#CLTNIGHTLIFE Blog 323 Posts

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Mar 20, 2019

Heist Brewery and Barrell Arts has been opened for a month! Here's what you need to know

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Reviews

The words I am currently typing have been long awaited and much anticipated (by myself and my neighbors). Heist Brewery and Barrell Arts has opened!!! Located at 1030 Woodward Avenue, nestled behind the (fairly) new Double Oaks Pool and a block away from Camp North End, sits this amazing new area hot spot.  It is vast in both its indoor square footage, very cool beer garden, and parking which gives it many attributes that make for an appealing hang out location.

Owned and operated by the same folks as Charlotte’s OG brewery, Heist, the Barrell Arts location does not disappoint on its offerings.  Having officially opened on February 21, the location has wasted little time in bringing on the fun and events to the area. They have already held: a grand opening party, ACC game watches, animal adoption events, a can release, and organized a great calendar of weekly and larger upcoming events.

Already scheduled is something every…

  • Day/Evening is a food truck!  Eventually the location will have its own full kitchen (fingers crossed for another amazing BRUNCH buffet!!!) but for now there is a great rotation of trucks and snacks available behind the bar (crunchy Cheetos are all I had eyes for).

  • Monday at 6:30 pm, starting on March 25th, will be the Heist Brewery Run Club.  The initial run will also be a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society with raffle tickets and $1 donated from every beer sold.

  • Tuesday night at 6:30 pm, one can enjoy some yoga and a beer.  Then, you are going to say, “namaste” (sorry, I had to) because trivia starts at 7:30 pm.

  • Wednesday night at Live Music night where they will feature a local artist either in the taproom or out in the beer garden.

An additional event to keep on your radar is Friday, May 3 1pm-11pm for the Official Unofficial Untapped Pregame that is being held to kickoff first ever Untappd Festival at Bank of America Stadium.

Mar 19, 2019

Pink Cactus Could Give Millennials a New Reason to Frequent SouthPark

Posted by Kim Baker • Nightlife Reviews

Boasting the area’s most expensive mall, the SouthPark neighborhood is known for its posh reputation. Just far enough from the city to be quiet, but close enough to charge an arm and a leg for living expenses, it doesn’t attract many millennials other than those who simply favor being close to their SouthPark office.

The area is growing at a rapid pace, and restaurants like Treehouse Whiskey and Fork felt the need for a refresh. Enter, Pink Cactus. The new 3,000 sq. ft. concept maintains the same owners, only with more options - 35 tequilas and 25 beers to be exact. The food menu offers everything from burgers ($11) to street tacos ($5-$8) to empanadas ($10, and admittedly the best empanada I’ve tasted in my lifetime).


Pink Cactus will seat 200 inside, and occupy the anticipated overflow on their newly renovated patio that will debut itself March 19 at their Grand Opening. Of course, you can’t mention a patio without touching on the bar menu. Quite possibly the one thing that would deter millennials - drink cost. While they are pretty fairly priced for the quality ingredients, it’s definitely not your typical Montford bar offering $3 Bud Lights. On the other hand however, it’s far cheaper than venturing into uptown.


The Tequila MockinMule (pictured) is a certified go-to, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued to come back and try the Smoking Rose (Montolobos mezcal/lunazul reposado/rose/Grapefruit - $14). The inside bar back opens up to a patio window, duly serving both locations.


There are plenty of patio spots in SouthPark, but there’s something about a Southwest menu (an Instagram story of a margarita and a taco with a location tag reading “Pink Cactus CLT”) that pulls in millennials from all surrounding neighborhoods. The real social media-worthy feature? A hostess stand that that doubles as a coffee and macaron bar.

Due to the text messages and tags on Instagram I’ve received, I’m expecting to visit Pink Cactus again very soon. Will it become a millennial-infested hangout or fulfill its tagline of a “neighborhood gathering place?” Stay tuned to your Instagram feed to find out.

Pink Cactus hours are Monday – Thursday, 11 am - 12 am; Friday – Saturday, 11 am - 2 am; and Sunday, 10:30 am - 12 am. Follow them on Instagram for specials and updates.

