#CLTNIGHTLIFE Blog 300 Posts

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Dec 10, 2018

Office Holiday Party Ideas for Different Office Personalities

Posted by Amanda Erskine • Nightlife Reviews

The movies always make the annual office holiday parties look like a wild affair where everyone in the office loosens their ties, gets a keg for the office, and someone inevitably ends up with a lampshade on their head. Whether this is an accurate representation of corporate America, is something I’m not exactly keen on, since my office operates a bit differently and I can’t imagine our office of 10 swinging from the chandelier and photo copying different parts of their body.  Luckily, Charlotte has an abundance of options for fun and different types of office parties, depending on the overall personality of your company.

For the Active Office

Trolley Pub

The is a pedal-driven (with some engine assistance) trolley that travels around Charlotte and stops at your choice of 3-4 bars. It also allows you to BYOB to keep the party going both on and off the trolley! Luckily, they have a weather friendly tarp that will assist with the blocking the wind, rain, and some of the cold!


Renting out a bay or two is a great way to bond with your coworkers over a couple rounds of drinks and TopShot. Plus, with the heaters and indoor bar options, this option is winter friendly as well!

For the Adventurous Office

Axe Club of America

What better way to bond with your office than by throwing axes at a target? You can rent out a space for approximately 2.5 hours, and there are catering and drink packages available to create more of a holiday party experience!

Blackstone Shooting Sports

Another risky activity to enjoy with your coworkers, this luxury shooting club has all the items in place to host the perfect holiday party! They have private party packages that will allow you to customize your experience. P.S. Post Malone is known to frequent this location when he comes to town!

For the Professional Office

Company Dinner

If your office isn’t one to get out of their comfort zone, then the safe option is a nice sit-down dinner at any number of the delicious and popular restaurants around Charlotte. Most restaurants can accommodate smaller groups via reservation, but if you’re looking to host a larger group, check the company website to see what needs to be done in order to reserve and plan!

Rent out a Rooftop Bar

Another popular location that Charlotte has a lot of, is a rooftop bar. Renting out a select space in the bar is a great option for having some drinks and hors d’oeuvres with your company, while still keeping a professional vibe.

For the Laid-Back Office

Rent out a brewery space

If you and your coworkers like to just kick back and relax, and are known to end the weeks with a beer or two already, renting out a space at a brewery is the obvious option. There are a handful of breweries that will allow you to reserve the space for free as a service to the community, but looking at the brewery websites will let you know what needs to be done in order to reserve.


One thing that Charlotte is rich in for some reason are bowling alleys. There seems to be one in almost every neighborhood, and luckily, they all have a bar and food to create a real party. Additionally, places like Queen Park Social and Piedmont Social House offer other activities to split up the events of the night in case bowling isn’t for everyone.

Dog Bar

Does everyone in your office have a four-legged child? If so, then reserving or just meeting at one of the dog bars in Charlotte could be a viable option to host a fun event for not only the office, but your pets as well!

For the Creative Office

Escape Room

Maybe your office is smaller and in a line of work where creativity is key. If this sounds like you, then trying out an escape room might be a great event to celebrate the holidays with your coworkers! Groups of up to 8 can solve one room at a time, and places like Escape Tactic are located near a bunch of popular breweries, distilleries and cideries to move the party to afterwards!

Wine and Design

This activity may not be for everyone, but if your office can come to a consensus, a BYOB with a crafty activity could be the perfect option for bonding over your works of art, or attempts at them at least.

The Candle Bar

One of the newest popular activities in Charlotte is the Candle Bar. A make your own candle business that, you guessed it, is BYOB!

For the Outgoing Office

Funny Bus

If your office is always joking around, pulling pranks, or showing each other YouTube videos, then renting out the Funny Bus would be a hilarious holiday party idea! It seats up to 30 people and (let’s hear it one more time), is BYOB! You’ll get taken all around Charlotte and hear some hilarious and interesting facts about the city while laughing and drinking the whole way.

