Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hotel bar gaining a following

Step inside the candy-colored lobby of the new aloft hotel at the EpiCentre and you may just feel as though you've been transported to a boutique hotel in Europe. The hotel, part of the W chain, opened in January, and its sleek w xyz bar is quickly establishing itself as a pre-party destination.

The Scene: Bright yellows, blues and greens stripe across the back of the bar and light up the liquor bottles, creating a cool effect, especially at night. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer great views of Time Warner Cable Arena and the craziness that is the EpiCentre on a Saturday night. High-backed modern chairs and sofas are grouped around giant cushioned ottomans, providing plenty of seating in an otherwise small space. Graphic art reminiscent of Andy Warhol completes the modern look.

The Music: The first time I popped in to the bar in February, there was a sad mix of early 2000s hits (I don't know about you guys, but “I Like the Way You Move” makes me want to rip my ears off). Since then, the hotel seems to have stepped up its taste. For its official grand opening last Thursday, the music selection was much more current thanks to the popular (and gorgeous) DJ Mia, visiting from Los Angeles. And the hotel plans to host “Diva DJ” nights featuring female spinners like Mia.

The Crowd: A combination of business executives, hotel guests and local EpiCentre partyers stopping in for a quick drink before heading to an event at the arena or going dancing at Suite.

The Drinks: Specialty cocktails start at $9. I'd recommend staying away from the Chipotle Margarita. I couldn't stomach more than two sips of the lukewarm, spicy drink. And at last check, they didn't carry Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka – something every visitor to the south should experience. Stick to the basics (mixed drinks are $7) and you'll be OK.


For a video of my most recent visit to w xyz, click here.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

"transported to a boutique hotel in Europe"...not sure where in europe you have travelled but the Aloft bar is more like the Epcot version of a european boutique hotel.

Anonymous said...

Give me a dive that makes me feel like I am in Gastonia. Europena crap is for sissies.

Anonymous said...

i dont know if many people know, but most european bars are dark and unique. Bright lights and fancy doesnt mean euro. you can smoke in almost every establishment in europe as well. not saying thats a good thing, but lets not fantasize.

Anonymous said...

"Give me a dive that makes me feel like I am in Gastonia."

Go west on I-85 until you smell it, and south until you step in it. Enjoy your time in Gastonia.

Anonymous said...

"Give me a dive that makes me feel like I am in Gastonia. Europena crap is for sissies."

Or Bar Charlotte. Ewwww ewww ewww - they should just move that place to Gastonia.

Anonymous said...

Belgium beer is mostly wheat beer which is quite awful.
If you want a good ale the best is English ale...try Old Speckled Hen or Abbot Ale, but only if your a real man! lol
BTW a real boutique hotel in Europe would be quite old and full of history. So that would leave out anything in downtown Charlotte other than the Dunhill. Especially something as new as the Epicure er I mean Epicenter. Sorry to burst your lame bubble.

Anonymous said...

The running joke at Suite is that if someone calls and asks for directions from Gastonia, give them directions to BAR Charlotte.

wxyz is a pretty relaxing place and a great hang out. Thanks for the review and video.

Anonymous said...

Tacky, pretentious, over-priced, interior looks like it was decorated by a guy named Bubba who sells velvet pictures of Elvis along the roadside. Darling, you need to get out more and see some of the world. If you're gonna write about good taste, you have to have it first.

Anonymous said...

Is the new Aloft in Ballantyne going to have a similar bar too?

Anonymous said...

6:04 Anon....

You will be more likley to meet a true friend in Gastonia rather than the plastic people uptown.

Also if you are female lete one of these little city slickers come to your rescue.

Anonymous said...

Most people would rather be around classy people rather than redneck, meth smoking people from Gastonia. Everyone I have come in contact with from Gastonia or Rock Hill have been nothing short of disgusting and just plain trashy.

Anonymous said...

If you think people in Uptown or Charlotte are "plastic" then please do us all a favor and stay away from Charlotte. Just stay in Gastonia with all your "true friends". It isn't anyone else's fault you're too insecure to be around civilized looking people...

Anonymous said...

It looks a lot better now than it did at first. I went when it first opened and it was kind of lame. I just don't think people knew it was there yet but I'm glad it is taking off. There isn't anything European about it... a better label would be "laid back upscale lounge" which is something Charlotte really needs...

Anonymous said...

I don't know why uptown residents are so stuck-up..uptown is crap compared to a real nightlife city like my hometown Miami..GET A CLUE LOSERS!