#CLTNIGHTLIFE Blog 296 Posts

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Nov 13, 2018


How to have a Charlotte-catered Friendsgiving

Posted by Dara Brewton • Nightlife Events

Thanksgiving is, traditionally, a holiday spent with a house full of family stuffing your face with turkey and pumpkin pie but seeing how the Queen City is a metropolitan area full of transplants, it stands to reason that many of you may not have any family in the area. So, if you find yourself contemplating a holiday spent turkey-less and alone, check out these places in Charlotte that make organizing a Friendsgiving a viable option. Whether you want to grab stuff to serve at home or have your entire meal at an establishment, this list has got you covered. Grab your friends and plan your meal before the holiday sneaks up on you!

Special Dine-in Thanksgiving Meals

  • Capital Grille located on North Tryon Street is hosting a special Thanksgiving day meal which is available from 11 am to 9 pm. You can nosh on slow-roasted turkey with brioche stuffing, french green beans with cranberry pear chutney, and then finish it off with a slice of pumpkin cheesecake.

  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House is offering a traditional 3-course meal which includes a starter, an entree of oven-roasted turkey with a side, and a dessert duo for just $39.95 per person. Pair it with the featured cocktail, the Gambler’s Old Fashioned, and you will be Ruth’s your new holiday tradition.

  • The Gallery Restaurant located in the Ballantyne Hotel is offering a Thanksgiving brunch that starts at 11:30 am. There will be plenty of things to eat including seasonal salads, carving stations, regional sides, and of course, dessert! Live music will round out the event. You can make your reservation for the event on Open Table.

  • New South Kitchen will be hosting a Thanksgiving feast from 11 am-7pm this holiday. For $35 per person, you and your friends can enjoy deep-fried turkey or a slow roasted pork shoulder, plus, there are plenty of sides to round out the meal and three different dessert options.

Take-out Thanksgiving Meals

  • In addition to Ruth’s Chris Steak House’s in-house dining option is the take-out sous chef option! For those hosting a meal (or attending one), you can dazzle your friends with a quality side from Ruth’s chef. Pre-order a sweet potato casserole or a creamed spinach side, both are large enough to feed twelve, and you will be getting all the thanks this Thanksgiving.

  • Coastal is putting together three different Thanksgiving packages that can be pre-ordered prior to November 19th and then picked up Thanksgiving morning. The Uptown Package feeds 4 to 6, the Charlotte Package feeds 8 to 10, and the Mecklenburg package feeds 12 to 15. Each one comes with roasted turkey breasts, side items, and dessert options. There are also several gluten free options available!

  • You can order an entire Thanksgiving meal, and never lift a finger this season. New South Kitchen has deep fried turkeys, all the fixings, and three dessert options available from pre-order until Nov 16th.

Other Thanksgiving Activities

  • Build a sense of community at the Thanksgiving Dinner That Can’t Be Beat. Whether you are dining solo or have an group of 20 in tow, head to Clement Ave and dine as one with the community. Preregister for the event, they will supply the table and chairs, you just bring your food. Everyone will celebrate the spirit of the season together.

  • What is the best way to celebrate the feeding frenzy of the holiday? By running a 5k of course! The Gobble til you Wobble event helps support Feeding America.

Now that you know the city is brimming with holiday options, it is time to find a few friends to celebrate with!

Oct 31, 2018


Electric Scooters Make our Little City Bigger

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Reviews

We’ve all seen them, peppering the sidewalks, the Bird and the Lime scooters.  Sometimes, we think they are fun, sometimes we think they are terrifying, and sometimes we think they are the greatest thing to ever hit this city’s streets.  The catch is, you must be a respectful rider.  Hopping on the scooter does not mean you have also adorned an invincibility cloak.  You have a greater responsibility.  With that greater responsibility, there is opportunity for great reward, and here are just a few of those:

  • Our small(ish) city gets a lot bigger.  I had friends in town for a recent wedding Uptown.  They were from “big cities” all over, including Chicago, Boston, New York, and San Francisco.  They LOVED the scooters.  Staying Uptown, they managed to hit up Duck Donuts on East Blvd. and Alexander Michael’s over in Fourth Ward.  Their perspective of our “mass transportation” was that it was fun and economic.  They had a point- our little city was much bigger when you have some easy access wheels.
  • You cannot be an a$! operating one.  The biggest complaint of these vehicles is that some people are real jerks when they use one.  C’mon people!  You cannot bulldoze people on the sidewalks and need to respect everyday traffic rules and regulations.  Do not go the wrong way down streets and look out for pedestrians, cars, bicyclists, and anything else in the street- do not assume everyone is looking out for you!
  • Park respectfully. There is a theme going on here, RESPECT.  Throwing the scoot in the middle of the sidewalk, someone’s yard, or anywhere else that can cause an annoyance of destruction is just not cool.  Do not do it. 
  • Use them to explore and have fun.  Ok enough with the negatives and “don’t be a jerk” tips.  Let’s revisit my first bullet and the fact my friends showed me how cool they can be.  I was a skeptic of them at first, and now I have used them to easily get to and from Uptown, go to a baseball game, and to just cruise around and feel like a kid again at Romare Bearden Park.  They really have been a catalyst for me to see the city I call home in a whole new light.

With the pilot program for the scooters ending this fall here in Charlotte, I for one, will be keeping my fingers crossed that the good has outweigh the bad, and more people will be cognizant of common courtesy.  Because, at the end of the day, they offer a lot more in opening our city than they take away. 

Oct 24, 2018


A Complete List of all the available Craft-Beverage Businesses in Charlotte

Posted by Amanda Erskine • Nightlife News

While beer has been around for centuries, (for more exact dates, read more about the history of beer here, if you’re into that) and the art of micro-brewing began gaining momentum in the 1980’s, 2004 is when craft brewing really exploded in America, and has been growing ever since, with over 6,000 breweries around the country and 25 right here in Charlotte. As time passes, we are still seeing new breweries pop up all the time, but we’re also seeing other craft micro-breweries/distilleries/cideries/meaderies coming to sit at the table. We millennial's may be screwing everything else up for you, but the one thing you can thank us for is influencing this expansion. Our health trends, everything-free diets, obsession with brunch, and need to have tons of options in any market, have helped build a world with craft beverage businesses on every corner. But I digress.

So, whether you don’t like beer, don’t drink, or just like to switch things up for your palate every now and then, there is something for everyone, and it’s all made right here in Charlotte. So where can you find these local craft beverages?

 

Craft Beer:

Birdsong Brewing | 1016 North Davidson Street

Blue Blaze Brewing | 528 South Turner Avenue

Bold Missy Brewing | 610 Anderson Street

Brewers at 4001 Yancey | 4001 Yancey Road

Catawba Brewing | 933 Louise Avenue

Divine Barrel Brewing | 3701 North Davidson Street

Free Range Brewing | 2320 North Davidson Street

Heist Brewing | 2909 North Davidson Street

Hyde Brewing | 2911 Griffith Street

Legion Brewing | 1906 Commonwealth Avenue and 4350 Congress Street

Lenny Boy Brewing | 3000 South Tryon Street

Lower Left Brewing Co | 4528 Nations Crossing Road. (COMING IN 2019)

NoDa Brewing Company | 2921 North Tryon Street

Olde Mecklenberg Brewery | 4150 Yancey Road

Pilot Brewing | 1331 Central Avenue

Resident Culture Brewing Company | 2101 Central Avenue

Salud Cerveceria | 3306 North Davidson Street

Sugar Creek Brewing Company | 215 Southside Drive

Sycamore Brewing | 2161 Hawkins Street

Thirsty Nomad | 4402 Stuart Andrew Boulevard

Three Spirits Brewery | 5046 Old Pineville Road

Town Brewing Co | 800 Grandin Road

Triple C Brewing | 2900 Griffith Street

Unknown Brewing Co. |1327 South Mint Street

Wooden Robot Brewery | 1440 South Tryon Street

 

