#CLTNIGHTLIFE Blog 309 Posts

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Jan 30, 2019

Looking to step outside of your drinking activity comfort zone? Try Axe Club of America for a thrilling yet alcohol-friendly experience

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Reviews

Sometimes, it has been a long day.  You want to meet up with your friends, grab a drink or two, chat. Perhaps you also want to do some sort of activity.  Bowling is not your thing, you will wear your own shoes thank you very much. Darts are not all that thrilling. You do not feel like hitting up a driving range, or going to yoga.  Nope, none of those are moving you to excitement. Instead, you hit up Axe Club of America.  Yup, axes.  Those will absolutely do the trick with the right mix of activity, competition, and socialization.  

Some of you may be familiar with this establishment, formerly known Lumberjaxe, Axe Club of America is in Plaza Midwood at 933 Louise Ave (right near Catawba Brewing Company).  They boast that they are bigger and more satisfying than darts, and, I cannot disagree. Recently, I went with some girlfriends for a new twist on Girls Night.

You can go to Axe Club of America for an array of reasons, renting space for corporate team building, special events, join a league, or just reserve a cage by the hour.  Advice: BOOK EARLY! This is not really a place conducive to spontaneity as it is a hot activity so reservations are a must. We booked hourly and that reservation was good for up to 8 people.  A professional Axe thrower (we called her PAT) shows you a few different ways to toss the axe and also gives you the ins and outs of staying safe. We listened intensively and then began to play!  A match is when 2 people square off throwing their axes (over or under hand) at the target for three rounds of five axe throws per play. Score is kept and fun is had.

This Cub is open to anyone over the age of 18 and those that are 21+ are also allowed to purchase adult beverages on site.  The competition is intense so drinking was to a minimum, and they keep an eye on everyone closely to ensure safety at all times.

What seemed like a bit of a daunting activity at first, ended up being a blast!  We also brought quite a bit of attention (unintentionally) to ourselves being the only ladies group there… many of the men stopped by to say hi and ask our story.  We got a few drink offers, so, if looking to mix up the dating pool, may not be a bad place to check out.

Keep trying to book a slot and discouraged that it is all filled up?  Fear not friends, there will be another location opening soon in Lower South End sometime this winter!

*Pictures from Trip Advisor and Axe of America Website*

Jan 25, 2019

Have you heard of this Charlotte hidden gem yet?

Posted by Katie Vaas • Nightlife Reviews

Just a short walk from uptown is a little hidden utopia in Charlotte. This little utopia is Gateway Village. It boasts the Gateway YMCA, a Starbucks, Chick-Fil-a and multiple fantastic bars and restaurants that are cannot miss spots. You may be wondering, or thinking to yourself, oh yea, this is one of those new spots opening up in some renovated building, right?  Negative. Gateway Village has been around since the early 2000’s but recently has become buried behind, under, and around all sorts of construction. “Wait, what?” You ask. Yes, this little part of town is hidden currently by a ripped up road that only goes one-way right now (Trade) and intimidating traffic signs.  Do not let the aesthetics discourage you. Now is the time to go check it out, before the masses show up once that construction ends and the cross-town trolley is bringing everyone.  

Not only is this a great spot to go for lunch during a big work day (hitting up a food truck or one of the restaurants), but also a place to hang out after work and on the weekend as there is ample seating both in the sun and shade.  On select Fridays, in the open-air atrium area, there is a small farmer’s market with local goods. Today, though, we are going to chat about a few spots that are wonderful for post work gatherings.

  • Bisonte Pizza – Fantastic pizza, fantastic wings, and apparently the “best of Buffalo.”  The spot owned by a couple of brothers has great daily specials and a welcome, heart-warming neighborly attitude.

  • Pub at Gateway – A little place tucked away in the middle of the building, this spot is easy to miss. It makes you feel as if you have stepped back into your favorite local (college) bar.  However, here, the floors are not sticky and the food is incredible. The chalkboard on the right wall when you walk in helps to guide your beverage decisions by explaining the specials and specialties on tap.