Mar 15, 2019

5 Date Nights You'll Both Agree On

Posted by Kim Baker • Nightlife Reviews

When coming across new nightlife spots, upcoming concerts, and other weekend events, I like to think that I’ve gotten pretty good at differentiating between the “girl’s night” and the “date night.” However, it was my most recent loss of the argument for candle pouring that prompted me to sit down and make this list.

  1. Axe Throwing

Slight risk of danger. Friendly competitiveness. Beer. The three main points that put my BYOB candle pouring class to shame. Once I got used to the ricocheting axes and odd throwing techniques, I was having a lot of fun. Now with a location in South End and Plaza  Midwood, Axe Club of America (formerly Lumberjaxe) offers games on an hourly basis for up to 8 people. Reservations can be made online for day or night. Walk-ins are also available but check the schedule to avoid nights that are closed for leagues.


Photo taken from: axeclubofamerica.com

2. A Sports Game

We’re fortunate enough to be home to numerous professional sports teams here in Charlotte. With teams ranging from lacrosse to hockey to football (still holding my breath for soccer), there’s a game for every season and every type of fan. While I’m not the biggest sports fan, the hot dogs at BB&T Ballpark and BBQ nachos at Bank of America Stadium twist my arm anyday.


Photo taken from: Instagram @itsnacho_problem

3. The Arcade

You might be starting to see a trend here. While there are plenty of arcade bars, Dave & Busters in Pineville or Concord can be a good alternative when you’re feeling like avoiding the city. With half-price games on Wednesday nights, it’s an easy, affordable stop to tack onto a date night

4. US National Whitewater Center

Not everyone is the outdoor date type, but 1,300 acres of trails, water activities, beer-drinking and live music might just change your mind. Just 20 minutes outside of the city, the USNWC offers live concerts, flat water sports, ziplining and more. It’s not ideal for a date night – most activities close at 5:30pm. My recommendation: grab a Single Activity Pass for late Saturday afternoon and stick around for the River Jam Outdoor Concert Series (Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, May - September).

5. Go Karting

I’ve yet to check out Victory Lane Karting, the indoor go kart track located just off the I-77 exit to I-85, but I can only imagine that it would instill the same enjoyment I had racing my brother at Adventure Landing back in the day. If you and your significant other don’t feel that same nostalgia from go karts, check out the food, arcade games, and bowling lanes.


Photo taken from Victory Lane Karting

Mar 14, 2019

8 local Irish restaurants in Charlotte to spend St. Patrick's Day

Posted by Amanda Erskine • Nightlife Reviews

In Charlotte, St. Patrick's Day is almost as big of an ordeal as New Year's is. Either you're planning on going to one of the many St. Patty's Day themed parties around town, or you're crawling with thousands of other green-clad individuals at the Rich and Bennett's bar crawl or St. Patrick's Day Bar Crawl. Typically, I've been part of the latter, with my signature St. Patrick's Day themed sweater that I break out every year, but this year I'm feeling something a bit more low-key. Call it my mid-20s or a change of heart, but this year I am looking for an authentic St. Patrick's Day celebration in the form of good food, good music, and a cold Guinness. 

Surprisingly, there are a handful of Irish-fare restaurants in Charlotte that serve up exactly that on a daily basis!

1. The Workman's Friend located in Plaza Midwood, this is one of the more popular Irish-fare restaurants in the city. Known for their great outdoor patio, and specialty cocktails, this is the perfect place to gather with a small group of friends and just catch up and reminisce over a couple of rounds. 

2. Tyber Creek located in South End, is the type of bar that you can spend all day and night at. They have outdoor space with activities like cornhole, giant jenga, and tvs to keep you entertained throughout the day, and a dance floor near the DJ stand upstairs for you to end up at. 

3. Rí Rá located Uptown is an unassuming Irish-fare locale, that you wouldn't suspect due to the large drunken crowds that it attracts every weekend. I've actually eaten here, and the food is delicious! Plus, they usually have a live band playing Irish music to really enhance the experience. 

4. Connolly's on Fifth another uptown destination spot, Connolly's is the perfect place to grab a Guinness and relax on the back patio. Connolly's is owned by the same owners of a handful of other successful and popular bars around Charlotte (Tyber Creek Pub, Dandelion Market, The Workman's Friend, Prohibition, and The Daily Tavern), so you know you'll can expect a good time and great drink specials. 