Craft Spirits:

Doc Porter’s Distillery | 232 E. Peterson Drive

Vodka, Gin, and Bourbon

Dragon Moonshine Company | 516 E. 15th Street, Charlotte NC 28206

Rum and Moonshine

Great Wagon Road Distilling Company | 227 Southside Drive

Ban Vodka, Rua single Malt Whiskey, Drummlish Poteen Carolina Whiskey, Quinn’s Barrel-rested poteen Carolina Whiskey

Seven Jars Distillery | 6148-A Brookshire Boulevard

Pickleback Vodka, Rye Whiskey, Apple Pie Whiskey, Vodka, Rum

 

Craft Cider:

Good Road Cider Works | 117 Southside Drive

Red Clay Cider Works | 245 Clanton Rd

Wild Blossom at Sycamore Brewing | 2161 Hawkins Street


Craft Mead:

Good Road Cider Works | 117 Southside Drive


Craft Kombucha:

Lenny Boy Brewing |3000 South Tryon Street

Queen B Booch | A kombucha brand based and made in Charlotte, can be found HERE

SUM Bucha | A local kombucha brewed in Charlotte, that can be found HERE

UpDog Brewing | See where to find them HERE

 

Craft Ginger Ale:

Unknown Brewing Company |1327 South Mint Street

 

Craft Seltzer:

Brizo at NoDa Brewing Company | 2921 North Tryon Street

Perhaps the newest craze that is expected to be picked up by more breweries and at-home brewers in the months and years to come, is craft spiked seltzer. This low-calorie drink has become extremely popular during the past 2 years and has gained the title of the “Summer Drink of Choice,” for both women and reluctant-to-admit-it men. Starting TODAY, October 24th, 2018, Brizo is available on tap in 4 different flavors- Ginger Lime, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Raspberry Lemon, and Lemon Makrut Lime. With 4.85% ABV, and a gluten-free stamp of approval, NoDa is about to see an influx of girl’s nights out. *insert a "cheers" Instagram boomerang*

 

Moral of the story: Craft beverages are here to stay. 

Oct 10, 2018


Festive fall dates to make your S.O. take you on

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Events

This morning, I think perhaps, on my way to the gym around 5 am I might have felt a swift brush of cool air.  However, this could also have been part of a dream I was still having in my groggy and dazed state. None the less, my girlfriends and I did just recently kickoff the “What fun fall date suggestions do ya’ll have?” text chain where we share our favorite cideries, hikes, patches for pumpkin picking and orchards for apple picking.  So, it is my duty as a blogger, to share with you some of our top recommendations.

Please note, I do recognize that most of these are cheesy and potentially are done just for the laugh and the insta-stories, but hey, sometimes we need a bit of cheese in our lives, right?

  • Hikes/Walks- Once that fall air truly does hit the QC, it is your civic duty to soak up as much of it as possible.  Doing all the outdoor things is an absolute must! Take a hike up Crowder’s Mountain or just go walk along the Greenway.  Hop on a Scooter and zip around a park or the rail trail.  Whatever activity can get you outside and enjoying the air and sunshine, do it.  The people in the North (and Ohio) that you know will be jealous and that is pretty fun.

  • Apple Picking- There is something about fall that awakens a primal urge in all of us to go harvest something.  Apples seem to be the best thing to go pick. They are pretty easy, the risk level is low, and you can make all sorts of delicious and easy treats out of them.  Some of our favorite Orchards around are Windy Hill and Carrigan Farms.

  • Pumpkin Picking with subsequent carving- It would not be October without a date night that entails carving up a pumpkin.  Whether you channel your inner artist and craft the cityscape or your favorite sports team’s logo or go retro with the triangle eyes and jagged-smile, pumpkin carving brings out the inner child in us all and is just fun.  Also, who doesn’t like to have just a tiny bit of a fight with the pumpkin guts and seeds? Some great spots to snatch up the pumpkins include your local grocery store, the farmer’s market, Dilworth Pumpkin Patch over on East Blvd, and any of the places where you have also picked apples.

