Friday, October 17, 2008

New lounge opens tonight in EpiCentre


It's small and intimate and the owners are hoping you make it your new after-work destination.


PJ's Coffee & Lounge officially opens today in the EpiCentre. Their motto? Wake up. Chill out. Wine down.

It's a one-stop shop for all your food and drink needs.

In the morning it serves as a breakfast bar, serving coffee, pastries and breakfast sandwiches. Lunchtime it's sandwiches and salads. After-work, the coffee bar goes dark and the signature martinis are served, along with a few small plates like quesadillas, hummus and assorted cheeses.

I stopped in last night for the lounge's pre-opening party. (See photos here.)

It's a nice addition to the EpiCentre, and offers something different -- a low-key alternative to the raucous crowds at Howl at the Moon, Suite and Whisky River.

It's part of EpiCentre developer Afshin Ghazi's vision to offer something for everybody at the entertainment complex, he told me last night.

The lounge will have live music Thursday-Saturday, including singers like Judson, who has a Jack Johnson sound. 

All of the signature martinis and signature mixed drinks are served with fresh fruit. I sampled a watermelon martini and raspberry mojito and both had so much fruit in them, it felt like I was sipping on a nutritious smoothie (with a kick). My only complaint: The martinis are $12 and signature mixed drinks $15. A little pricey, especially in these economic times. Here's hoping for a half-price martini night.

Next up for the EpiCentre:

  • The movie theater is set to open mid-November, Ghazi said last night.
  • Strike City, the upscale bowling alley/bar/lounge, has a scheduled opening date of Dec. 15.
  • Also coming soon is Mez, a new restaurant adjoining the movie theater that is set to open around Thanksgiving weekend.

37 comments:

JimmyJoeJack said...

those drink prices are redunkulous! I prefer my $1 beers at the local dump bar.

Anonymous said...

So is Mez a Mexican restaurant? I sure hope so! We need more Mexican choices uptown besides Jolina (yuk!), Johnny Burrito and Salsarita's.

Anonymous said...

I agree those drink prices are ridiculous. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for them to drop the prices.

Anonymous said...

Yea these yup scum bars are all the same. Thats why we loved Dallas Texas and hated moving to this pretentious joint since they played only country music down there and everybody wore nice cowboy hats and boots and jeans and drank 1$ beer even in the swankiest of bars.
Millionaires everywhere in hats boots and jeans in our beloved Tejas. Here you got a bunch of semi poor exec wantabes .

Anonymous said...

Those drink prices are out of bounds. Sounds like he wants to follow the bobcats out of town. not a winner at these prices.

Anonymous said...

Hello, we are in Charlotte. $15 a drink? Hope there are sugar daddy's there buying drinks or cougars on the prowl. Get real!

Anonymous said...

Ew - please move back to Texas!

Anonymous said...

you want to keep customers coming in......not watch them walk by....at $12 for a martini, gonna be a lotta walkin by

Anonymous said...

I love PJ's! The atmosphere is great...the people are wonderful...the music is awesome....the drinks are to die for! Don't knock it til you try it! Come see what you're missing!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear Judson play! I love Jack Johnson.....this could easily become my new hangout.

Anonymous said...

why do u move to charlotte if you love dallas so much? go chase an F5 tornado then, we'll enjoy...well...no tornados....nothing I hate worse than cowboy hats to make up for lack of hair and belt buckles that look like serving trays...typical necks

Lindsey said...

I am so excited for something new and fresh to move into the Epi! PJ's is going to be great and there are specials too! Check out the website ...www.pjscharlotte.com

Anonymous said...

I think it sounds great! Suite, Whiskey, Black Finn get so crowded...me and my girls are checking out PJ's fo sho!

Anonymous said...

This isn't a place to get wasted. You go and have a drink or two and take your time and relax. If you want to get drunk (and rowdy) then yeah, it is going to be super expensive and you should stick to your $1 beer places.

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to try this $15 drink. Sounds like some quailty alcohol-------no Therapy or Cosmo Aristocrat Vodka drink for me.

Anonymous said...

4 out of 5 comments from 2:24 to 2:31 sound an awful lot like an insdider's phony self promotion...

Anonymous said...

Wow, some of you whiners are real rednecks. Go to any of the martini bars uptown and they're $12/piece. Most offer a half-off night, so $6 is definitely fair. Seriously just stay out of uptown if you think those drink prices are ridiculous.

And keep in mind, sometimes you pay for the atmosphere. But if you can't afford it, stay at Coyote Joe's.

Anonymous said...

Why are we talking about Texas????? Get over it!

Anonymous said...

