Best Entertainment and Nightlife in Charlotte

When the sun goes down in Charlotte, that can only mean one thing—it’s time to throw on your best and go out



Or, go casual in jeans and a tee—there are plenty of bars where you’ll fit right in. Hit the city’s South End or Plaza Midwood for a range of evening adventures, from chic lounges to cherished dive bars.

Dance Party: Label

If you really want to get out there and dance at a hotspot that has it all—big ambience, VIP tables, a packed house, a good DJ, a giant video screen—this is the spot for you. Label, appropriately situated on Music Factory Boulevard, vastly improves on the traditional club experience with big, clean restrooms, as well. Music generally differs by the night of the week and can include electro dance music, hip-hop, retro, rock or top 40.

Honky Tonk: Thirsty Beaver Saloon

If you love classic country tunes blaring from a jukebox, kitschy Americana and meeting locals from bikers to hipsters, the Thirsty Beaver Saloon is your calling. This Plaza Midwood dive bar is a local institution, one where the status symbol is a frosty can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and the Bloody Mary could have a Slim Jim as a swizzle stick. Drinks are cheap and everyone's imbibing in the bar that’s lined with pop culture treasures. If a live band shows up you won't have to pay a cover charge, but save some of your cash to drop in the hat when it’s passed around for the performers. Don't worry about a dress code here.

Indie Music: The Evening Muse

Looking for a night on the town, but a sweaty dance floor with blaring music just isn't your thing? Head over to The Evening Muse in NoDa, the city's arts and entertainment district, where indie music enthusiasts of all ages gather to hear an eclectic mix of live performances ranging from rock to bluegrass to funk. The venue is intimate with cozy exposed brick, like you're dropping in on a jam session in an artist's loft. Ticket prices vary depending on the show you're seeing. Monday is open mic night for up-and-coming talent to be heard by grass-roots music fans or the next big producer.

Time to Play: StrikeCity

If you're itching to do something more than sip wine or bob your head to a band, grab your friends and lace up your shoes for some friendly competition. StrikeCity blends 12 open lanes and two private rooms with cocktails and sports-bar-style grub for an experience that's more upscale than the neighborhood alley of your youth. There's also an arcade with classic games including skee ball, 75 TV screens to watch sports and an outdoor patio with ping-pong and other games. A large dance floor lets you get your groove on when a DJ spins each weekend. A dress code goes into effect at 9 p.m. each night, including no tank tops or plain white tees.

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