    • A cool spot where you not necessarily pick a pumpkin but you can slingshot one is at the Lazy 5 Ranch.

  • Corn Maze- Yes. These are awesome!!!!! Nothing beats getting kinda scared and kinda lost.  It can evoke a multitude of emotions and can lead to some really great memories as a group or on a one-on-one date. Some fun places to check out are Hall Family Farm and Regal Corn Maze.

Ghost Tour- Living in a city rich with history means we are also rich with Ghosts!  Embrace the spooky and get down with the spirits (of all kinds) by checking out Carolina History & Haunts.   They are open all year long but it is extra fun during the fall!

Oct 02, 2018


The 5 Contenders at the Bloody Mary Festival

Posted by Dara Brewton • Nightlife Events

This past weekend, Charlotte residents were celebrating a classic brunch drink, the Bloody Mary, at Bloody Mary Fest. The event was sponsored by Tito Vodka and took place from 12-4:30 pm at the Fillmore in the NC Music Factory. The tickets to the festival included unlimited drink samples and the chance to vote for the city’s best Bloody Mary.

There was a food truck outside the event, serving goodies to soak up the excess vodka being consumed inside. Once the festival goers entered the Fillmore, they could visit vendor tables selling things like handmade jewelry, beef jerky, strawberry jam, and artwork, or they could play a few games in between Bloody Mary samples. The event had tables set up with Jenga and few board games. There were also cornhole boards and putting greens for those that wanted even more competition.

But, obviously, the star of the show was the cocktail. The five contenders for best Bloody Mary came out to play with specialty salts for the rim and plenty of fun garnishes. Attendees were given the chance to sample and vote for their favorite concoction. Here is a rundown of the drinks vying for the number one spot:

Blackfinn: This was my first sample, as their table was closest to the door, and it definitely woke up the taste buds. Their Pickled Mary was a hearty drink and made me feel like I was having a meal in a glass. It was garnished with a seasoned salt rim, dill pickle slices, and a little piece of super crunchy bacon. The pickle slices packed a very powerful kick.

Tupelo Honey: At Tupelo’s table, you had your choice of a bacon or lime salted rim, I opted for bacon which added a lot of flavor to the drink. The cocktail was quite spicy which paired well with the bacon flavor. It was garnished with a lemon slice, a green olive, and a piece of okra.

Whiskey River: There were two options at this table the House and the Hella Hot. I went with the House because I needed a break from the spicy. This cocktail was a quintessential Bloody Mary with a strong tomato flavor. It was also a bit of a plain jane compared to the others with no garnishes or salted rims.

The Daily: The Daily’s cocktail combined tomato and carrot juice with the vodka, and it also had a long ingredient list of spices including turmeric, cayenne, and smoked paprika. The most prominent ingredient in the flavor, however, was the apple cider vinegar. It was garnished with carrots and celery.

Zeppelin: One of the most creative cocktails was probably the Bloody Mary offered by Zeppelin, my vote for the best of the day. The tomato juice is made fresh at the restaurant from tomatoes they fire-roast themselves. The glass was rimmed with a black truffle, roasted garlic sea salt that was good enough to eat by the spoonful. The flavor of the drink was unique and had a bit of an Asian flare, probably because soy sauce was one of the main ingredients.

Bonus Bloody Mary: One of the hosts of the event had his own recipe available for sampling at a table labeled Bottoms Up. The cocktail had a milder flavor than some of the others without being plain. The garnish included asparagus, lemon, green olives, and dill pickles.

All-in-all it was a fun, intimate festival full of flavorful cocktails. If a Bloody Mary is your go-to brunch drink, then you should definitely check it out next year!


Make sure to check out the upcoming Grilled Cheese Fest, on October 13th! Tickets are going FAST!