Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cans tries out new concept

Cans General Manager Brian Labovitz tells me you'll find a whole new vibe on Saturdays in the lower level of the uptown bar, called the Underground.

Previously, the lower level was mostly used as an extension of the main floor entertainment, catering to the overspill of the crowd. Now, the bar is bringing in master mash-up DJ Vandam for Chop Shop on Saturdays.

“His style of mash-up DJing, by layering the new and trendy top 40 and house hits with our thematically appropriate retro '80s and '90s hits, gives Charlotte a much-needed musical kick in the (backside),” Labovitz says. “Best example I've heard (of his style) was M.I.A.'s ‘Paper Planes' with Bon Jovi's ‘Dead or Alive' mashed in.”

Labovitz also says the atmosphere of the lower level will be more clublike – but without pretentious lines or covers.

“Unlike most venues in Charlotte, Cans does not and will not charge a cover and avoids senseless lines to create the perception of being busy,” he says. “The new Underground will not alter that approach in the slightest.”

I didn't make it to the first Chop Shop this past Saturday -- did any of you? What did you think?

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think we jsut found the next bar to close.

Big D-Bag said...

Man this wiil be fly, all the honeys will be there. It will be slick.

Anonymous said...

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. That is one of the funniest thing i have ever heard. Terraible idea, i can only imagine the tools this will bring in. (outside the ones that are allready at cans)

Anonymous said...

How is this a kick in the backside, when all he is doing is doing the exact same thing Girl Talk does, just much worse and less original?

Anonymous said...

no cover because no one would pay it

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone always so negative? All you hear is the same rhetoric over and over: "this place sucks", "everyone at this place is a tool", etc etc. What does everyone like to do for fun? Go to the same redneck karaoke bar and/or go deer hunting?

Brendan said...

I think Cans is a great place compared to Suite and the Epicentre nonsense. I don't know who else reads this but I bet if you got some live music in there, and just gave into the fact that you have to compete with the Ghazi metroplex of fun, you'll have a hoppin place again. Two years ago Cans had lines out the door, because it was packed, not to look cool. Finding new ways to keep your place new and exciting isn't difficult, you just have to try harder. I suggest live music. Hom has the techno scene, and you can't compete with "clubs" around, so go with the roots. Home grown grassroots music. It works for the Neighborhood Theatre and Visualite. They pack out, and charge. Not an every night thing, but I bet every Friday night you could find a great band to play. I don't go there anymore because... well hell, I don't know, maybe its cause no ones ever there...

i wear sleveless shirts in public said...

I cant wait to go

guy with hair product said...

me too

Anonymous said...

I go there, but usually for late night...and I'm not short, but everyone in there is always 6'5"...even the women....it's like walking into a chapter of Gulliver's Travels.

Whytewulf said...

I see this as a decent try. I just wish they would clean up the tables. :) Ok that may be more for lunch but still. I like the fact they have a unique area, you can park in Gateway. I think they need a sister bar near there though, possibly in the Polk building.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is always negative in this column; but seriously though, Charlotte's live music scene is a joke; I'm not sure live works anywhere here. Then again I am from Austin TX where there are 20 great live shows just about every night.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure those who don't like the Uptown bar scene, or any scene for that matter, can find the buffet at Golden Corral before they go home at 8 and watch some bad movie they rented.

I've enjoyed working with the guys at Cans in the past and wish them the best in this new concept. It's called keeping it fresh.

Anonymous said...

I think its a pretty cool idea. I also hate how negative people are on here. Where do you guys go on Friday or Saturday nights? Probaly Cans!! So dont diss it. I'll definitly be checking it out sometime soon. I'm glad theres at least one bar in Charlotte that you don't have to pay some outrageous cover fee to get in.

Anonymous said...

Cans used to be so much fun, hopefully this new idea will bring people back to it.

Justin said...

Charlotte's live music scene is not Austin's but it's alive and well if you know the right places to look. We just don't keep it as weird as you folks in Austin.

This idea at Cans is doomed to fail for the simple reason that it's not going to attract the people who spend money in uptown Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

The game plan for when a bar is 'slowing down'...Play music to bring a 'different crowd' and when that crowd ruins the place for everyone else....Close the joint down.

