Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hotties up for auction tonight

Uptown Magazine has released its latest batch of "Uptown's Sexiest" and the honorees will be auctioning off some great packages tonight at Enso.

This year's sexy six are:
  • Susan Tran, former newscaster at WSOC (package includes a four-night/three-day trip for two to Bermuda).
  • Alessandra Ball, ballet dancer with N.C. Dance Theatre (package includes premium tickets to a number of different N.C. Dance Theatre performances)
  • Brad Beltrondo, managing partner at Suite (package includes various EpiCentre VIP cards, restaurant gift certificates, pampering at Modern Salon and a package at Palm Beach Tan) 
  • Johnathan Cuevas, owner of Apostrophe Lounge (package includes Bobcats tickets, a VIP table at Apostrophe and various gift certificates to uptown and Southend hotspots)
  • Olivia Moore, leasing manager at Ashton Southend (package includes chauffeured limousine service, autographed Panthers memorabilia and a gift certificate to Neiman Marcus)
  • Jack Egbert, pitcher for the Charlotte Knights (package includes a 14-person suite at Knights Stadium, throwing out the first pitch and a tour of the clubhouse)
Tonight's party starts at 7 and will feature fire throwers and a drum circle courtesy of DrumStrong. Auction starts at 8. It's free to get in and proceeds from the auction benefit the Levine Children's Hospital.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween 2009

Halloween bashes are spooking Charlotte! Here's a list of events this weekend.


Glitterati Ball -- The Devil's Last Waltz: JStudio and Roxy Moorecox host this masquerade ball at the Visulite Theatre. Highlights include music by DJ Wiiz Kid and George Brazil, entertainment by Angela Lopez and the Queens of the Masquerade, the JStudio dancers, and Simone the Dollminatrix and her whipping booth. 9 p.m. 1615 Elizabeth Ave. Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door (available at Common Market Southend, JStudio or by emailing

Shiprocked! Snug Harbor hosts a Halloween Carnival with help from Scott Weaver's popular Shiprocked weekly party. Games, prizes, a drag show and costume contest. 1228 Gordon St. FREE.

Takeover Friday: Watch The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Dammit Janet nightclub just north of NoDa. 7-10 p.m. 3746 N. Davidson St. $5.

Halloween Howler Bar Crawl: Presented by Bacardi and Six stops. Costumes mandatory. 6 p.m. registration at Dixie's. 301 E. Seventh St. $10 in advance; $20 day of.

Supernatural Halloween: Elevate celebrates with an after-work party at BlackFinn. 6 p.m. 210 E. Trade St.

Ghostbusters Boo Bash: Breakfast Club's costume party. Also 1-2-3 night: $1 domestics, $2 imports, $3 mixed drinks. Take your picture with the ghostbusters' ambulance. 8 p.m. 225 N. Caldwell St. $7 for members; $8 for nonmembers.

Masquerade Party: Blue Restaurant is offering free entry to its Halloween party with dinner reservations. Costume prizes, drink and appetizer specials. Samba dance entertainment. 9:30 p.m. Corner of Fifth and College streets. Advance tickets $10; $15 at the door.

Thriller Costume Ball: Sponsor Parties presents this 25th annual party at Mez. Costumes preferred. 8 p.m. 210 E. Trade St. $5-$15. For more information, e-mail

Fox & Hound, Ballantyne: Halloween bash benefitting St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Live music from The Holdouts. Costume contest and drink specials. 10 p.m. 15235 John J. Delaney Drive. $5 donation at the door.

Candy + Potter's Halloween Skate Jam: $500 best costume. Partygoers will attempt to break the Michael Jackson Thriller dance world record on roller skates. Free psychic readings from Mary Beth Wrenn and magic shows from Hannibal. 21 and up. Bar will be open. 11 p.m. Kate's Skate in Indian Trail, 14500 Independence Blvd. $12 tickets available online or at the door if available.

Saturday, aka Halloween

Fangtasia: Alley Cat transforms itself into a vampire-friendly nightclub with cocktails inspired by HBO's "True Blood." Bartenders will be wearing costumes from the show and Crashbox will perform the show's theme song. $500 prize for best costume. Ages 18 and up. 9 p.m. 314 N. College St. $10 for ages 21 and up; $20 for those under 21.

CarnEVIL 2009: One of the biggest bashes every year, CarnEVIL is back at Amos' Southend. Highlights include a performance from La Petite Mort Burlesque, a zombie fashion show, a fire performance, and food and prizes. 8 p.m. 1423 S. Tryon St. $20 in advance; $25 at the door.

