Even though my 30s are looming on the horizon, I'm still considered a millennial in social situations (insert eye roll). I do believe, however, my "millennial" status is one of the main reasons why money, savings, student loans and anything finance-related is always on the top of my mind. That's why my first visit to The Union on "service industry night" was a bit mind boggling. Let me explain.
If you've been in Charlotte any decent amount of time you know that bars and clubs come and go. A new spot opens and it can look familiar and maybe you don't know why, it's probably because the name changed. Blame it on too much drama, blame it on poor marketing, it happens all the time.
A couple weeks ago, a friend's boyfriend wanted us to go to The Union because he works in the service industry and his coworkers were going there. I used to live in South End and quite frankly, I had no desire to go. Why? Because nothing has survived in that space for very long. Why get my hopes up for a spot that probably won't be around come 2019?
If you're a regular in South End, you know where I'm talking about. It's one of the commercial destinations connected to Camden South End on the corner of South Boulevard and East Bland Street. Before it was The Union, it was Helles & Dunkel and World of Beer (which is now in The Epicentre). You may even know that 'Stache House Bar & Lounge, which was located on the same block on the opposite end, closed its doors unexpectedly about a month ago. *gasp*
Nevertheless, when my girl told me that's where her boo wanted to go and my boo showed signs of interest I thought to myself, "Why not?" Our Uber dropped us off and my dramatic brain thought the lights would turn off and the bar would close in front of my eyes. Nope. All was well and there was even a baby pit bull inside on the floor for me to play with — heart be still.
I was a little tipsy but I decided on an RBV when my boyfriend asked me what I wanted to drink. When we sat on the small patio outside, I remembered the whole reason why we were triggered to make the trek — all booze is half off on Mondays for service industry night. The venue was spacious, one of the owners was behind the bar with a welcoming smile and let me reiterate, everything outside of top-shelf liquor (even shots) was half. the. price. What else do you need?
Let's be real, the G.O.A.T experiences of nightlife, the crux of our good times, are largely dependent on those who serve us. Yes, there are certain nuances that can throw a night off, but if there's no one in the bar and we have something to complain about, it's probably because we didn't like something about our waitress or bartender. And they have to deal with us, which in and of itself is why they deserve a back rub, a round of applause and a weekly discount.
I'd heard tales of days past when service industry nights were off the chain. The rules were changed or bent, even if for a night, and the discounts were lit. But every time I heard about it, it was as if those days were long gone. That's why I was beyond intrigued when my friend's boyfriend said that we would get 50 percent off for service night.
I know the venue is "new," but I began to wonder if anyone else offered the same deal. I asked one of my friends who used to work in the service industry if she knew of any venues that offered similar discounts. Prohibition was the only venue that she immediately informed me offers half off to service people and other restaurant and bar folks on Tuesdays.
And based on my research, (and after asking The Union and Prohibition myself), I haven't found another nightlife venue in Charlotte proper that will take half off your tab when you go to close it. This isn't to say that a variety of bars don't honor some sort of "special" every day of the week — even if they're not calling it "service industry night." But if we're being honest, this also means that every patron, who probably shouldn't be out drinking that day of the week, can slide through and reap the benefits of a discount.
The question is...when it comes to discounts — especially 50 percent off (and no, not just a bottle of wine) — where they do that at?! Everyone who wants to drink the best liquor or cocktail as possible for as cheap as possible. It's even better when you do so on your own dime and can afford it. So tell me, where are the best deals in the Queen City? I'm trying to cut down on my tab, too! Share your fave spots to save a few bucks at firstname.lastname@example.org.