Q.C. staples | QC After Dark

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Q.C. staples

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2016 at 2:59 PM

This weekend’s festivities were accompanied by some close friends visiting from college. While a couple of them had visited the Queen City before, it was one of my friends’ first time. It’s always great having old friends in town, but you immediately get tasked with the itinerary, which can be overwhelming. It’s especially true when you’re supposed to be somewhat of a nightlife guru and you’re constantly torn between turning up and sleeping all day.

Two out of my three friends arrived on Thursday. We met up at Brazwell’s Premium Pub on Montford where I was already too excited to put food in my stomach. Coincidentally, a co-worker who recently decided to leave my day-job company had already planned on spending the night in the area, so I could kill two birds with one stone. Before heading to Jeff’s Bucket Shop — that co-worker’s fave spot to get tipsy and sing Taylor Swift and Vanilla Ice unhindered — my college friends and I stopped by Barreled at the Lift.

After a couple of drinks and an orange mint hookah, we were reminiscing about the good ol’ days and walked to Jeff’s, also one of my favorite holes in the wall. While my friends were a little thrown off by the neon sign and narrow stairwell leading down to an even more sketchy alleyway, it was only a few seconds before one of them was ordering a round of shots — Jägerbombs to be exact. #triggergagreflex

Next thing you know, my alarm was startling me out of my sleep as I still had to adult and go to work. I managed to make it through the day with a mild hangover. All I could think about was heading to Soul Gastrolounge — the featured venue for the night.

Most of my friends and I are foodies so food is always at the top of the list when we are planning things to do on a visit. Soul being my absolute favorite restaurant in the city, I knew it wasn’t an option not to find time to go. If you’re familiar with the spot you won’t be surprised to know we had to wait for almost three hours. This meant grabbing a snack at Peculiar Rabbit and a beer at Twenty-Two while we waited.

Boy was that a mistake. I couldn’t even eat when we finally sat down in my favorite Q.C. staple. Seeing their excited reactions to the menu, however, was well worth it. Even after being super full, I managed to convince them to stop by L4 Lounge for the infamous Shark Attack — a fishbowl, most likely designed for sharing that I always encourage guests to get by themselves. #fridaynightsuccess

Saturday morning was a slow start, believe it or not. But there was no time for whining as we prepared for day drinking. After all, it was time for Rich & Bennett’s 16th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl, apparently the largest organized Patty’s Day crawl in the world? I hadn’t participated in the three years I’d lived in Charlotte, so I figured we should give it a try.

We opted out of getting t-shirts after realizing the $25 we were going to pay would only get us free entry into participating venues. And while we were nostalgic for collegiate days past, we knew we wouldn’t make it all day so I just picked out a few spots for us to go.

We fueled up at Common Market in Plaza Midwood and then grabbed a couple of craft beers before heading Uptown to the world of domestics. Our first stop was Istanbul Hookah Lounge. Greeted by hundreds of green t-shirt wearing drunkards, I was happy to learn this spot had rooms upstairs where we could hide from the aggressiveness in French Quarter.

Our group shared a couple hookahs, had our fair share of the featured drink — liquid Marijuana — and then took off to RíRá’s patio before catching Rooftop 210. My plan was to leave straight from EpiCentre and head to The Scorpio — Charlotte’s oldest LGBT dance club — to catch a show, but an extended break at my condo forced me to tap out.

My friends, however, were troopers and still made it. They even walked to Cook Out on Freedom Drive afterwards for a 3 a.m. taste of the South they had sorely missed.

We ended the weekend with brunch at Napa on Providence. The grilled hanger steak and eggs are amazing and bottomless mimosas are only $13?! Need I say more?

Where are your fave places to take friends and family when they’re visiting you in the Queen City?

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