A Night Out in … Uptown
Part of our Charlotte magazine neighborhood date series
WHETHER YOU find yourself in the heartbeat of our little city after a concert or Hornets game at the Spectrum Center or you rode the light rail in specifically for an evening out in Uptown, center city won’t disappoint – if you know what it is you’re looking for.
White subway tile never looked better than it does at La Belle Helene, a new addition to Uptown’s dining scene. Serving exquisite French fare, this spot is glamorous, delicious and worth all the hype. If you’re looking for food from just south of France, try Malabar, which serves Spanish tapas. This small restaurant doesn’t seat many, so make reservations if you can and don’t leave without ordering the pan con tomate and fried eggplant chips, two simple yet incredibly tasty choices.
First things first, make reservations at The Cellar at Duckworth’s. That’s worth repeating: Make reservations at The Cellar at Duckworth’s. It’s unlikely you’ll get a table without one, and that’ll be a shame. The drinks are remarkable here, the speakeasy ambience is unmatched and the service and staff knowledge is prolific. Try the Moscow Mule here, which uses fresh ginger instead of ginger beer. Instead of going downstairs to the cellar, you can also go way up to the 19th floor of the Kimpton to try Merchant & Trade. The rooftop views here are some of the best in Charlotte, especially if you’ve managed to come on a Friday during the Knights’ season, when you can watch the fireworks.
The EpiCentre is, of course, booming with nightclub options. But there’s also the Belk Theater’s seemingly endless calendar of Broadway smash hits, the Mint Museum’s exquisite collections, and, of course, two little teams called the Hornets and the Panthers play here. If you’re looking for a more low-key yet still entertaining option, Lucky’s Bar & Arcade has a slew of vintage arcade games, pinball machines, a Nintendo-64 and more, plus a full bar.
We hesitate to even tell you about this spot because we don’t want to ruin the fun, but The Dock is Uptown’s best kept secret. Only open on Saturday evenings after 10:30 p.m. and only accessible through the loading dock of the Marriott on West Trade Street, the Dock is a speakeasy unlike any other. To get there, you walk through the hotel’s kitchen corridors (all the while feeling like you’re very much not supposed to be here) until you reach a single dimly lit room that suddenly feels like it’s all your own.