Nightlife in Charlotte runs the gamut from ultra-swank nightclubs and over-the-top theme bars to quiet cocktail lounges and casual neighborhood pubs. The venues aren’t neighborhood specific: You’re just as apt to find a luxe lounge as a sports bar in all of Charlotte’s hoods.
As the urban neighborhoods have evolved, so too has the nightlife. The once casual scene has been overshadowed—but not replaced—by upscale clubs and lounges, and there are more reasons to get dressed to the nines than ever before.
Uptown remains the heart of Charlotte nightlife. On weekends, the streets come alive after dark as well-dressed clubgoers stand in lines, flash IDs to bouncers, and sip cocktails as pounding beats waft out onto the sidewalks. There are more nightlife options here than in any other area of the city. At both the EpiCentre and North Carolina Music Factory multiple venues are housed in a single development, so revelers don’t have to go far to find a good time.
The fact that Uptown is such a popular nightlife spot means that most bars charge a cover and lines can be long. Want to skip the lines? Take advantage of one of the latest nightlife trends: VIP services. The perks and the prices are varied and it’s not just ballers and bankers coughing up the cash for star treatment.
Whether you go VIP or not a lot of the clubs, most notably those in Uptown, do have dress codes, so be prepared to ditch the sneakers and ball caps.
Fans of live music might be disappointed to discover that the Queen City is not often included as a tour stop for major music acts; Raleigh and Atlanta are the closest cities that host touring music acts. But the local scene is still thriving and there are venues around Charlotte that excel at showcasing emerging talent.
- Best Bar to Party with Your Pooch: Dog Bar
- Best Bar to Be Rewarded for Imbibing: Flying Saucer
- Best Dance Club for ’80s Music: Breakfast Club
- Best Drag Show: Petra’s Piano Bar
- Most Historic Live-Music Venue: The Double Door Inn
- Most Popular New Venue: North Carolina Music Factory
- Best Venue to See Live Rock and Punk Bands: Tremont Music Hall
- Best Lounge for Cigar Aficionados: Cutter’s Lounge & Cigar Bar
- [node:98210 link Best Sports Bar: BlackFinn American Saloon
- Best Martini: Therapy
© Jodi Helmer from Moon Charlotte, 1st Edition