Brewery Bus Tour

Last one, I promise. This BYOB bus tour takes you to 3-4 breweries around the area, based on their premade schedules. Fitting up to 25-30 individuals, you and your coworkers can all bond on the bus and enjoy some local brews!

Karaoke Rooms

Karaoke rooms are available for rent at locations like Seoul Food and Meat Co. and the cocktails and food options are sure to be a hit, along with the activity, because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love karaoke?!

Dec 04, 2018

French Cuisine is available in the heart of Charlotte and it's the perfect fancy date night idea

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Reviews

Are you ready to get fancy in Uptown?  Well then, pull out your berets and let’s head to La Belle Helene at 300 S Tryon St.  Just please plan this fancy feeling at least a week or so in advance because everyone is trying to feel fancy these days. 

La Belle Helene opened on July 31st and has been packed since then.  But recently, after booking a week in advance and being completely fine with having dinner at 5 pm on a Friday, I got to experience and understand what all the fuss is about.

First, let’s talk what I mean by fancy at La Belle Helene. I am not talking wear your ball gowns and all of the jewels.  I am talking sophisticated, sassy.  Looking around the space at all the others who found dining at 5 pm totally acceptable, the style was cool.  Black leather leggings, sleek sweater dresses, and jeans with heels and silk tops were rocked by the ladies.  Men tended to follow one of two looks- the banker just out of the office look (it was 5 pm after all) or the dark jeans, loafers (no socks of course) and blazer look.  Put simply, people were looking sharp and adult.

The space itself gives off a cool sophistication that Uptown has desperately needed and been striving to perfect.  The white marble features are cool against copper, barn wood, and iron accents.  There is a bit of a 1920’s vibe, where you would absolutely expect to see Gatsby and Daisy leaning and chatting flirtatiously against the bar.  

Now, let’s talk about the food.  The menu, of course, is French.  The charcuterie board is amazing and we also tried the Tarte Flambee and it was delightful.  We paired those with a glass of red (from a French vineyard) and the specially-brewed signature beer from Sycamore.  For dinner, I ordered the daily special of rotisserie pork and my husband got the beef tartare.  Both were savored. The food was so flavorful, it inspired us, normally speed eaters, to take our time, and truly enjoy every bite.  The atmosphere also inspired that slow, easy, elegant dining experience. 

Now, if you are sitting there thinking this is an uppity French restaurant, you are incorrect.  Although timeless elegance in its ambiance, La Belle Helene is actually modeled after the French Brasserie, which is an informal restaurant, similar to a brewery.  We all know how Charlotteans love breweries.

So, if looking for a nice night out, where you want to feel culture and sophisticated, check out La Belle Helene, just make sure you properly plan that fanciness, since lots of people are getting that same vibe.

Nov 28, 2018

Married at First Sight is Casting in Charlotte. Here's what you need to know about the show and the casting process

Posted by Amanda Erskine • Nightlife News

It's no surprise that Charlotte is becoming one of the most popular cities in America quickly. With approximately 54 new people moving here each day, we really are gaining some national traction. This is further supported by the movies and television shows who choose Charlotte as a backdrop for their projects. Last year, one of the most popular shows EVER, The Bachelor, chose Charlotte as a location for their in-person casting calls, and guess what...we've been chosen again, for a LIFETIME show!

Married at First Sight, one of the most baffling and hopeful shows on television, has chosen Charlotte as their next location to search for 3-4 couples to be wed at first sight. The show has become increasingly more popular since it first aired in July 2014 and has aired eight seasons since then with true success stories!


6-8 individuals are chosen from a large pool of applicants and paired into 3-4 sets of couples to be married to each other without ever having formally met, or even seen each other. That's right, the first time these people see each other, is when they are walking down the aisle to be married in front of about 50 friends and family members...and cameras. You then follow the couples separately as they work together, with the assistance and marital coaching of the show's experts, through the following 8-weeks by experiencing their honeymoon, moving-in together, and all of the other real trials and tribulations that come with marriage. At the end of the 8-week process, the couples decide if they want to continue their marriage, or if they want to call it "quits." This sounds crazy, but the thorough amount of research and science that goes into these selections, is what makes this show unique, and what has resulted in around 5 successful and lasting marriages AND families.  

