#CLTNIGHTLIFE Blog 277 Posts

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May 22, 2018

Camp North End is quickly becoming the place to be on the weekends

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Events

Camp North End continues to excited and delight the city, especially those in the surrounding neighborhoods like Brightwalk, the Music Factory, NoDa, and Uptown. Since we last checked in on the project, many new developments have come to life.  

However, before we take a look at the new, let’s first do a quick recap of what we already know to be awesome and those are the Fridays at Camp North End. They started again this past week and will run through the summer on Friday starting at 5 pm!!! They feature a brewery, a food truck, and some local entertainment not to mention an abundance of cool places to gather and lounge. This year, they have a sweet new pergola to help provide some shade.  If you are an early bird, get there early for a quick walking tour, at 4 pm, and learn the history of the facility. 

Now, for some of the new.  The weekend starts at lunchtime on Thursday’s now at Camp North End with their weekly food truck lunch feats from 11:30 – 1:30. To get prepared for those delicious Thursday lunches, there are Wednesday night workouts in the big parking lot for those 18 and over.

Monthly, enjoy market Saturdays where you can enjoy different small business ventures, artisans, and other basically really cool things, like the one fairly recently, where they had puppy adoptions.

Additionally, there are plenty of really cool pop up events happening in the Event Space at CNE on a regular basis.  For instance, this month, Camp North End has been  really kicking, as they hosted the Charlotte Vintage Market, The Reel Out Film Festival, and an Art Play Pop-Up this weekend, on the 25th

You too can  keep up to date on everything CNE by following them on Facebook and Instagram.

May 13, 2018

Leroy Fox's menu and atmosphere makes it the perfect spot for any occasion

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Reviews

Leroy Fox Kitchen & Cocktails in the South End, on Camden Road is exactly what that area needed.  A nice place to go in and have a good meal and make that meal anything you want.  It is truly a  cozy neighborhood spot where you can settle in, wear your favorite yoga pants, and enjoy some delicious beverages and amazing food with your friends OR you can dress it up for a nice meal out and stroll along the light rail.  It has an atmosphere, that embodies southern comfort, making it the perfect inspiration for mindsets that inspire relaxation.  The lighting and décor inside can make you forget that you are not in the comforts of your own home, allowing for you to make of the evening as you wish.  With that said, we have provided a bit of a teaser overview guide to help you navigate the kind of evening you may want to enjoy there:

  • Intimate and Romantic Dinner: Cozy up in a corner of the Fox Den and enjoy the low lighting and rustic décor.  Share a bottle of wine, the Zucchini fries, the shrimp and grits and the friend chicken. Finish the meal off and mentally start preparing for your stroll along the light rail by enjoying the hot toll house cookie.
  • Casual Catch-up with friends: Grab a table inside or out depending on the weather, order a whole bunch of starters, definitely make sure to get the Braised Chicken Nachos, and drinks. Simple enough recipe for an amazing opportunity to catch up. 
  • Meet the Parents Lunch: The pressure is on but not about what to order.  You are safe with picking any of the salads or sandwiches offered on the menu.  Sit inside and let the TV’s over the bar and the snappy tunes fill in any awkward silence or use for conversation inspiration.
  • Patio Brunch: The weather is gorgeous, the patio is shaded, what more could you want for brunch?  Mimosas? Yes.  Bloody Mary’s? Yes. Go for the chicken and waffles or the breakfast sundae and have the best morning ever.
  • Game Watch: We all wanted that place to go and chill to watch a game in the South End and not have to be shoulder to shoulder or completely hammered to be able to have an awesome time.  (Although nothing wrong with that at all if that is the type of day you want).  The bar has plenty of TV’s and is nice and spacious to allow for fans of everyone to enjoy.  Grab some wings (honey buffalo) a cold beer and enjoy!

May 01, 2018

Highballr'ing a Tuesday Night @ Ink N Ivy

Posted by Argus Biers • Nightlife News

You ever have that random weeknight where you want to get out and try something interesting?  We decided to check out the Q drinks sponsored Highballr tour stop at Ink n Ivy last Tuesday night.  Good times!

Our favorite resident drink expert, Andrew Izrael at Bottle Cap (official title: Director of Beverage Creativity), hosted the event uptown at Ink n Ivy.  Guest bar professionals from across the country concocted creative drinks for us using Q Drinks mixers.  All you had to tell them was your preference in spirits, a hint of what you find interesting about a drink and they'd craft you some tasty treats.

I am going to admit I forgot what the ingredients where Andrew put together in my drink (I may have been distracted when it was served in a Tiki glass).  What I do remember was it was light, not too complex, but had great flavor.

We had a great time with other industry professionals who came to check it out.  We asked Andrew to give us a better understanding of what the Highballr tour is about.  Per Andrew:

The highballr tour put on by Q drinks is a multi-phase national tour across the U.S.  It started at Herbs and Rye in Las Vegas. Matt Graham who bar tends there was asked to invite four professionals from across the U.S. to come experience his city in the way an industry person does. So instead of the strip, we kayaked the Hoover damn. Then on the final night we got behind his bar and slung drinks with the Herbs team, all while using Q Drink products. The original four that were invited then got to host the same style of event in their home cities.