Black Hearts Ball: Pavilion at EpiCentre hosts the band JET. Ticket includes entry into Suite, Whisky River, BlackFinn and Strike City. Prizes for best costume. 7 p.m. 210 E. Trade St. $15 in advance.

7 Deadly Sins: Suite's costume party. $1,000 prize. 9 p.m. 210 E. Trade St. $10 in advance. Tickets available at the club.

House of Horrors: BlackFinn's costume party. $500 and more in prizes. 9 p.m. 210 E. Trade St.

Monster Mash: The Guys with Ties host their annual party at a new venue this year, Strike City. $750 prize for best costume. Proceeds benefit Jacob's Ladder. 8 p.m. 210 E. Trade St. $10 at the door.

Thriller: The Forum will bring in a Michael Jackson impersonator (Kenny Wizz) for this party inspired by the late singer's famous video. Full stage show and a Thriller dance at midnight. $500 prize for best costume. 9 p.m. 300 N. College St. $20.

Halloween Pub Crawl: Rich and Bennett of St. Paddy's Day fame host this costume crawl around uptown. Hit all the parties at one price: Dixie's, Tilt, Phil's Tavern, Town Tavern, Alley Cat, Forum, The Attic/Madison's, Buckhead Saloon and the EpiCentre's Halloween concert at the Pavilion. Prizes for best individual and group costumes. Crawling starts at 1 p.m. at Dixie's. 301 E. Seventh St. $20 at one of three pre-registration parties; $25 online or $30 day of. More info at

Thriller: Whisky River is also hosting a party named for Michael Jackson's zombie-filled video. $500 prize for best costume.

Nightmare on Montford: Andrew Blair's restaurant, along with Paschal Promotions and CBAY present this costume party. $250 for best individual costume; $300 bar tab (for future use) for best group costume. Restaurant is offering a three-course dinner for $20 per person if you arrive early. Call for reservations. 8 p.m. 1600 Montford Drive. $5 cover includes one free draft beer while supplies last.

Night of the Living Beards: Loft 1523 hosts this costume fundraiser for Beards BeCAUSE. All proceeds benefit United Family Services Shelter for Battered Women. Cash costume prizes, drink specials. 9 p.m. 1523 Elizabeth Ave. $10 cover for those in costumes and beards; $15 for everyone else.

Rusty Rudder: Prizes and giveaways all night long at the biggest Halloween party on the lake. Simplified performs. $1,000 costume prize. 9 p.m. 20210 Henderson Road, Cornelius. NO COVER.

Smokey Joe's Cafe: Halloween party featuring live music from Crisis and Donna Duncan. Prizes and giveaways. 9 p.m. 510 Briar Creek Road. $5 cover. 704-338-9380.

Dixie's Tavern: Dixie's tones things down for Halloween night with a free party. $2 Miller Lights. Time. 301 E. Seventh St. FREE.

Snug Harbor: Bloody Hammer and the Poontanglers perform. 11 p.m. 1228 Gordon St.

Soul Gastrolounge: FU Party with NYC's DJ Benji Candelario. Come dressed as the person you love to hate. $100 Soul gift certificate for best costume. 1500 1/2 Central Ave. No cover. or stay up to date via the pub's Facebook page.

Moorecox & Mamma's Costume Cabaret: Drag queen Roxy Moorecox and burlesque leader Big Mamma D host this costume party at Petra's Piano Bar. Live entertainment including burlesque, comedy and fire throwers. Ages 18 and up. 8 p.m. 1919 Commonwealth Ave. $8.

Danse Macabre: Presented by SingleCell Productions at Dammit Janet nightclub. Live music from Mindless Faith, Angels on Acid, SOUL and more. Performances from all your Purgatory favorites, back together again. Ages 18 and up. 8 p.m. 3746 N. Davidson St. $20 in advance; $25 at the door.

Boo Bash: Phil and Tony's costume party. DJ, no cover and costume prizes. 10 p.m. 2225 Matthews Township Parkway, Matthews. Free.

Thriller: Breakfast Club's sixth annual costume party, hosted by Bandy from 107.9 The Link's "Matt and Ramona Show." $500 costume contest. 8 p.m. 225 N. Caldwell St. $8 for members; $10 for nonmembers.

Naughty & Nice: Tilted Kilt hosts this new Halloween party. Come in either your naughtiest, nicest or funniest. $500 bar tab for best costume. Beer specials and music. 13230 Carowinds Blvd.

