#CLTNIGHTLIFE Blog 360 Posts

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Jul 24, 2019

Authentic Korean Street Food in the heart of South End

Posted by Katie Vaas • Southend Nightlife

Want the perfect restaurant to pop into, and grab some small bites of delicious and authentic Asian street fair?  Then, you need to go to Hawkers.  Well, one small caveat, you may not necessarily be able to randomly pop-in, you may have to call ahead or be willing to wait 45+ minutes for an open table. This place is always packed!  Recently, I went on a Wednesday night at 7:30 pm and my girlfriends and I had a 45-minute wait. To be honest, it was totally worth it. 

Being part of the vibrant and booming area of South End, and conveniently located within steps of Jeni’s ice cream.  Hawker’s boasts a large patio/porch with colorful furniture and big garage-style doors that open-up the place providing a truly authentic street fare vibe, perfect for only a semi-muggy night, allowing the a/c to still blast.  

Our group had worked together on a program for the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea, so we were excited to reconnect over some authentic Asian dishes.  Authenticity is definitely a priority in this establishment. The founders were inspired by the street hawkers from their travels in Asia and the recipes from over the generations within their families.  Pause. What is a hawker you may be asking? A hawker is a street vendor that sources local ingredients and spices to create their dishes. They are typically set-up in walk-up stalls or carts for quick grab and go delicacies.  

What makes this a fun atmosphere for South End?  It is its anything goes vibe. The open walls, the funky artwork, and the fun people make it a place that instantly relaxes you.  

Food can be ordered by the small plates or by the main dish.  The small plates are where it is at though! This enables plenty of sharing and sampling amongst the group (we recommend getting at least two per person in the group!).  The pan seared dumplings, Korean double fried wings, and the beef bulgogi skewers were the fan favorites of our group. We may or may not have ordered 4 servings of the skewers! 

In addition to the great food, the drinks are everything from your regulars (beer, wine, spirits) to specialty.  We sampled the Malaysian Mule (Prairie gin, turmeric-infused simple, lime juice, Fever Tree, candied ginger) and the Chinese Fire Drill (Corazón tequila, Sauvignon Blanc, jalapeno infused St Germain, lemon juice, agave nectar) and were not disappointed.  They completed the rich flavors and spices of our food perfectly.  


Opportunity alert: Want to try Hawkers but balling on a budget?  Check out their $3 small plate specials! Monday-Friday 3-6pm and late-night Sunday-Thursday 9 pm – Close.

Jul 22, 2019

Top 5 Patios in Charlotte

Posted by Alissa DeRogatis • Where To Drink

It’s summer which means ‘tis the season for drinking outdoors! In a landlocked city it’s hard to find the perfect patio with the right amount of shade, sun, photo-ops and most importantly a good drink menu. Here are Charlotte’s top five patios to check out this summer.



  1. Vivace

The only rooftop patio on this list, but for a good reason. Vivace is the place to go for any occasion, including your weekly Sunday brunch! They have brunch, lunch and dinner menus. Grab a $2 mimosa with Chicken and Biscuits, or a glass of wine and their Pan Roasted Salmon and enjoy the view of Charlotte from the patio.


Dilworth Tasting Room Facebook

  1. Dilworth Tasting Room

The wine bar you didn’t know you needed. Dilworth Tasting Room isn’t a best kept secret, but I like to think of it that way. The wine and food are top-tier and the environment is warm and welcoming. My favorite part of Dilworth Tasting Room is the patio, it makes you feel at home with string lights, brick pavers and trees surrounding most of the area. You’ll go home wishing HGTV would give your backyard a total 



The Suffolk Punch Facebook

  1. The Suffolk Punch

Nestled in South End right on the rail trail, Suffolk Punch is a combination of a brewery, coffeehouse and restaurant which makes for the perfect place for day drinking, a nightcap or even a bridal shower! Suffolk Punch definitely has the best photo-op’s on this list, and maybe even the city (if you exclude all rooftop bars). They have outdoor activities and a ton of people watching opportunities, while also featuring $3 beers on Thursdays and Sundays. It’s also one of the best year-round patios because in the winter it’s covered!


RuRu’s Taco + Tequila Facebook

  1. RuRu’s Tacos + Tequila

RuRu’s is not only my favorite on this list, but it’s also my favorite restaurant in Charlotte. It’s a go-to for out of town guests because who doesn’t love margaritas and guacamole?! If you haven’t been, grab a seat on their gorgeous Spanish style patio order a “Magic Mike” and “Three Amigos”, and call it a day.


