I don't get out much anymore. You know the story -- work wears me out, I like my house, some places are too smoky, I decided that I really don’t enjoy hangovers.
Still, I like for the place I call home to have a decent nightlife scene -- it's an important piece of a dynamic city. So I admit with pride that after reading "Dusk Till Dawn" (page 52), I felt a fleeting desire to hit the town and rage a little. From the love-it-or-hate-it EpiCentre to urbane SouthPark to just-grungy-enough Plaza Midwood, NoDa, and South End to brand-new hotspot Montford Drive, this is a city suddenly awash in options for late-night fun. Seems like when I first moved here, about fifteen years ago, there were maybe four bars. Selwyn Pub is still doing its thing, I still miss Foster's, and I do not miss Frozen Dawg at all. Uptown was a near wasteland. It was enough to drive many of my peers to Atlanta or D.C. I'm glad to see that times have changed.
Still, the scene could use some rounding out. Here’s my nightlife wish list:
A beer bar near uptown. Flying Saucer is a good start, and I’m happy for the beer lovers in University City. But the rest of us would rather not drive forty minutes round trip to partake of the newest high-gravity ale from Dogfish Head. Doesn’t seem safe, you know? An enterprising soul needs to snatch up some cheap in-town real estate, install about 150 taps (and keep ’em clean) and a few giant coolers, and launch a gathering spot for the growing number of Charlotteans who know of life beyond Bud Light in a bottle.
Better live music. Actually, this is one of the better falls in recent memory for live music (see page 23 for a quick guide). I love Evening Muse and Neighborhood Theatre and Visulite. I wish Amos’ had better acoustics. I think N.C. Music Factory shows great promise, and I hope the folks at Live Nation, who book the bands there, show some courage and start booking the shows that have been bypassing Charlotte for Asheville and Raleigh. But I still think we can do better.
A dark, stanky bar where miserable souls congregate over bourbon and stale peanuts. Where politicians come and go unbothered, their campaign permagrins wiped clean. Where newspaper folk gather to lament the decline. Where the occasional cop finds solace from the horrors he or she stares down daily. Where a Presbyterian minister tosses back a few with … whomever he’s sitting next to. To be clear: I would not frequent such a place. But I would be glad to know that it exists.
Coming next month: Ranking the Public Schools • An Inside Look at the Mayor’s Race • All Hail the N.C. Apple