I (Andrew) was able to invite 4 Bar professionals (Katelin Rutter: Chattanooga ,Tn, Karina Martinez: Sacramento, CA, Michael Pando: Boston, MA, Andy Wright: Austin, TX) in to see Charlotte in a way that only industry people would know. Sunday night we went to the Dot Dot Dot for a welcome dinner followed up by a lively night of fun at Oak Room. The next day was my day to take them around the City. It was raining but we made the best of it and had a blast. We started at the Nascar Hall of Fame, grabbed some lunch at Ink n Ivy, hit the Victory indoor go cart track (to continue the race theme) and finally had my guests judge the Heaven Hill Bar Tender of the Year Competition that evening at the United States Bar Tenders Guild Meeting. After the competition they were able to continue out on the town with local bar professionals hitting different spots around the city. 

The next night (Tuesday) was our event. We held it at Ink n Ivy and the whole purpose was to connect my guests with our city and spread the love of hospitality in a genuine way. The platform is different then any other program I've been apart of in the beverage industry. It’s planned by bar tenders for bar tenders and then Q Drinks takes a back seat in facilitating the experience, which proved to make it more real for all parties involved.  We had a wonderful turn out considering all the rain and flash floods across charlotte that day. 

This tour is a lead up to Bar Convent Brooklyn in June where each of the original Highballrs from Vegas will meet again to conclude the tour being Q hosts during the convention week.

A few more deets on the Q Drinks Highballr initiative:  CLICK HERE

Apr 26, 2018

Hibiscus' mules are THE best warm weather drink to help you cool down

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Reviews

We are quickly approaching that time of year where an ice-cold beer, mojito, or mule are all that can help you cool down.  I have a feeling, that this year especially, we are skipping spring and heading right into the summer temps, so start planning your cool down methods accordingly.

With that thought in mind, those icy beverages are best consumed accompanied by a deliciously light dish.   When the next heat wave strikes, make your way on over to Hibiscus, tucked away in the Park Towne Village plaza and order yourself one of their signature Mules, spring rolls, and a papaya salad with shrimp.  If you are not familiar with the Park Town Village plaza, that is where Total Wine is located.  Hibiscus has been open since 2016 but tucked away down the stairs as a tiny, best kept secret, right across from Sport Clips.

The Korean-Thai-fusion restaurant has been delighting its patrons for a couple of years now, and their Pad Thai rivals that of Thai-Taste (the management has former ties there).  Hibiscus is small, but cool.  It has a modern-vintage vibe with empty metallic frames forming a gallery wall, cozy booths, and a relatively large bar.  The space is decorated with items all sourced locally which adds to the homey feel.  If your need is for a mid-week escape, check them out Tuesdays for $8 craft cocktails, Wednesdays for half price bottles of wine, or Thursdays for $4 draft beers.  They also have wonderful happy hour specials on their food.  

If all the above isn’t reason enough for you to check out Hibiscus when your next food/cold drink craving arises.  Let me revisit my mention of their mules.  They are spectacular.  By far my favorite thing on their menu.  They are hand-crafted with fresh ginger and garnished with huge pieces of mint.  So, they have just the just mix of spice and refreshing coolness. Just writing about them is making me crave one now.

Apr 24, 2018

The best Margarita in Matthews is in a place where you wouldn't expect

Posted by Dara Brewton • Nightlife Reviews

Saturday was one of those beautiful spring days that just makes you want to leave the house and explore the city, right?  In the course of my exploration, I found myself grabbing lunch at a little hole-in-the-wall spot in Matthews called El Valle.

El Valle is one of those unassuming spots that is easy to overlook in a city bursting at the seams with food options. It is a little removed from the bulk of the Matthew’s establishments, and the outside doesn’t really have any factor that sets it apart from the many Mexican restaurants dotting the metro area. However, I will attest that this place should not be overlooked!

The food in El Valle is fantastic, and the portions are more than ample. Seriously, the servers were walking by with burritos that were so big they were basically being plated on serving platters! The salsa is flavorful with the perfect kick, the chips were nice a crispy, and the service was great. Although the menu is nearly as long as a novel, I would definitely recommend ordering the carnitas, unless you think you can tackle one of those monster burritos.

But, we all know the key to a quality Mexican spot is the margarita, right?  Well, El Valle definitely does not disappoint in that department. You can get a super refreshing margarita on the rocks for less than $5. It is the perfect way to waste a Saturday afternoon...or get wasted on a Saturday afternoon. No judging here.

The only thing lacking at El Valle is outdoor seating. It would have made this the perfect spot, but alas you have to enjoy your drink indoors, even on the most gorgeous of days. However, the restaurant is located in walking distance from the rest of the town. So, afterwards, it is super easy to take a stroll and walk off all those cheesy calories.