Angry Ale's: The Montford Drive hotspot moves its Halloween party outside to the parking lot. The Masonboro Boys perform live on the patio. Outside bars with flip cup, beer pong and cornhole. Specials include jello shots and Big A$$ Bud Light cans. Costume prizes include $250 bar tab for best individual costume, $400 bar tab for best group costume and $250 bar tab for sexiest costume. 1518 Montford Drive. No cover.

PlayDate: The Halloween-themed version of this popular monthly party. Fun games from poker to chess, Simon Says to Pac-Man. Food and drinks available for purchase. 9 p.m. Jillian's, 200 E. Bland St. $10.

Dilworth Billiards: Halloween party featuring music from Haunted Travesty. Take a tour through the haunted medieval courtyard. Prizes for funniest outfit. 7 p.m. 300 E. Tremont Ave.

Milestone Club: Come to this famous music club for its annual Halloween party featuring such local bands as Cement Stars, LA Tool and Die, Gaston County Swingers Club, Human Pippi Armstrong and Yes Professor. Bands will be dressing up as such iconic performers at INXS, Meatloaf, David Bowie and The Strokes and playing those bands' songs. 8 p.m. 3400 Tuckaseegee Road. $5 over 21; $7 under 21.

Heaven and Hell: First annual Halloween party at Hickory Tavern. Angels and demons will mingle for one night only. Food and drink specials, costume prizes and music from DJ Emilio Havana. $200 for best costume. $150 for best angel. $150 for best devil. 9 p.m. 2005 East Arbors Drive.

Zombie Stock 2009: Halo hosts its first Halloween party as part of its popular Marquee Saturdays. Slogan: "Where the dead will come to party like rockstars." $1,000 cash costume prize. 9 p.m. 820 Hamilton St. For more info, e-mail

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Panthers help fight hunger

Current and former Panthers players gathered at Bank of America Stadium on Monday night to help fight hunger.

Thomas Davis, Jeff King, Damione Lewis, Mike Rucker, Dan Morgan and Matt Moore were some of the guys on hand to mingle with guests at the annual Taste of the Panthers event, which featured food and wine from the area's top restaurants.

(My favorite dishes of the night: Ember Grille's Shrimp and Grits and Bonterra's Pork Belly with Cornbread.)

It was all part of a fundraiser for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina as the organization works to keep up with increasing demand in an economy where donations are down. (Tickets for the Taste event, however, were up by more than double over last year's party.)

The Panthers did their part by auctioning off autographed memorabilia, jewelry from Perry's and a Harley Davidson that went to one very thrilled couple.

As holiday season quickly approaches, Taste of the Panthers offered some good reminders for others planning similar fundraising fetes:
  • Do have enough high-top tables for people to perch with their food. It's a good way to get people to socializing and takes the awkwardness out of eating standing up. (Ushers also swiftly cleared tables of trash to keep them clean and open to other partygoers.)
  • Don't keep the fluorescent lights on. It's never flattering and it takes away from the festive atmosphere.
  • Do book an appropriate band. The Carey Simms Trio provided a perfect mix of party tunes Monday at a decibel level that suited the event (read: people could actually hold a conversation, but still enjoy the music if they wanted to).
All in all, it was a good night for the Panthers to put aside their record and focus on raising money for an organization in need. Well done, guys.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This week's party picks


Tilted Comedy

7 p.m. 13230 Carowinds Blvd. Free.

Tilted Kilt kicks off a new free comedy night. Local comics such as Johnny Millwater will perform 45-minute sets. 


Aquavina Wine Festival

6-9 p.m. The Green on South Tryon St. $35.

The Young Affiliates of the Mint and Aquavina host this all-you-can-drink (and eat) wine festival. Live music, over 150 wines to sample and food vendors.

Friday, noon-11:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Sunday noon-5 p.m. Downton Hickory.

Charlotte’s Oktoberfest this weekend is sold out, but if you want your fall beer fix, you can gas up the car and head to Hickory. The three-day festival downtown will feature two beer gardens, food vendors, craft booths, three stages of live entertainment (polka to rock ‘n’ roll), and kid-friendly activities, too.


Forum’s celebrates four years

10 p.m. 314 N. College St. $10.

Forum marks the four-year milestone with an anniversary party featuring DJ Craze. VIP hosted bar tab courtesy of Sugar Society from 10-11 p.m.

Chili Cookoff

Noon-10 p.m. MMR Racing parking lot, 1318-D Central Ave. $10.

Plaza Midwood and the Chantilly neighborhoods hold their sixth annual chili cookoff with music from the Loose Lugnuts, Belmont Playboys, Time, Aqualads, Johnson Boys, and Nita Belk and the Swingin’ Soirees. All you can eat chili. See if last year’s chili winners can defend their title. Family friendly fun by day, adult party at night. Proceeds benefit Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte. The event is rain or shine.


