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Philly Hound Looking for Good Beer and Grub in Downtown Charlotte

In a couple weeks I’ll be traveling with buddies to Charlotte for an old friend's 40th birthday party and we'll be staying at the Marriott downtown (uptown?). For the Friday night before the party I was hoping for recommendations on casual bars/restaurants with a great beer selection, within walking distance to the hotel. Good food AND beer is what we are looking for....is there a place for both, downtown? Being a beer geek I’m a little spoiled by the beer scene in Philly and was hoping for a taste of something similar in Charlotte. Any suggestions? If lack of beer joints is a showstopper, then maybe a great bar with good food will work.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I tried Rockbottom located at 401 North Tryon St (a short walk from the Marriott), last year. They brew their own. It was pretty good. We sat on the patio on a nice summer day. The inside was pretty big, so they could probably accommodate a big group. They had 6-8 of their own beers. http://www.rockbottomsouth.com/index....

    The Epicenter (not too far of a walk from the Marriott) had a lot of different bars and restaurants that might have what you're looking for.

    http://epicentrenc.com/entertainment/...

    1. I would recommend Dandelion Market, Molly McPherson's, Valhalla Pub or possibly Carolina Alehouse.

      If you're 40 years old, you probably won't enjoy Epicentre, imo.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Notaslavetofashion

        I am 39, still a year from 40....so i should be good, no? Really though, I'm not much for scene-y, trendy type places. Just looking for low key, beers and delicious food. However, I'm only speaking for myself: My buddies on the other hand....

        We have a Rock Bottom up in these parts so I may skip that. I will look into the other recommendations. Thanks!

        1. re: Notaslavetofashion

          Molly McPherson's closed recently. Their website blames Charlotte for not visiting enough. I recommend Dandelion too. And do yourself a favor and stay the HELL away from the Epicenter!

        2. Take the light rail south a couple of stops and try The Liberty. Always a great beer selection and the food is pretty good too in my opinion.

          www.thelibertycharlotte.com/

          1. NIX Burgers & Brew has a good selection and tasty burgers. There's also a super "neighborhoodie" place called Alexander Michael's with a good beer selection but just adequate food. RiRa is an Irish pub if you're into that sort of thing. If you do venture to Epicentre, Black Finn has a decent selection with, again, just adequate food. None of these places brew their own.

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            Alexander Michael's
            401 W 9th St, Charlotte, NC 28202

            1. Dandelion Market is probably your best option for a good beer selection and good food downtown. Unfortunately downtown doesn't have a lot of places with great beer selections. Probably because the nightlife there attracts more of the bud/bud lite crowd, while other places downtown attract people seeking liquor or wine.

              Alexander Michael's is a great hangout spot, but the draft selection isn't huge. They do have some good beer on tap, though, and a decent bottle selection.

              Just on the edge of downtown is VBGB, which has a good beer selection. I wouldn't go there for the food, though.

              Sadly, much of the downtown nightlife is aimed at 20-somethings (with the exception of the high-end bars). Guys my age (which is about your age) usually avoid the downtown scene, and hang out in other parts of the city, such as Plaza Midwood, NoDa, Montford, etc.

              But Dandelion Market sounds like you best bet.

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              Alexander Michael's
              401 W 9th St, Charlotte, NC 28202

              2 Replies
              1. re: ickymettle

                Agree with ickymettle on VBGB but it's too far to walk to. There used to be a shuttle from uptown to the NC Music Factory (where VBGB is located) but I can't find anything on the website to see if it's still running. Does anyone know?

                VBGB is fun and has a great selection on tap. There's also ping pong!!

                If you don't mind a short cab ride, you could check out Growlers Pourhouse in NODA:

                http://www.growlerspourhouse.com/grow...

                1. re: ickymettle

                  I think Dandelion Market sounds great, especially given the proximity to the hotel. And being Northeastern city folk we are certainly not averse to catching a cab somewhere. Great suggestions...thanks!