enjoy a brunch date. Enjoy a Mimosa or Blueberry Mojito in the sun while you dine on dishes like the Soy Glazed Salmon Bennie or the Sausage and Cheese Omelette. Plus, if you hang long enough, you can transition brunch right into the nightlife scene without even leaving the restaurant.

Dandelion Market

No brunch list would be complete without mentioning the Dandelion Market and their fabulous Make-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary-Bar. The teal green facade of the Market can be found on West 5th Street, and their brunch hours run from 10am-3pm on Saturday and Sunday. Along with your Bloody Mary, you can find items like the Hangover Hash, the Greek Omelette, and the Cheesy Grits.