Golf tourney

10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Buses depart from Tyber Creek Pub, 1933 South Blvd. $100 per person/$400 for a foursome.

Looking for a fun way to celebrate Columbus Day? Come play Best Bars Charlotte Columbus Day Golf Tournament to benefit cystic fibrosis. Entry fee includes greens fees, cart fees, range balls, breakfast, lunch and dinner, embroidered golf shirt, transportation to and from the course, prizes and all beverages.


Queen City Shootout

4:30 registration for tourney participants; doors open to public at 9:30 p.m. Whisky River, 210 E. Trade St. $250 for individual players; $10 cover for spectators.

Test your poker skills against 2004 champion Gregory Raymer and other current and former sports celebs at the first Queen City Shootout charity poker tournament. Proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For those who'd rather watch, bands Occasional Milkshake, Craving Melon and Blue Dogs will perform.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sushi lounge, nightclub opening doors this weekend

Step inside a new nightlife venue in Charlotte these days and you're likely to come face-to-face with at least one giant gold Buddha.

Dharma has one, as does Enso, and when Fiji Sushi Bar & Lounge and the adjoining Kashmir nightclub open this weekend, you won't be able to avoid running into one just like that drunken one night stand you're hopelessly trying to dodge.

Yes, Eastern influence is all the rage in Charlotte right now, and Fiji and Kashmir are the latest to join in the philosophical fun.

I got a preview of the two new venues this weekend. Fiji is in the former home of Feast and Kashmir is in the final resting place of Liv.

Let's start with Fiji.

The Crowd: Management says the restaurant will be heavily influenced by Charlotte's fashion scene. TVs will be tuned into fashion channels, not football. A removable catwalk is being built that will be used for such fashion shows as the one Jordano's is doing at this weekend's grand opening. Expect well-heeled young professionals to turn out for sushi and fashion.

The Scene: Lots of red and white furniture (possibly refurbished from Feast) and a logo eerily similar to the Enso circle displayed prominently around the EpiCentre restaurant. Gone is the huge bar in the middle of the restaurant. Instead a long sushi bar with a waterfall for a backdrop has been added off to the side with a smaller full-service bar tucked into the front corner.

Food and Drink: I sampled some of the sushi and my wimpy palate for raw fish was impressed. The restaurant's Peruvian chef has managed to update many of the usual stale rolls with new flavors. My favorite of the night: the Firecracker Roll. Crunchy, sweet and spicy. For cocktails, try one of the Johnny Love mixed drinks. The brand of vodka popular out west is making its Charlotte debut.

Now, let's head downstairs to Kashmir.

With the low ceilings and minimal lighting, it feels like you're walking into an illegal, underground speakeasy where you can hide in shadowy corners. The layout hasn't changed much from Liv: same bar, same lounge furniture and the same mirror that tricks people into thinking it's another room (sit and watch how many people run into it one night. It's entertaining). As one partygoer said: "It's basically like Liv, with a bunch of Asian decorations added to it."

One new addition is the Zen Lounge or as the club's Chandler Alan Beal says, "Charlotte's first true VIP room." To access the lounge, you'll need to be a VIP gold card member, which entitles you to:
  • Entry for yourself and three guests
  • Private VIP entrance and exit with security detail if requested
  • Complimentary valet parking
  • Complimentary coat check
  • Onsite massage therapists
  • Concierge services
In addition, a table inside the lounge will feature T1 Visions touchscreen technology where you can order food and drinks, reserve a hotel room, access the Internet and more. It's the first in Charlotte in a nightclub setting. T1 Tapas in Huntersville also uses the technology.

The Curse: Beal acknowledges the curse that has seemingly plagued that stretch of Fifth Street between Church and Tryon streets (its victims include Twist, Daddy's, Menage, Hom and Belle's BBQ). He's hoping the two new openings will revitalize the area. In fact, the theme for Kashmir's Halloween party is "Nightmare on 5th Street: Lift The Curse."

Do you think they can do it?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Double Door at the Lake back from dead?

An interesting e-mail just hit my inbox: the Double Door Inn at Lake Norman is set to reopen with the original owners taking the helm again.

Blue Monday will be the first band to play in the new (old) space, which has been entirely renovated.

The party re-starts this Friday.

***UPDATE*** The Double Door will NOT be opening this weekend due to a problem with the ABC permit. Owners say they are working hard to fix the issue. I'll keep you updated on the rescheduled re-grand opening. ***UPDATE***