#CLTNIGHTLIFE Blog 281 Posts

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Jul 13, 2018

Your guide to spending a whole week out at the Epicentre

Posted by Dara Brewton • Nightlife Reviews

Anyone who has been in Charlotte for any length of time knows that the Epicentre is an entertainment destination. It has everything a person could want or need on a typical night out. Hungry? It has over 20 eateries serving up everything from a late night cookie to a full-stop fancy steak dinner. Bored? It has a dozen different venues where you can dance the night away, relax and enjoy a beverage, or even catch the newest summer blockbuster. On top of all that, it also has a gym, a candy shop, and a CVS. Seriously, whatever you need, the Epicentre has got you covered.

With so many venues at your disposal, it can be hard to narrow down the options. So, whether you are planning a girls’ night out, a first date, or an after work get together with coworkers, it helps to have a plan. That’s where this list comes in handy. It is a quick guide on where to go no matter which night of the week you are headed to this Charlotte mecca of entertainment.


Strike City is the Epicentre’s own bowling alley, and on Monday nights, they run an all-you-can-bowl special. $15 gets you 2-hours of unlimited bowling and a pair of shoes. Your group can grab one of the 12 main lanes or snag a private room, and then bowl to your heart’s content. For an added bonus, they also have draft and Jack specials on Monday nights.


If beer is your go-to adult beverage, then World of Beer is your spot. They have 50 craft beers on tap, and over 500 different beers in their cooler, and on Tuesday nights they have a trivia game to go along with all those brews. The game starts at 7 pm, and the top two teams take home a WOB gift card for their efforts.


Suite is the Epicentre’s trendy, upscale nightclub that comes with a view of the city skyline. It has a rooftop patio and multiple VIP suites, and on Wednesday nights starting at 10 pm it is time to Flirt! Suite’s Wednesday night party happens each week, and those wishing to play can do so without a cover charge.


Come Alive After 5 every Thursday evening at Rooftop 210, the open-air venue perched at the very top of the Epicenre.  On Thursdays, it's the best place for a little after work pick-me up, let a little live music get you in the weekend mood a day early. Each week features different bands, so check the calendar so you don’t miss your favorite.


Vida Vida offers up quality Mexican fare, and they have over a hundred different tequilas available for the drinking. On Finally Fridays, they are the best spot to hit in the early evening because their drink specials start at 5 pm, and the night usually includes some sort of game or giveaway.


Since you had such a good time at Vida Vida the night before, why not try out the big brother on Saturday? You can still nosh on the speciality Mexican fare and have margaritas made from one of the hundred different tequila flavors, but you can also enjoy the Latin Saturdays event and score some free dance classes to go along with the all-night drink specials.


Stave off those Monday morning blues with a Sunday 3-course steak dinner special at Flemings. The special Sunday dinner includes a salad, 8 oz filet, and a choice of dessert. It is hard to be blue about the upcoming work week when you are putting walnut turtle pie in your face.

Obviously, there are plenty of other fun things happening in the Epicentre no matter which day you plan to visit, but the good thing about having everything packed into those three floors is, well, everything is packed into those three floors! It makes it super easy to hop from one place to the next, no Uber needed.

*Cover Photo: Patrick Schneider- Charlotte NC Photography

Jun 19, 2018

The best way to drink around Uptown involves competition and your cellphone

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Events

Sometimes, you just need a little friendly (or not so friendly) competition along the streets of Uptown. The same old same old bar and brewery is just not that exciting at the moment. If that is how you are feeling these days, then the answer for you, my friend, is to do a scavenger hunt.  This scavenger hunt I am suggesting is not your typical one, it is a digital one!  My friends and I did “A Lap Around Uptown” this past weekend through Big City Hunt and we had an absolute blast!!! The digital hunt made it challenging and allowed for everyone to be surprised and play an active role.  Big City Hunt (as well as any of the other similar companies that offer Uptown hunts) customize the challenges as much as you want and based on your desired (if any) theme.

Here is my recommended game plan for a successful hunt around Uptown:

  • Figure out your group captain.  This person can do all the organizing of the hunt and the upfront work.  It is only about 5 minutes’ worth of effort, but someone still needs to do it.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothing- you walk 2-2.5 miles depending on your efficiency.
  • Determine your teams.
  • Download the app (one person) and provide cell phone numbers for texted challenges (all).
  • Pick your date and general starting time.  (You are able to start whenever you want but having an idea as to when you want to do it is key.)
  • Have a couple drinks/snacks beforehand and come to an agreement on when/if you will be taking a bar timeout.

It is great for  date nights, bachelorette parties, office outings, friends, or just grabbing some random strangers.  I did it with a group of girls and we did the bachelorette hunt, again, it was awesome!  We want to do the date night challenge next to determine which couple in our group is smartest, fastest, and most creative. (Things all friend groups need to determine.)

