#CLTNIGHTLIFE Blog 265 Posts

Blog Heading Image

Mar 19, 2018

The best place in Charlotte to watch March Madness just might be Kid Cashew

Posted by Amanda Erskine • Nightlife Reviews

This past weekend was a blur of activity. From St. Patrick's Day shenanigans to an entire weekend devoted to NCAA basketball, I was overwhelmed with the masses of Charlotteans and out-of-towners alike that congested the streets and bars of Charlotte. 

While typically Sundays are dedicated to brunch, running errands, and prepping for the week ahead, this Sunday was different due to the second round of the tournament. While being conflicted on wanting to watch the games at a bar, and also having my fill of crowded restaurants, I tried to decide where I would want to put up shop for the day. 

Without really even trying, my friends and I stumbled across the PERFECT spot. We all were talking about different places and that we could walk to along East Blvd. that were equipped with drinks, food, and TVs, and eventually decided to give Kid Cashew a try. I had never been to Kid Cashew before this past weekend, but had heard incredible things about their cocktails and food, and they truly did not disappoint. 

Sitting outside on their porch, we had prime placement to view their outdoor projector, where they were playing the UNC v. Texas A&M game, AKA a devastating blow to my bracket and pride. We all tried their different cocktails, I got the Cilantro, their version of a super fresh margarita, the Smoked Fig, the manliest drink to grace Charlotte, and the Cucumber and Basil Mule, which tasted like a Yankee Candle store in the best possible way. P.S. ALL of the aforementioned cocktails are only $6 on Thursdays! Which makes it an even more perfect place to watch the Sweet Sixteen games on Thursday!

The best part of all though? It wasn't overly crowded with super intoxicated individuals. 

So if you're trying to find the perfect balance between South End Station's chaos or your couch's seclusion, I highly recommend continuing your NCAA tournament watch parties at Kid Cashew!

Mar 16, 2018

NoDa's new brewery, Divine Barrel Brewing is for the exotic beer drinker

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Reviews

There is a new, totally cool part of NoDa that I did not know existed.  Sure, call me habitual. I do like to stick to my favorite breweries in South End, so you can even call me boring.  However, I was thoroughly impressed with the area of NoDa in which Divine Barrel Brewing has a home, this location is 3701 N. Davidson St., Suite 203, which is a stone’s throw from the heart of NoDa and the new light rail station. The building itself appears to be an old warehouse that has been transformed in to an elegant, expansive, space.  I understand that It seems weird that I am calling a brewery elegant, but that is the first word that comes to mind.  The inside is beautifully finished with expensively lacquered wood, tasteful greenery and high, exposed ceilings. It honestly looks like a fabulous space to hold a wedding reception or family reunion- if you are in the market for such a venue then seriously. Check this spot out!. 

Now you may be thinking to yourself, great, the space looks cool. But it is new. All new places look cool. Let’s get to the important question, how does the beer taste?  The answer is- pretty darn good!  Divine Barrel Brewing beers have a strong focus on being unique utilizing techniques to infuse various tastes from the fermenting and aging process. They utilize a multitude of interesting barrels like oak, wine, and spirits to create their beers. This provides them with the opportunity to infuse some really pallet pleasing tastes. Of course, they will also serve a selection of other beers if you have simpler preferences. When I visited this past weekend, for their grand opening, in addition to ales, stouts, sours, and lagers, they had ciders, wine and kombucha.

Overall, Divine Barrel feels like a grown-up brewery. It’s not the place for the wild and crazy recent graduate to go get sloshed and party it up. It is for the exotic beer drinker who wants to explore layers in the tastes, be amongst great people indoors or out on their large patio, and relax. 

Mar 13, 2018

Legion Brewing will be uniting the force of friendship as the first brewery in South Park come Fall 2018!

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife News

There appears to be a trend in the make-up of breweries opening these days.  They are a bit more upscale, have more seating, are a bit brighter and are more spacious.  They all either have food available or a stable rotation of food trucks on their grounds. Gone are the days of the tiny nook breweries that hold half a dozen patrons max (think the OG Lenny Boy).  Legion Brewery was one of the first on that trend with their flagship location and now their second location, coming to South Park in the not too distant future, promises to be even more upscale in terms of ambiance.   The group originally announced their new location on November 30th of 2017, and will be the first brewery to open in the South Park area, (coming Fall 2018!).  This location will be large, approximately 8,500 square feet and sit on the ground-level of a mega office development.  It will carry not only the brewery’s award-winning craft beers, but offer an expansive menu, event space and an outdoor beer garden.  This multifaceted venue is expected to serve as a hot lunch, happy hour, and special event destination.

Legion originated in Plaza Midwood with the goal of being a uniting force of friendship for Plaza Midwood, and it will be fun to see if it can be a similar catalyst for the South Park crowd.  The Legion brand itself, is a symbol of friendship, two arrows crossed at the center- Native American tribes used this symbol to represent the bringing together of two clans.  People come to Legion to hang out, play some board games and enjoy a delicious beer with a quirky name.  Where the Plaza Midwood location is warm, woody, and comfortable, the aesthetic of the new Legion will be more on par with that of the South Park neighborhood boasting a more modern, upscale appearance while maintaining the warmth and comfortable feel that is synonymous with Legion.   