I spoke with Dr. Pepper Schwartz, an American socioligist and sexologist, who works as an expert on the show. One of Dr. Schwartz's many roles on this show, includes visiting the chosen individual's homes and sitting down and talking with them in order to get a real feel for what kind of person they are: how they are wired, gauging their personalities, getting details on their family life, political views, values, lifestyle, and truly just getting to know them as a person, so that they can be matched appropriately. She assured me that every step is taken very seriously and minute details are taken into consideration to make the best possible matches that will produce the happiest marriages.

I asked her about the methodology of the show and what they are looking for in a candidate, to which she expressed, that the first and most important thing that they look for in an applicant, is that they really, truly want to get married and are wholeheartedly committed to the process. 


Currently there are live casting producers and recruiters stationed throughout Charlotte looking for individuals who fit the bill, and are truly interested in getting married. These producers and recruiters go to places that the individuals they are looking for might frequent, such as: bars, clubs, casual street encounters, Starbucks, etc. There are also online applications that can be filled out by either an interested individual, or a nominator who believes they know someone who would not only be a good fit, but would benefit greatly from the process. Approximately 2,000-3,000 applications are received per-city. The casting group then goes through the applications and narrows the selections down to several hundred individuals to move forward, which includes legal processes, background checks, health related screenings, meet-and-greets, information sessions, and more intentional interviews and applications to assist with narrowing down the selection and finding the perfect pairs.  

While I mentioned that there have been 5 successful marriages that have come from the show, Dr. Schwartz expressed that they don't measure success solely on whether the marriage lasts or not, "...If our individuals leave knowing themselves better or leave armed with the knowledge and experience to make them a different and better partner to others, that is considered a success story."


If you are chosen to be one of the couples who is married at first sight, you will receive a generous budget for both your wedding gown, rings, reception, AND Honeymoon. To learn more about the show itself, read about it here!


The show is projected to begin filming in February, so there is definitely still time to apply and nominate if you know of someone who would be a great fit for this show!

Nov 21, 2018

Yamazaru is the sushi restaurant you've been searching for

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Reviews

I could not properly coach you through the pronunciation of this South End hot spot, but I can absolutely assure you it is fantastic!  Yamazaru is a swank Japanese restaurant located at 2173 Hawkins St, in between Sycamore Brewing and Spectrum Apartments.  It boasts a huge menu full of unique sushi rolls, noodle dishes and ramen.

Let’s chat ambiance.  Upon walking in, there is a huge, fully stocked bar to the right. To the left is a sushi bar.  Sitting at either puts you right in the action and the place is almost always packed. If bar seating isn’t your thing, then there are plenty of tables to pick from for large groups or intimate date nights. When I went, it was early on a Friday night and there was not a seat to spare.  It was slightly chilly, but even the outdoor patio tables were full.

As for the food, one could call this a hidden gem in Charlotte.  Many others call it the best sushi in the city. I do not think I would disagree with any of those epithets.  The normal, beloved rolls are available like an avocado or spicy tuna roll. But there are also are some unique rolls, like the krystal rainbow (no rice) and the tuna bomb.  Our waiter was incredibly knowledgeable and helped us pick the right variety of rolls- from fried vs. non-friend, savory, and sweet, he helped guide us to the “best sushi experience” as he put it.  He also took time to explain different preparation methods as well as dipping sauces. His care and pride in working there was evident.

Our waiter also helped us find the right craft cocktail to complement our sushi choices.  Just like the food, there were some tried and true favorites (good old local craft beer and wines) but also some unique cocktails prepared with sake.  I opted to go out on a limb and try the mojito made it sake- it truly was delicious and refreshing and complimented our rolls so well!

So, major tip, when going to check out this place, let the pros guide you through the meal, their recommendations are from a place of expertise and help you not only try something a bit different, but also open your eyes to a bit of a new experience.

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!