Jun 12, 2018

It's still wedding season! Here's how to throw a Bachelorette Party in Charlotte

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Events

Here in North Carolina, wedding season seems to really be the fall, those first few blissful humidity-free weekends in October are the perfect time to show off the Carolina- blue skies of the Queen City.  With fall weddings, that means summer bachelor and bachelorette parties! Thankfully, Charlotte has not yet turned into Bachelor/Bachelorette city, but there are some REALLY good options if you want to stick close to home and party hard.  Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Hit up a different neighborhood – If you always hang out in the South End at Tyber Creek, go to NoDa and hit up Jack Beagles.  If Plaza Midwood is your jam and you frequent Whiskey Warehouse, try out some of the hot spots in the Music Factory like VBGB.  You do not need to travel far to find some new places and see some new faces!

  • Brewery Crawl – Charlotte is FULL of breweries and there are maps abound offering different suggested trails to take to take in as many as you possibly can.  Check out this one from South End!

  • Staycation in Uptown – Want to really feel like you are escaping?  Grab a couple of hotel rooms at the Marriott City Center and have a staycation!  Look at Uptown from a totally new viewpoint, grab coffee at Coco and the Director with your friends, mimosas at 204 North, and then party it up late night at Connolly’s or Tilted Kilt.

  • White Water Center/ Airbnb house – This one could be pretty cool.  Check out Airbnb and rent out one of the really cool houses along the river.  You are just a short uber ride away from the White Water Center where a day of fun and adventure can be had with your pals before retreating to your own waterside bon fire.  All staying under the same roof enables a real throwback feel to the slumber party days.

The best part of potentially having your bachelor or bachelorette party in your home town, is the short travel time home when your fun is over and all you want is to fall face first into your bed!  

Jun 11, 2018

Attention, Charlotte coffee fanatics, there's a new Uptown coffee shop to obsess over: Queen City Grounds

Posted by Dara Brewton • Nightlife Reviews

Queen City Grounds, Charlotte’s newest coffee, shop recently opened its doors in Uptown. The speciality coffee bar, with its own in-house roaster, can be found on the ground floor of the Skyhouse apartment building on the corner of Church and 10th.

If you aren’t among those lucky enough to live or work within walking distance, you can find metered parking directly in front of building or there is also some street parking around the corner on N Poplar. The big windows let in a lot of light which pairs with the high ceiling to make the space feel huge. There is plenty of room to relax with the loft seating, the bar, indoor and outdoor tables, comfy couches, and plush velvet chairs. The decor is a mix of the industrial, cement floors and the unfinished ceiling, with mid-century modern hues and furniture.

Oh, and there are owls everywhere. The main logo for the shop is an owl, and there is plenty of owl-stamped merch available for purchase (including some adorable tees and tanks), but that isn’t the only place you will catch a glimpse of the majestic bird of prey on your visit. There is a massive owl mural on one wall, owls on the coffee bags, and owls on the furniture. Queen City Grounds is hoping that their owl will one day be just as iconic as another popular coffee shop’s siren.

The small-batch coffee comes from the in-house roaster, and the drink menu also includes espresso drinks and nitro cold-brew. In addition to roasting their own beans, Queen City Grounds also makes their own vanilla, chocolate, and caramel sauces for their lattes. I sampled the iced vanilla latte on my visit, and it was delicious

I also snacked on one of the spinach feta scones from the pastry case, but the menu goes way beyond pastries. The menu comes from Jeff McElwee, previously of FuD at Salud in NoDa. Currently they are running a breakfast menu with items like the Rancheros Burrito and a lunch menu that feature four incredible sandwiches which come with vegan options. The barista that took my order mentioned a new summer menu that should be rolling out soon.

Speaking of the staff, the baristas here are Chick-fil-a-levels of friendly. I also had the chance to chat with one of the owners, Paul Waggoner, during my visit. (That name may sound familiar to those of you that are into progressive metal.)

He was nice enough to let me interrupt his roasting for a few minutes to discuss the new evening hours QCG will be rolling out starting June 11th. Right now they are only running daytime hours and closing shop at 5 pm, but next week they will begin closing at 9 pm during the week and at 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Along with the new hours, Waggoner is also planning adding a few alcoholic drinks to the menu. There will be three local beers on tap, possibly a wine or two, and some signature cocktails. They were actually making some jalapeno infused agave while I was there in preparation for the evening crowds.

The food offerings will expand in the evening hours as well. The kitchen will be creating a special tapas menu for the dinnertime eaters, and there may even be a few special desserts to pair with the various coffee beverages.

Once the new hours go into effect next week, Queen City Grounds can be your morning and your evening spot!

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.