5.Belfast Mill Irish Pub located in Third Ward's Brevard Court, this pub FEELS like you stepped into Ireland with it's intimate bar setting and collection of Irish beers, Whiskeys, & cocktails. This is a great place to go to if you want to bar hop to other close Irish bars, because two others are located right next to it!

6. Valhalla Pub & Eatery another Irish favorite in Brevard Court, Valhalla is a great stop on your tour of Irish pubs in Charlotte. You can enjoy delicious Irish and American fare and pair it with a beer or artisan cocktail. 

7. Murphy's Kitchen & Tap located right next to Brevard Court, this Irish gastropub is a good place to end your mini Irish bar crawl through Third Ward. They've got two patios for you to sit on and enjoy the views of Romare Bearden Park and the BB&T field, while you watch the bar crawlers stumble below.

8. Fitzgerald's, my personal favorite, is another day-to-night uptown bar that you could spend all day at if you wanted. Their live music, drink specials, and menu really do a good job of making you want to settle into a booth for the day. Plus their dark space makes it feel cozy and pretty Irish-pub-esque, if you ask me. 

Mar 12, 2019

7 Cigar Lounges in and around Charlotte for the experienced and novice cigar connoisseur

Posted by Amanda Erskine • Nightlife Reviews

Millennials have a habit of adopting other aliases based on their hobbies. We are either beer aficionados, or Winos, or foodies, etc. One title that this large and active group has not adopted yet is: cigar connoisseurs. Mostly due to the growing knowledge of health risks associated with tobacco, this popular hobby hasn’t translated as much with our current generation (at least not in cigar form). Cigar lounges have been popular for centuries and are still pretty popular among older age groups. They are a place where you can go and unwind as an elite member, or walk-in newbie, browse the collection of imported and local cigars for purchase, recline in a leather arm chair, and unwind. A handful of cigar lounges also have spirits and whisky for purchase to pair perfectly with your stogie and really bring out the flavors.  

What you probably didn’t know is that while these locations are not as popular as the newest craft brewery, cigar lounges are still very much a thing, and there are a handful of them in the Charlotte area.

1. Secret Society Cigar Bar & Lounge | 2415 W Morehead St, Charlotte, NC 28208

Enjoy your stogie with all-you-can eat crab legs, hookah, and a large selection of whisky.  No membership is required. Open Monday-Saturday 4pm-12am & Sunday 2pm-12am

2. Tinder Box | 4400 Sharon Rd #226, Charlotte, NC 28211

Cigar bar in South Park area that hosts cigar events that show you how to properly pair cigar and drinks. Membership requiredOpen Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm & Sunday 12pm-6pm

3. Charlotte Cigar Club | 105 E Morehead St, Charlotte, NC 28202

A small local cigar club where you can come in, smoke a Cuban, and relax. No membership required. Open Monday-Thursday 2pm-10pm, Friday-Saturday 2pm-11pm, & Sunday 12pm-6pm

4. Tailored Smoke Cigar Lounge | 210 E Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28202

Tailored Smoke is a subscription service that is serviced to each individual. You do have to be a part of the service in order to enjoy the cigars at their Epicentre lounge, but they put on cigar etiquette events and have cigar bars at a handful of different restaurants around the city. Membership required. Open Monday-Wednesday 11am-11pm, Thursday 11am-12am, Friday-Saturday 11am-2am, & Sunday 1pm-11pm

5. Cigars Etc 2 | 9007 Monroe Rd, Charlotte, NC 28270

This cigar lounge is known for its atmosphere, cigar selection, and availability of drinks. They also have live music on Friday nights! No membership required.  Open Monday-Thursday 12pm-11pm, Friday-Saturday 12pm-2am, & Sunday 12pm-6pm

6. 105 Cigar Co. | 217 N Trade St, Matthews, NC 28105

Located in Matthews, this cigar shop has a lounge in the back and a selection of bottled beer for you to choose from and enjoy with your cigar. No membership required. Open Monday-Thursday 12pm-8pm, Friday-Saturday 12pm-9pm, & Closed Sunday

7. Stogie & Brew | 781 Charlotte Hwy, Indian Land, SC 29707

Located in Indian Land, this private club is a well-known place to head after work, grab a drink, kick back, and smoke a stogie. Membership required. Open Monday-Thursday 3pm-12am, Friday-Saturday 12pm-2am, & Sunday 12pm-11pm