Look at Grand Central. 3 years ago it was a fun bar. Just a bar to hang at...and now it's done because they catered to the 'different crown.' ...So sad.

Anonymous said...

how is this a new concept? mashups? um, the rest of the djs in town have been doing that for 5 years now at all the clubs....hell i even guest djed there a few times and played mashups....phhhhhhhhh dumb

Anonymous said...

The negative douchey people on here are soooo LAME. I guess if you don't like Cans, then just don't go, no biggie. A good amount of people enjoy this close to home neighborhood bar with cheap beer, loud music, and some decent apps/bar food. The world is full of critics and idiocy but fatefully short on intelligence and ingenuity. Welcome to Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

Its pretty easy to be negative when all Uptown offers is the same lame bar over and over again. They are all the same, no matter what they do that is different. We do not have a good live music scene here in Charlotte and that is what we do need. We need more cultural and art activities. Instead all we get is a ton of bars opening up in Uptown. So many in fact that you can see some dying off already. Its the natural cycle when you have too many. Open 4 more (like epicenter) and watch four more go under. And eventually all of these "good" "hip" bars will shut down as well when the next new round of bars opens. But unfortunately this city cant seem to find any other means to entertain its citizens.

Anonymous said...

Go smoke free or get some ventilation !

I need an oxygen tank just to walk by the place.

Old Skool Partier said...

Is Cans as cool as the Pterodactyle, Club 2000 or Baja? I just love the Pterodactyle.

Greg Scott said...

OLD SCOOL PARTIER SAID

"I just love the Pterodactyle."

I loved "The Bird". The original one off morehead. Not the lame one they tried to re-open on 5th st.

Cans is a sports bar. They should re-invent themselves that way. With them bringing a DJ in to play Mash up's, all they are doing is chasing a concept that is already peaked in this city and is on the down slope of the peak. They need to be pro-active in their concept and not re-active. Good Luck Cans, but the mash-up's have run it's course.

Anonymous said...

I love cans and always have fun there! I hope the new music will be fun! I hate they charge for parking beside cans though considering there are NO other bars that close besides Cans!

Anonymous said...

I agree that live music would be the best answer. There is enough techno/dj places.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried Sung Harbor or the Milestone Club? They have singer songwriters and if you are looking for a different scene these are great places to check out. I used to do the uptown scene thing but every bar seems the same. I wish we could have a great bar uptown that caters to several different styles of music. Charlotte has a great music scene you just have to get out of uptown to find it.

Larken said...

Everyone complains about the live music scene in Charlotte being subpar but yet I just helped open a new live music club in NoDa (ALIVE) and people seem to think that the 1.5 mile drive from Uptown to the club is 'too far'. If people won't drive less than 2 miles to see live music then maybe there are other issues at hand. People need to remember that Uptown real estate is expensive and limited, some of these 'new concepts' you all want so badly might have to exist outside of the 277 bubble that so many people refuse to leave...there is life beyond Uptown, find it.

H2ODOG said...

The live music in Charlotte isn't bad. I don't Cans or Hom or any of the clubs. Try the smaller places like The Double Door Inn. They have really great blues and jazz in there.

Justin said...

12:13: Give me a break. Three new museums are opening in downtown by the end of 2009. There are gallery crawls in South End and NODA approximately once a month. If you're expecting arts and culture on the level of NYC, you're in the wrong town.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people bash Cans so much. I have been going there for 2 years and still enjoy the experience of walking into a place that's playing Rock and old school all the time and hasn't conformed to the Shit that people are playing at every bar in uptown Charlotte. At least I can request a song to the dj there and he'll actually have heard of the song before and play it, but only if it fits into the genre of what Cans is. How can any of you in Charlotte bash a bar that has a totally different concept than all of the others in Uptown? Fine. Go listen to your TI and Lil Wayne and Flo-Rida, and stop commenting negatively on a bar only because it's different.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, we have...Tremont, Amos', Neighborhood Theatre, Visulite, Double Door, Snug Harbor, Milestone, Evening Muse, Alive and Charlotte's Underground. That make TEN live music venues that are almost open every night with live original music of all kinds at all prices. I didn't even mention all the other places with just DJ's or cover bands, etc. If you're complaining about the lack of live music in this town, you're not looking hard enough. Believe me, it's a lot better now than it was even just five years ago.