So, if you want to be a loyal friend or make a loyal friend in the South Park area, be ready to go check out Legion and enjoy a Juicy Jay or two in the forthcoming months.

Mar 09, 2018

Why Brawley's Beverage on Park Road will be your new favorite Charlotte Springtime Spot

Posted by Amanda Erskine • Nightlife Reviews

Last weekend was one of those wonderful weekends where there weren't any obligations, and the weather was so incredible, you just had to spend it outside. 

Being a creature of habit, I will typically spend the nicer days outside at my regular South End haunts or go for a walk on the light rail. This weekend however, I wanted to shake things up and explore the Queen City while venturing outside of my comfort zone. 

My boyfriend and I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather, so we decided to hop on one of the thousand different pay-per-ride bikes  taking over the city's sidewalks. Unsure of where our destination would be, I started thinking about the places in Charlotte that I haven't been yet, but have always wanted to try. 

Everyday on my way to work, I pass by (what I thought was an old-school diner)Brawley's Beverage, right next to Pasta & Provisions on Park Road. The exterior has always caught my eye and I always make a mental note to try it out. With that in mind, we headed out on the 3.5 mile journey to find out what the Brawley's hype was all about. 

In all honesty, upon arriving, Brawley's is not what I expected, but it ended up being a lot more. 

What I thought was an old-school diner, ended up being a place I plan on frequenting a lot more throughout the Spring and Summer due to it's atmosphere and totally under-appreciated patio. With around 20 rotating craft beers on tap, there was an ample selection to shake up the local Charlotte brewed beers I typically end up getting. Not only was the selection vast, but the pours were very generous and well worth the price. 

Along with the beers on tap, there is also a refrigerated beer cave where you can grab six packs for purchase, and a fully stocked shelf of wine and bottled-beer. 

As far as seating goes, you can either grab a seat inside at the bar or at a table, but I definitely recommend their patio which is equipped with a bunch of picnic tables, benches, and chairs. Their patio is both dog and kid-friendly, with a playhouse and toys for your children to play with while you kick back and enjoy the sun.

If you're just looking to grab a quiet drink and avoid the conversation, this is still the place to go! Raid their "Free Little Library" near the front door, grab a seat on the couch in the alcove, and kick back for the day. 

Mar 07, 2018

South End's Gold District is getting an authentic Bodega with a dog-friendly patio. Here's what you can expect from Max and Lola Bodega.

Posted by Dara Brewton • Nightlife News

Bodega is a Spanish word that translates into warehouse or cellar. If you’ve never visited NYC, then it may not be a word you’re familiar with, but it is generally used to describe a small grocery or convenience store. However, starting this summer, you won’t have to travel all the way to the Big Apple to visit one because Max & Lola’s Bodega is opening on the edge of South End.

The space is in a historic district, so the bare bones of the building (a former gas station and mechanic’s shop) have to be left intact. However, I got a peek at the construction plans, and it is going to look pretty awesome when it is all finished! The rolling metal garage doors are going to be switched to a clear acrylic and will act as giant windows...that can be rolled up on the balmy days to let the indoor seating mesh with the large patio area. The original signs will be kept, but the gas pumps will be turned into bike racks. Yet, they will still have plenty of parking spots for those that arrive via car. Eventually, the plans will include opening up the space in back of the building with more outdoor seating, a spot for a food truck, and a community urban garden. The outside of the building will be decorated with murals by local artist Rosalia from the Red Calaca Studio. You’ve likely already seen some of her work around town as she has a few murals scattered about the city.

The bodega is the creation of Holly and Minh, who came up with the idea because they realized it was something the Gold District badly needed, and they named the shop after their two dogs Max and Lola. The duo wanted to add a place where people could pop in for a beer, grab a bottle of wine or an artisan cheese, or just hang-out with a friend. A place that is locally owned, a casual spot where everyone feels welcome.

(Side note: The Gold District is a sub-neighborhood of South End, and it got its name from the large gold mine that used to be there, dating back to before the California gold rush!)

The plans include eight to twelve taps which will feature a combination of local and regional beer and maybe even a wine thrown in there. They will definitely have wine for sale by the bottle, that customers can choose to take home or enjoy on site. The main room will have large communal tables for meeting up with friends, and the patio will be dog-friendly, of course. There will also be a little grocery section, a walk-in cooler for beer, and a nice selection of artisanal cheeses.

Charlotte can expect a lot of to be going on at the bodega! Holly has plans to hold wine tastings and educational classes like a wine pairings class or an intro into urban farming. Minh talked about having an onsite food truck that served deli-style sandwiches, and they both had a lot of ideas for other events like pop-up farmer’s markets, food truck rallies, or maybe even a wine & painting night.

When I spoke with them last week, they were waiting on the final permit that was needed to begin construction, transforming the spot into the bodega. If renovation goes as planned, they expect to be opening in July. However, if you are as excited as I am, you can go ahead and follow their progress on Instagram and Facebook.