By: Lindsay Snyder
Unique and New Places to Drink in Charlotte
Times are always changing and over the past decade this has proved true when it comes to alcohol and cigarettes in our establishments. Smoking and drinking have had a longstanding place in our society though the social acceptance and prevalence of the two have fluctuated through the years.
Smoking is out, but Drinking is Most Definitely In!
It has been interesting how this has evolved over the past decade. Where there has been a crackdown on smoking in public places, alcohol has found opportunities in new markets.
In May 2009, legislation passed, making bars and restaurants smoke-free. I remember prior to those days when there were smoking and non-smoking sections at restaurants and a night out at bars would leave your hair and clothes saturated with smoke.
When traveling, there were smoking and non-smoking hotel rooms, smoking and non-smoking rental cars and for a time, you could even smoke on airplanes. Since the new smoke-free laws went into effect in early 2010, it is harder and harder to find locations to smoke in public places these days.
Just as smoking seems to be more highly regulated, alcohol it seems has grown in prevalence.
The Perspective on Alcohol is Changing
With alcohol sales integrating in new markets, it seems to be a sign that perspectives on alcohol have evolved over the past 10 years. Drinking has become more like a hobby with wine tastings, brew your own beer kits and mixology classes teaching us how to make cocktails.
There is so much variety in types of beer, wine and mixed drinks that people are constantly trying new things and learning to evolve their palates. Drinking is no longer just about going to the bars or clubs.
If you enjoy an adult beverage, more and more places are offering you the opportunity to enjoy a beverage while you are in their establishment.
Here are 5 surprising places in Charlotte where you now are able to purchase and consume alcohol.
#1 The Grocery Store
You are probably thinking, “What is special about alcohol at the grocery store?” Grocery stores have sold alcohol since the beginning of time along with every convenience store or gas station in town.
Well, this is different. At a few select Harris Teeter locations in Charlotte, they have located on the premises a Harris Teeter Wine bar. Not only can you purchase alcohol to take home but you can actually get a glass of wine or beer and enjoy it while you grocery shop around the store. The Harris Teeter wine bar is actually one of the cheapest places to buy alcohol in town with $3 craft beers daily and half price wine days. There is even a $3 mimosa Sunday.
Some Harris Teeter wine bars even sometimes have events like trivia, live music and tastings from specific breweries or wine tastings. Not every Harris Teeter has a wine bar but check with your local Harris Teeter to find the closest wine bar near you.
#2 The Movie Theater
What could be better than enjoying the comfort and experience of a movie theater along with a nice adult beverage? Studio Movie Grill and Cinebarre at the Arboretum offer a unique movie experience with not only popcorn and Junior Mints available for purchase but also a full menu of food and drinks.
Dinner and a movie can now be combined in one or you can just order an adult beverage of your choice to enjoy as you watch your movie in the comfort of the large plush theater chair and Dolby surround sound.
#3 The Science Museum
Discovery place is a fun and family friendly science museum located in Uptown Charlotte. I remember field trips as a child going to museums and looking at science exhibits with my classmates. Little did I ever think I would be back visiting the museum as an adult with a beer in tow.
Periodically, Discovery place has an event called Science on the Rocks. This event is geared toward those over 21 and is the opportunity to enjoy exhibits on science while also enjoying adult beverages. Look online at the Discovery place website to find out more information about attending this event.
#4 The Arcade
Now open in Charlotte is a new video game bar on Davidson Street near the Noda arts district. It is called Abari and offers a full bar along with a wide assortment of video games. They have free standing arcade games, pinball machines and four different game consoles surrounded by couches. You can play solo or against others and even boast a game called Queen Bee that gives 10 people the opportunity to compete against each other. For gamers or just those of you that are always up for a good round of Mario Kart, this is the perfect place for a night of drinks and games.
#5 The Coffee Shop
First dates can be tricky and often, it is a tossup between grabbing coffee or grabbing drinks. Well, here is a perfect compromise that offers both options. Numerous coffee shops are now carrying beer and wine as well as coffee creating a relaxing setting to work or socialize. Amelies Uptown, Rush Expresso and Fabo are among a few of these coffee/bars that are popping up in our city and offer you the opportunity to meet with others, go on a date or get some work done with your favorite beverage of choice.
You Can Find Alcohol in the Most Unlikely of Places
It seems that alcohol is making more of a presence in unlikely places around town. Where alcohol in the past mainly was found at the bar or restaurants, now the bars are making their way into new venues around town.
This is really good news for those of you who prefer alternatives to nights out in the crowded bars and clubs. This opens the door for some new and different date opportunities as well. The presence of alcohol is becoming more and more common and now there are even more opportunities to purchase a beverage of your choice while running errands, enjoying a movie or even finishing your work at a coffee shop.