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It's kinda sweet over at Suite 

Rewind a few weeks to the grand opening party for Suite in the EpiCentre. I was on official dork duty with my reporter recorder collecting opinions on Charlotte's new upscale night club. I asked a young professional donning a suit and a smile to share his. His response: "This is my kind of place -- the kind you do coke in all night long."

I instinctively gave him the same kind of look I used to give my old preschool students when they hurt themselves at recess. "Do you need a hug?" I asked him.

I'm not sure if the D.A.R.E program made an impression on me, or if it's just the fact that I'm not a lost soul, but the only thing I've ever put in my nose is a nose ring. I don't get down with that shit, but unfortunately a lot of people I met while working at MAXIM and going to celebrity-laced parties in NYC are. I always just pretended to be the naïve small town girl, but I knew that everyone didn't need to pee every five minutes.

Anyway, his comment made me associate Suite with that lifestyle -- the high up, yet deeply shallow. I don't know if homeboy was actually able to scratch and sniff at Suite's grand opening though, because the bathroom stall doors didn't latch or lock, let alone shut ... don't worry, they've been fixed since then.

Between his comment, the bartender that shushed me mid-order and two snooty shot-taking (as opposed to serving) cocktail madams, Suite left a sour taste in my mouth upon first bite.

But you can't judge an entire venue by one patron or a few employees ... or can you?

Thing is, I'm not a judge, I'm just a writer -- so, I decided to give Suite another chance, and as it turns out -- Suite is pretty sweet after all (with fewer artificial sweeteners).

Especially the patio -- you're so high up that it makes you want to climb up a construction crane and bungee jump down, yet also ponder if it is safe to have glasses and bottles out there. Meanwhile, the guys' bathroom line is often twice as long as the girls' ... just an observation.

Considering that since its opening, Suite always has a long line like you'd see at Carowinds, The Sunset Club couldn't have picked a better time to close for renovations.

READY TO RUMBLE? On Thursday, after 5 p.m., all hell breaks loose in Uptown Charlotte – the two "After Fives" go head to head. In this corner: EpiCentre at 5 ... and this corner: Alive After Five at the Wachovia Atrium. And the winner is ... Read about it on the Vibes blog at

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