  • Cedar Street Tavern Bar – The opportunity to sit outside and enjoy a cold beverage is right at your fingertips and under some shady trees on the Cedar Street patio.  This neighborhood bar will not only keep you fed and hydrated, but will also keep you entertained- from Trivia nights to Open Mic nights, there is something for everyone (and at every hour).

Jan 23, 2019

Charlotte Restaurant Week: It's time to eat like a Queen

Posted by Dara Brewton • Nightlife Events

One of the great things about a new year in Charlotte is it means it is once again time for The Queen’s Feast! This week, until Sunday the 27th,  you can get the absolute best food in the city for a fraction of the normal prices.

For a fixed price of either $30 or $35, you can get three or four-course dinners across the city. The menu selections are specially curated for the event, and they are often full of surprises. You can find a full list of participating restaurants here, but I’ve highlighted a few of the stellar Uptown options below:


Chef Jamie Lynch specializes in classic American dishes with a little bit of a twist. 5Church won the Voter’s Choice Award for Best Chef for the 2018 Charlotte Magazine’s BOB Awards.

Their Queen’s Feast menu consists of an appetizer, entree, and dessert (I’d go with the S’mores Trifle.) You can add a three-course wine pairing for only $15 more.

Fin & Fino

Called one of the best new restaurants by Charlotte Magazine, Fin & Fino is part of the Rare Roots Hospitality restaurants.

You menu choices include appetizers like the arugula salad or the crab & sherry bisque. There are three solid entree options to choose from and two dessert options. You can easily make it a full evening affair when you throw in a bottle of wine which will be 20% off during Restaurant Week.


With a varied menu and bistro-style service, Essex is a good spot to visit during the Queen’s Feast. Whatever your dinner choices may be, you will have the opportunity to pair it with one of their famous cocktails. The in-house mixologist creates specialty drinks using fresh ingredients. Honestly, you may not even need the dinner.

While Essex only has a soup or salad option for the first course, they more than make up for it with the second course. You get to pick two items off of a very, very long list of amazing options from Coconut Curry Mussels to Short Rib Sliders. You also get a couple of dessert options to round it out.


If authentic Spanish cuisine is your preference, you will want a reservation at Malabar. If the charcuterie options or the fresh paellas aren’t enough to convince you, the signature sangria probably will be.

One of the few $30 options in Uptown, your first course will give you a choice of things like Shrimp Ceviche, Codfish Tempura, and Chorizo Rioja. There are only five options for your entree course, but they are really good ones so you won’t feel slighted. Then for dessert, you can get favorites like Tres Leches or Coconut Flan.

The best part about Restaurant Week is that you can explore the city and try new spots you haven’t had before. It is easy to get stuck in a restaurant rut, but the Queen’s Feast reminds you of all the many, many quality dining options across the city. Just don’t forget to tip your waitstaff! Gratuities are not included in that $35 price.

Jan 10, 2019

Self-Serve alcohol is trending in Charlotte, and here's where you can find it

Posted by Amanda Erskine • Nightlife News

Here in Charlotte, we appreciate simplicity and efficiency. We opt to take Lime Scooters because they are quicker than walking, we love fast-food concepts like Yafo and Cava because we get to eat faster, and we LOVE self-serve alcohol.

While the self-serve concept has been around for a handful of years, with old friend, Fidelli Kitchen, introducing us to self-serve wine and even earlier that, TCBY introducing us to self-serve fro-yo, in the past year, we have seen a handful of businesses open up centered around the self-serve business model.

So far in the upcoming year, we are expecting to welcome at least 1 self-serve business, and it’s possible that this will be the newest growing trend for the Charlotte neighborhoods, as opposed to new brewery concepts, which have slowed down substantially in the past year. So where can you find self-serve alcohol?


The first self-serve tap concept to come to Charlotte by Two Scoops co-founder, Rich Moyer. Located in South End's Gold District on the same street as Bulldog Beer and Wine South End and Wooden Robot Brewery.

-The Pinhouse

Another one of Rich Moyer's businesses, this socail house is coming soon to South End, and will also include bowling and games.


The country’s largest collection of taps with 118, located right here, in Plaza Midwood.

-Sabor South End

Taking over Fidelli Kitchen’s old location, they have kept the self-serve wine station for your utilization!

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?!