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Feb 1, 2010 07:18 PM

Dives near hotel in Downtown Charlotte

My boyfriend and I will be meeting in Charlotte for Valentine's weekend (awwwww...right?) We are staying at the Hilton Charlotte City Center (the one that was just renovated). We are looking for some fun hangouts that are close to the hotel. We are much more into live music/PBR/cheap drinks/bar food, than into anything swanky. One of the last nights we had out that was a blast was drinking $2 bud lights and watching a Talking Heads cover band, if that gives you an idea of what we like.

Any suggestions on some cool bars with great drink specials, live music or an interesting vibe?

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  1. I hate to say it but there really are no dive bars downtown...none that would meet my definition anyway. Most of them are "theme" bars, college bars, or some sort of dance club. There was a place called George Herman's in Brevard Court (very close to your hotel) that closed a few months ago. "Courtyard Hooligans" opened up in its place, and I haven't been there but perhaps someone else here has. I would imagine its a similar vibe, albeit with soccer on the tv...

    Connolly's on 5th is a pub and one of the few bars downtown I actually like. Laid back, dark, not too expensive. The same owners opened up Dandelion Market just up 5th St., which is more of a restaurant/bar. Might be worth checking out.

    Alexander Michaels on 9th gets thrown around pretty often on this board. Its a decent neighborhood pub but its hike from where you'll be. Unless you're used to walking, I guess it depends where you come from. I don't mind it but most people I go out with don't want to walk more than 2 blocks :-)

    Since you're right next to a train stop, you might want to ride the Lynx train down to Bland St. The Gin Mill at S. Tryon and Bland is kind of a dive, and they have a rooftop (although the weathers been rather cold and icey lately). Sharing the same building is Tavern on the Tracks, which is another restaurant/bar. If you ride the train down to the East/West Blvd station you can go to Tyber Creek pub, which is again the same owners as Connollys. Nearby is Vinnie's Southside Sardines which is pretty divey but not necessarily in a good way...

    Thats about all I can think of right now, maybe something else will come to me.

    1 Reply
    1. re: billyjack

      Courtyard Hooligan's is great if you are a footie fan (like I am) but it's a very tiny bar and no food. They are working on putting an Irish restaurant next door that would service the bar and are putting in 15 more taps in the next few weeks.

    2. While downtown may not have what you're looking for, you are not oo far away. Here is my suggestion: call a cab and take the very short cab ride to Plaza-Midwood. Go to The Penguin for your dinner, where you can eat some burgers, fried pickles, sweet potato fries, and other fried greasy stuff, and sip on some PBRs. Then walk across Central and down about a block to The Thirsty Beaver, and you'll get a real dive bar feel there. They don't serve food at the Beaver, but you can drink some PBRs and maybe listen to some live honky tonk.

      2 Replies
        1. re: lynnlato

          You can also get PBRs across the street from Penguin at Thomas Street Tavern. If it's not snowing (!!) there's usually a fire in the fire pit outside. What's more romantic than chugging down a Pabst in front of a fire on Valentine's Day?

          Also not far from Penguin is Snug Harbor -- truly a dive and with music!!

      1. Just outside of Downtown is the legendary dive blues bar, The Double Door. Always great music, and a great time. Its a real Charlotte institution.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Jibe

          Crap I can't believe I forgot about it. Definitely gets my vote, hands down. I just don't think about it being downtown.

          1. re: Jibe

            The Double Door is the true dive gem of Charlotte. Best Blues in the city. And where else can you sip cheap beer, listen to blues, and sit in a school desk

            1. re: Rusyoak

              And shoot pool, play foozball, throw darts, etc. Can't believe we forget about this great dive bar. It's only about a mile or so from downtown. Too bad they don't have that damn trolley up and running.

          2. I think you might have to get a little out of downtown.....some cool places I like are
            Gin Mill, Tavern on The Tracks, Ed's, Pucketts Farm Equipment and also a ton of bars on Montford Dr. But all are a cab ride away from town.