Some people!?!?! I thought the review was pretty great. Mr. Negative, Mr. Cheap, Mr. Texas have so much in common. Maybe they should meet over a drink at PJ's?

Anonymous said...

The breakfast idea is great, but at $12 a drink, whats coffee $5? Don't we have enough Starbucks downtown??????

Anonymous said...

Actually, Charlotte is the smallest city I have lived in, and while a nice place, I have yet to find an establishment that should be serving $12-$15 a martini (even though most uptown spots do). Sorry! I think Charlotte could benefit from learning that upscale does not always have to equate to overpriced.

Anonymous said...

gotta keep the rifraf out

Anonymous said...

I am very important and do not wish to be within 15 yards of normal people. This will be my new spot.

Anonymous said...

seems classy, the guy in the pic has a big old stain on his shirt

Q.Cfriend2008 said...

I've been there once, last night's VIP opening, and I will definitely make a point on going again. This bar attracts a very good-looking crowd. . .

I love the atmosphere, it is very chill. . it isn't a huge place but some of my favorite places in The Queen City are more intimate. If you are wondering- compare it in size to say Tutto-Mondo's on South Blvd.

There are areas with sofa's and comfy-chairs. . to sit and enjoy their selection of food. . that I thought was very inexpensive in comparison on other hot-spots Uptown. . and the previous poster is correct. . . Good Martini's are not cheap. . and it compare in no way. . to a "$1" beer. . LOL.

Over all I am very impressed and excited to have a new place to walk to and hang out. .

The previous poster typing about, "Semi-poor wanna-be executives". . should take a look at the national published numbers. . Charlotte has a high concentration of wealth. . and don't compare it to Dallas, which has one of the highest bankruptcy, repossession, and home foreclosure rates in the country. Sorry. . to get rude, but I'm just defending our city. :-)~

Anonymous said...

Let the yuppies have uptown, I will take a good bar (not club or lounge) any day. At least there you can find people worth talking to.

Anonymous said...

LOL, for that jackyl from Texas...Dude, no one is stopping you from jumping in your pickup and driving your butt all the way back to Texas. Really, who gives a crap about how they do it in Texas, LOL? That comment had more whine and complain than the New Yorkers.

Anonymous said...

Why would want to go to a Martini bar and listen to Jack Johnson type music. I am a fan of Jack, but most people who would consider paying $15 for a martini want to listen to Jazz or somthing that hasn't been replicated by every tool with an acoustic guitar. I think the epicenter is just one big hot mess. Between the lame bars that are heavily populated by tools and play nothing but the same Journey and Bon Jovi songs that every other bar in charlotte plays, to a pretentious martini bar, that is trying to convince young 20 somthings that it is somehow cool to charge $15 for a martini, and will probably fail, this new Epicenter, sounds Epistupid. People should go to real bars and quit being a bunch of D bags.

Anonymous said...

4:20 (ha ha sorry) could not have said it better my self.

Anonymous said...

"People should go to real bars and quit being a bunch of D bags."

The Epicenter is the best thing to happen to downtown Charlotte in terms of nightlife. Sometimes people do just want to go to "real bars" and other times they want to go to more upscale places or a dance club. Why is this such a problem? If you don't like it, DON'T GO. We don't want yur kind 'round hurrrr anyways.

Anonymous said...

Something new and fresh is necessary in the Uptown, alright. It isn't going to come in the form of yet another bar. How about some RETAIL? Something that can sustain the residential units upstairs?

Anonymous said...

There are actually going to be several retail/clothing stores in the Epicenter. None of them are chains. Plus, the Rock N Roll Emporium on Independence (which just closed recently) is moving into the Epicenter.

http://epicentre-charlotte.com/shopping.php

atlasnavigator said...

Umm...what residential units upstairs?

Anonymous said...

Ha, well we know where gold diggers and dudes with overblown egos will be hanging out now for $15 drinks.

scott said...

OK, to the Dallas guy - I have no clue what you are talking about. Were you in Dallas 30 years ago or recently? There are way more pretentious bars in uptown Dallas that in Charlotte. In fact, I would consider Dallas one of the most pretentious, yuppie cities in the country. Not that I consider that a bad thing, either. Dallas has a lot of class.

Justin said...

While Dallas has plenty of pretentious bars, you can find some good local joints (like Billy Bob's out in Fort Worth) but the same is true here. If you want a dive bar with cheap beer, check out Moosehead.

PinkDiamond said...

Pj's has got great Live Entertainment on Monday Nights!
http://pinkdiamondpromo.smugmug.com/photos/621660933_gnaiu-S-1.jpg