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5 Best Bars in Charlotte

The largest city in the proud state of North Carolina—and the second-largest city in the Southeastern United States (behind Jacksonville, Florida)—Charlotte is a fantastic place to visit.  Boasting white sand beaches, a pleasant climate and literally thousands of great tourist attractions, you will never be bored in the city of Charlotte, by day or night.

In addition to its many great sites and attractions, Charlotte is home to hundreds of great bars, cocktail lounges, taverns and pubs, all of which happily welcome visitors in addition to their scores of regular customers.

In the following article we will introduce you to some of the city’s best drinking establishments, and highlight each bar’s location, atmosphere, offerings, and characteristics.

Let’s get ready to party!

Dogwood Southern Table and Bar

Open from 11:30 AM until 2:00 AM (closed from 2 PM until 5 PM), the Dogwood Southern Table and Bar, is yet another Charlotte establishment that doubles as an eatery and cocktail lounge.  Here the cocktail service, which was invented, designed and is overseen by bar manager Brian Lorusso, includes a modern twist on some of the classical cocktails of old—twists that reflect Charlotte’s regional spirit.  The cocktails also rely on mixers that are made in house, and only the freshest herbs and spices.  Wine is also a big seller at the Dogwood Southern Table and Bar, and the destination has a fine list to choose from, all designed to pair well with the restaurant’s terrific menu offerings. The pricey, yet scrumptious menu of entrees at the Dogwood Southern Table and Bar includes scores of dishes with an authentic Southern touch.

The Dogwood Southern Table and Bar is a very open space with a rustic feel. This atmosphere is achieved through several open fire places, wood and brick accents and sturdy tables and chairs that are ever so comfortable.

Duckworth’s Grill and Taphouse (Park Road)

A popular bar and restaurant in the city of Charlotte, Duckworth’s Grill and Taphouse actually has three locations throughout the large city, but its original location on Park Road, just off the busy Montford Drive, is by far the best of the three.

Duckworth’s Grill and Taphouse is a laidback eatery and bar that always feel comfortable and relaxed.  Cozy leather booths line the walls of the restaurant, and several tables—high and low—are scattered neatly around the oval-shaped bar. Their food menu consists of mostly comfort food, as well as burgers, steaks and sandwiches, with some local seafood sprinkled in. And while the location has an impressive collection of delicious spirits, including scores of great bourbons, locals say their real claim to fame is their tap beer station, where over 60 craft brews are available in draught pints.

Note:  If possible, try to stop into Duckworth’s Grill and Taphouse on Thursdays, when all their craft beers are sold for a mere $3 a pint all day.  The space may be crowded, but a better deal you will not find in the city.

Twenty-Two

An artsy bar that attracts a wide range of clientele, including the hipster crowd, Twenty-Two is located in a small corner space in Charlotte’s trendy Plaza Midwood community.  Twenty-Two is part cocktail lounge and part art gallery, with a fully-stocked bar of spirits and liqueurs and artwork adorning the whitewashed walls.  This is the type of place where lovers of the arts get together to chat over a delicious drink, with prices fairly reasonable given the beautiful décor.

Because the art on Twenty-Two’s walls changes frequently, there is always something new and exciting to see at the bar, and their delicious selection of local craft beer is one of the best in the city.

Whiskey Warehouse

Like the bar Twenty-Two, the Whiskey Warehouse is located in the Plaza Millwood section of Charlotte, but that is where the similarities end.  As its name suggests, the Whiskey Warehouse is a great place to visit for those who enjoy fine whiskey, as the bar carries over 80 varieties of whiskeys and bourbons from around the globe.

The Whiskey Warehouse is especially popular among Millennials and Generation X’ers, particularly on weekend nights when the place is packed to the gills with gleeful partiers.  DJs are on hand Fridays and Saturday nights from 10 PM until closing, and the small dance floor is always occupied with revelers.  The Whiskey Warehouse also has a great Happy Hour every weekday from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM, serving up drink specials and half-priced appetizers.

One of the bonuses of drinking at the Whiskey Warehouse is the amazing view.  Just head up to the rooftop on the second deck of this locale (both stories include a fully-stocked bar) for some amazing vistas of downtown Charlotte.

5 Church

This uniquely-named restaurant bar essentially has a dual atmosphere to along with its two-story design.  Open from 5:00 PM until 2:00 in the morning, the earlier shift at 5 Church is rather quiet and subdued.  Diners whisper with each other over candlelit tables, while Happy Hour customers sip cocktails and pick at after-work appetizers before retiring to their respective homes.  By 10 PM, however, 5 Church transforms from a restaurant into a late-night party palace, with well-dressed bartenders slinging drinks at an almost unbelievable rate.

5 Church has a very cool, dress-to-impress vibe and an extraordinary menu of house-invented signature cocktails.  Two of the most popular of these are the Bourberry, a pink-colored drink made with Jim Bean whiskey, raspberry liqueur and muddled raspberries; and the Viper, made with Patron tequila, orange liqueur, cucumber water and cayenne pepper. The bartenders, most having been recruited from upscale, swanky clubs, are near impossible to stump, and the beer, while a bit pricey, is always ice cold.  5 Church also boasts an extensive wine menu, with bold reds and crisp whites being served by the glass and bottle. Diners are free to bring in their own wine, although the establishment does charge a modest corking fee.

Finally, the décor at 5 Church, which consists of white feather chandeliers and a ceiling hand painted with the entire text from the book The Art of War, is worth a visit on its own merit.

Charlotte skyline by PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay CC0 license

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