All American Pub Twitter

  1. All American Pub

Located right on the lightrail, All American Pub isn’t only the go-to on game day but also any other day of the week. It’s a covered patio that is always the perfect temperate and the best daily specials. If you haven’t had their Sangria it’s $3 on Fridays and it’s one of the best drinks on the menu. They also have half off cocktails on Thursdays which, yes, includes their DrunkedD! Grab an appetizer, a few drinks and a seat on the patio for the best people watching spot in the city.

Jul 18, 2019

Spice up your night out with a handmade candle at the wine bar and studio, The Candle Bar

Posted by Katie Vaas • Southend Nightlife

I moved out of my apartment in South End September 2016 to the emerging North End area, lured by the opportunity to own my house and all the businesses rumored to be opening in the coming months and years.  Little did I know that South End was about to explode. 

 In buildings that once were abandoned furniture warehouses or obscure office locations, unique and interesting restaurants, shops, and boutiques are now bursting with the charlotte social scene.  One place drawing in crowds is The Candle Bar.  Conveniently located next to the Instagram-fan favorite heart wall, The Candle Bar is adding a unique twist to a night out.  (Exact address is 1930 Camden Road, Suite 130.)

The Candle Bar originates in Nashville with Charlotte boasting its only other consistent franchise location.  (Dallas gets a pop-up now and then) so that fact there makes Charlotte’s South End location pretty cool. The candle pouring experience is the other cool part.  

Here’s how it goes:

  • You sign up for a “seat” at the optimal candle pouring time for you.  

  • After checking in and identifying where you want to sit, you can wander the store perusing all the great items for sale and beginning the decision-making process on your vessel 

  • The vessel isn’t the hardest decision, the hardest decision is what scent you want!  Contrary to my initial thoughts, you are not taking on a mad scientist approach and combing different smells and hoping it turns out wonderful vs. like something found in a gym bag. 

  • Rather, you can visit their scent wall and waft and sniff until you find exactly what scent you want.  Smells range from the fruity to the spicy to floral with everything in between. As you test them you think, “Ahhh this smells like a spa! A hot guy!  Grandma! Tropical fruit salad!”

  • Then, the workshop begins where the guide walks you through every step of mixing up and pouring your candle. 

  • The activity ends with plenty of picture-taking opportunities. 

Besides having fun and maybe purchasing a sip or two while pouring your candle, to make your night truly complete in South End, I recommend hitting up one of the nearby restaurants beforehand for drinks and some small bites (I recommend Hawkers or Barcelona.)  Then after your candle fun, go around the corner to Jeni’s for a delicious cone and walk the rail trail recounting your experience and all the good smells (and tastes) experienced that day!

Jul 17, 2019

New NoDa Wine Bar, Coffee Shop, Bakery, Small-Plate Eatery and Gallery Opens This Weekend!

Posted by Amanda Erskine • NoDa Nightlife

Located on 36th St. in the NoDa neighborhood, a highly anticipated space has been getting ready to open to the public and continue to add to the culture of the ever-expanding area. The Artisan’s Palate, is located in the black-painted-brick building that houses other popular businesses, such as NoDa Bodega, and Another Round Disc Golf and Tap Room

Co-owner, Christa Csoka has always been inspired and felt an intense passion for art that began at a young age. The inspiration for the space came from her sister, an artist, who was able to completely transform a craft shop at West Point Military Academy, into an art shop that welcomed individuals from all walks of life and created an inclusive environment that encouraged creativity. Csoka has been able to re-create this space in the heart of NoDa, and include delicious food and a promise to continue supporting local artists. 

Introduced via mutual friends, Csoka and Christine Alter, have been able to come together, expand on the idea, and make The Artisan’s Palate a reality. 

What is The Artisan’s Palate?

A wine bar, bottle shop, coffee shop, and bakery serving German pastries and local baked goods. Alter, head baker and co-owner, is from Germany herself and will be bringing the authentic deliciousness of the culture to NoDa. 

Food will also eventually be cooked on site by Csoka, who attended the Culinary Institute of New York, and has been in the restaurant industry for 28+ years. While food will be served, they are not referring to themselves as a “restaurant.” The self-given description of The Artisan’s Palate, is that it’s a place for all people to come hangout, grab a glass of wine, read a book, admire local art, and grab a bite to eat. 

Csoka is excited to welcome individuals who come from “all walks of life” and to provide a unique, inclusive space for everyone to mingle and learn more about the neighborhood. 

Throughout the day, customers will be able to come in, grab a cup of coffee and a pastry, grab a spot at the community table, and work remotely. 

