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Jul 8, 2009 08:37 AM

Sunday night in Charlotte - looking for suggestions

Three friends and I (40-something men) will be traveling to Charlotte later this summer and will spend Sunday night in the Charlotte area. None of us have ever been to Charlotte or are familiar with the area.
We're looking for suggestions as to where to stay (what area) and what to do.
We're not too picky, but would like to stay in an area where we could find an open restaurant and/or a place to get a beer.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

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  1. Two areas thar have a great deal of hotels and are near things to do are downtown Charlotte (or Uptown, as it's often called) and SouthPark. Either area has several opitions, but SouthPark may have more (or better) food options on a Sunday. Downtown can be kind of dead on a Sunday if it's not football season, with many of the restaurants closed for the day. At the same time SouthPark is less pedestrian friendly. Now, other parts of town are more exciting and have better options, but there aren't any hotels within walking distance. If there is someone who is willing to drive a short distance from downtown, however, there are plenty of good options. Let us know what yo're specifically looking for i terms of food, and we can help you narrow it down from there.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ickymettle

      Thanks for the info, it is very much appreciated.
      We'll have a car and don't mind driving a short distance if we have to, but for practical reasons, we would prefer not.
      As for what type of food we are looking for ... well ... its a sliding scale.
      Our first hope is to find something open. (Having no idea what the local customs are, we feared that places may be closed on Sundays or Sunday evenings)
      Finding open places, our next wish would be a good meat and potatoes place - steak, prime rib, BBQ, ect. This group is not too adventurous when it comes to eating.
      If the first two options were available, our next wish would be some place with a local flavor, hopefully locally owned, perhaps locally sourced. Maybe a revered local institution - that sort of place.
      As the person in charge of planning our Charlotte stay, if I can't find any of the above, finding really good cocktails, would also get me off the hook!

      Thanks again for your help.

      1. re: TomMN

        I'd recommend uptown, although I live there so I'm biased. On Sundy night, there are still lots of places open including Capital Grill (for the steak and potatoes), Mert's for southern cooking and Rock Bottom Brewery for decent pub grub and beer. Lots of other pubs, bars, etc will be open as well. Several are located in the Epicentre complex, including Black Finn (irish pub) and Whiskey River (owned by Dale Earnhart, Jr., if you care)

        1. re: bbqdawg

          Thanks for your thoughts.
          One member of our traveling party would care very much to learn a place was owned by Dale Earnhart, Jr.

        2. re: TomMN

          I'll just give you a little info about some areas not far from downtown that may amke everyone happy. These places would be a very short, inexpensive cab ride if people are worried about drinking and driving. By the way, I'm only mentioning places that I know or beleive to be open on Sunday nights.

          Just a couple miles from downtown on South Blvd. is a place valled Mac's Speed ( ) Shop. It serves brisket, bbq, etc. and has a good beer selection. It's defintely a great atmosphere when it comes to meat & potatoes guys hanging out,

          A couple miles east of downtown in the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood, which has several options. Right at its heart there is a place called The Penguin ( ). It's been featured on the Food Network and serves good burgers, fried pickles, sweet potato fries, and other greasy foods. It's become somewhat of a tourist attraction. It also has cheap beer on tap. On the same street as The Penguin is Thomas Street Tavern. I DO NOT recommend the food there, but it has a nice patio out back where you can hang out and drink if the weather's nice. There is also a place around there called Soul Gastrolounge, which has good food and is a fun place to drink, but it's definitely not "meat & potatoes." Just down the street from those places, toward downtown, is a place call Common House ( ). It specializes in comfort food and uses local ingredients and has a decent draft beer selection. About a block back up the street from there is a bar called The Thirsty Beaver. No food there, but it has a dive bar theme, and it's kind of a fun place to drink a PBR and have a shot of whiskey. Just a short distance further up the road (away from downtown) is a very good restaurant called Lulu ( ). It's not "meat & potatoes," but it has arguably the best burger in town and some of the best fries (or frites, as they are here).

          Then, southeast of downtown is an area known as Dilworth, about a mile-and-a-half away. There are several restaurants and bars along East Blvd, Dilworth's main road. Big Daddy's ( ) has awesome burgers and and is a good place to have a drink. Cantina 1511 ( ) is a popular Mexican restaurant. Rock 'n' Lobster has a cheesy name and cheesy sign, but it's a decent place to drink and has above-average bar food. 131 Main ( ) has some decent food. Brixx ( ) has good thin-crust pizza and a good draft beer selection. 300 East ( ) has been a local favorite for some time, but may not be the ideal "meat & potatoes" place.

          About 2-3 miles north of downtown is NoDa. There is a popular place called Cabo Fish Taco (the name explains itself) ( ), and Revolution Pizza ( ), which serves some mighty fine pizza using fresh, local indredients. Both are good places to sit and have a drink, and Revolution has an excellent draft beer selection. There are also a couple bars in this area that are nice to sit and have a drink in: Solstice ( ) (which serves fairly decent bar food as well) and Sanctuary (don't eat here).

          Hope this helps.

          1. re: ickymettle

            Thank you so much for the detailed info. We're not locked into a "meat and potatoes" mindset - a good pizza or burgers will work great, too, so thanks for including that info.

          2. re: TomMN

            I agree with staying uptown. If you do decide to drive or cab it, Lulu's would be a great destination. If you're dead set against driving, Mert's Heart and Soul is right uptown, is locally owned and sourced (sorta) and is classic southern food. Bonus that there are bars half a block away in either direction.

        3. There are plenty of places that are open on Sundays, this isn't South Carolina :-).

          Bring an open mind and a GPS. Don't stay near the airport. If you decide to stay downtown, I think most of the hotels are acceptable. You certainly wouldn't have any trouble finding a drink. Food would depend on your budget. I don't know if I can give any specific suggestions without knowing where you'll be and what price range you're shooting for.

          7 Replies
          1. re: billyjack

            Thank you for your response. We've got open minds and a GPS so I guess we're set. Based on the information above, I'm leaning towards booking rooms in the Uptown area. We're also not to worried about meeting a specific price range. Thanks again.

            1. re: TomMN

              Update: Booked rooms at a hotel on Trade Street near the intersection with N. Tryon Street

              1. re: TomMN

                You are certainly in the middle of things. Now you have 360 degrees to make a decision. There is good food all around you, a lot within walking distance and a lot within a few miles of "uptown". Good Luck making a decision with so many places to choose from. Merts,Macs,Prices'...all are convenient to your very central location.

                1. re: Sam at Novas

                  Thanks again to all who responded. Your hometown perspective is invaluable.

                  1. re: Sam at Novas

                    (Price's Chicken Coop is closed Sunday)

                    1. re: lynnlato

                      Price's is also closed Monday, and Thursday-Sat they close up shop at 6pm. Not exactly a dinner joint.

                      1. re: friek

                        Ah yes...but what a breakfast Fried Chicken Livers would be!!!

            2. Please note that if you are not from North Carolina, and like your hamburgers anything other than well-done, you are out of luck. Restaurants here are legally required to cook to a temperature that will leave any rare or mid-rare burger loving folk sad beyond belief.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mrwaterslide

                I will also point out that there are at least a couple places that are willing to break the law. I won't divulge them, though, in order to protect them so that I can continue to get my medium rare burgers.