Anonymous said...

If you like paying a cover to be cramed into a bar with bad music and long lines, the Epicenter is for you. Personally, I love going to a bar where the music is something other than the top 40, Clearchanel Bullshit you hear everywhere. The DJ Actually knew who Management(MGMT)and Bloc Party were and played them. YAY CANS!

Anonymous said...

11:45 WROTE "How can any of you in Charlotte bash a bar that has a totally different concept than all of the others in Uptown?"

Are you kidding, a different concept. It is a carbon copy of many of the big bars uptown.

Anonymous said...

The only thing the bars downtown are good for is meeting people who live in Gastonia or catching a social disease.

Anonymous said...

You will not find me in Cans. I went twice and each time it sucked. Suite is the same way. Same old same old. I think Charlotte needs new spots like...kiss. Plus, you cant even sit down in Cans. Come on! Charlotte get something new to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

1:07 Wrote that Cans is a carbon copy of many of the big bars uptown.

Remember, Cans was the first to introduce Rock to uptown. Soon after Cans opened AlleyCat came on the scene as well as Whisky River (although both spots tend to play more hip-hop than rock or country). At least Cans was original at the time. I still like the place.

Anonymous said...

I was there on Saturday, too, and I have to say, the DJs didn't really play mash-ups, they were using laptops and old school samplers to re mix music. I don't kno iff it was rehersed or not, but it was better than anything else i've seen in uptown. besides, there wasnt a whole lot of jerks there. most of the crowd knew what was going on and seemed to be into it

ccc said...

If you're checking out the various bars uptown then you have to stop by CANS. I give them credit for never charging a cover. If its not your scene then walk out, it didn't cost you a dime and you won't waste time waiting in line. The DJ downstairs isnt a bad idea, but I doubt its going to pull people away from the Epi-Center. Its worth a shot though. Might as well try something.

Anonymous said...

I am constantly amazed (coming from Chicago) what gets Charlottians rocks off. Cans is probably the only bar in Charlotte that stays true to a theme and isn't a "strip mall variety" bar. Set in a tastefully rehabbed cotton mill- BUILT IN 1837! It is an epic room (brick and floor to ceiling windows)- reminds me of Chicago. They have set their concept on Old School - tater tots and old style, run dmc and toto! I'll agree, in my countless times at this venue, not every experience has been perfect- bathroom lines, etc, not really a way to break down the palatability of a bar.
Their drinks are cheap, and there is never a line or a cover, so technically they could get a buck or two more, but don't.
The food has suffered in the past, but of late, I think is as good as bar food gets. They're not trying to be more than bar food that keeps you drinking. Try the Buffalo Wrap and Deep Fried Smores- good wings too.

I find it refreshing that they've stayed outside the box and not been lobotomized like other uptown venues with college nights. They host stand up comedy nights, rockstar bingo, have great events like Chips for Charity and are THE spot for Panthers games. On slower nights, they set up cornhole boards, free WII, etc and utiilize the space to make it more condusive to fun.
If you want to go out and eat a $35 steak, this is not the place, but if you don't like it loud, I recommend a week day or happy hour, where they cater to a bit more sophisticated crowd. Weekends are busy, I personally prefer a small neighborhood dive bar, but at least you don't have to stand in a line for an hour, pay a $7 cover to listen to TI and Akon all night or try and pick up a drunk 18 year old on college after paying a $5 cover to listen to TI and Akon.
If you want a fun night, with a more involved staff (not 20 bartenders taking 15 minutes to charge you $10 a saturated drink), I'd give it a try.
Recommend going early 1/2 off apps til 7. Ask for Jen W as your bartender, this Lady Bobcat will not disappoint!!!!

Reno said...

If you want a successful bar with a new atmosphere... copy the old Tonic style with firepits and on deck dj's.. Cool ass bartenders and different themes. Tonic was the best bar ever, and would still be there to this day if it weren't for all the political red tape bs!