The coffee being served is provided by Magnolia Coffee Company, who also helped to set up the coffee program. The Artisan’s Palate will be serving a very standard menu, keeping away  from “dessert style” coffee drinks and focusing more on the classics. You can expect cortados and authentic macchiatos. 

If you’re looking for a new place to kick back with a drink, you’re in luck! Wine, beer, and craft cocktails will be served, along with bottles of wine and cans of beer that will be available for purchase if you’re looking to grab a to-go order of food and take your spread home to enjoy.

What are the hours?

Soft openings begin today, Wednesday, July 17th and a grand opening is scheduled to take place in mid-August, before school starts back up, and will include an expansion of the menu and store hours. For the first month, they will operate solely as a coffee shop and bakery only with hours from 7am-2pm.

Once they are running on a regular schedule, the personality of the business will change after 5pm and become more of an intimate setting to grab some delicious small plates and tapas, pair them with a glass of wine or beer, and just hang out. They will also be serving small plate desserts that range from $2-$4

What Else Can You Expect?

Along with the art of food, drinks, and baking, a major theme of the space will focus on visual art. 

Local artisans like Sam Guzzy, Nick Napolitano, Sean Reilly, and Sam Sikes, have helped to create the current industrial and rustic vibe of the space, by lending their artistic skills in the form of a graffitied beam that stretches through the middle of the space, murals on all of the doorways, on the exterior of the building, and collections that will be displayed in the gallery. 

The entire interior has been a “labor of love” that also includes design elements provided by their contractor, who created the impressive ceiling in the gallery. 

In the gallery, Featured Artists of the Month will have their collections displayed for a set amount of time, and available for purchase by the public. The first featured artist will be Photographer, Wade Carpenter, who will be sharing his collection “A Walk on the Wild Side.” In honor of his collection, The Artisan’s Palate will be offering South African wines and inspired foods to enhance the experience of taking in the collection.

The Artisan’s Palate will be charging a minimum commission of 25%, which is extremely low in comparison to other typical gallery commissions. The artists who are featured, must have a full collection and will have their art on display and marketed through The Artisan’s Palate’s social media platforms. They are already booked until Fall of 2020, just through word-o-mouth alone. If you are interested in having your collection displayed in the future, contact the owner’s from their website. 

Make sure to follow them on Facebook andInstagram to stay up-to-date on upcoming events, updates, and other changes that are coming to the space!

*Photos provided by Brian Twitty

Jul 16, 2019

Beat the heat with a refreshing flavored mimosa at Amelie's French Bakery

Posted by Dara Brewton • South Charlotte Nightlife

Rumor around town is that the iconic NoDa location is relocating which means Amelie’s fans are going to have to broaden their horizons and choose a new favorite location. There are several options to choose from. There is the newest spot located on Park Road, the giant Uptown location, and the cool Rock Hill Amelie’s which is located inside an old bank.


However, I’m going to recommend the Carmel Commons location. I’ll admit, I may be a bit biased since this one also happens to the the closest one to my house…

Since the weather has been trending over 90 degrees more days than not this summer, I have totally been about the refreshing Lemonade Classique. I think I’ve stopped in for one at least once a week since the beginning of June. It’s a fantastic blend of freshly squeezed lemon juice, seltzer water, and agave syrup. If you haven’t had one yet, then I 100% recommend you stop in next time you are feeling oppressed by the summer heat.




The lemonade isn’t the only reason to stop in at this quintessential Charlotte establishment. Nope. The baristas at Carmel Commons are also whipping up fantastic flavored mimosas. The flavors rotate a little bit depending on the supplies they have on hand, but you can expect choices such as the classic orange, strawberry passionfruit, white peach, and coconut mango.


I chose the blueberry lemon to accompany my brunch sandwich, and I was not disappointed. The flavor is sweet and tart, with just the right amount of fizz added. It is just as refreshing as the lemonade but has that little something extra to enjoy. The single best part is that you don’t have to wait for Saturday or Sunday brunch to imbibe because they are serving up these beauties every day of the week.




The mimosas are made with Simonet sparkling wine, but if you prefer to leave out the juices, they can do that too. In fact, there are is a selection of wines that can be enjoyed by the glass including a pinot noir and a chardonnay. Not a wine drinker? Amelie’s didn’t forget about you. there is also a beer selection that includes brews from NoDa Brewing and Birdsong.


I know what you are probably thinking, a trip to Amelie’s is supposed to be about the funky decor and the outstanding pastries and multicolored macrons. Of course, Carmel Commons has all those things on offer too, but everything tastes better with the effervescent flavors in a good-quality mimosa, right?


 FYI: If Carmel Commons isn’t the closest Amelie’s to your house, you can also get mimosas at the Uptown and Park Road locations.