I'm not going to lie to y'all, 2017 thus far has been pretty lit.
Even though the month of January flew by and we're a paycheck away from the end of February, I've been so busy finding adventures it feels like New Year's Eve was over six months ago. Stoke, check. Salud Beer Shop, check. Lucky's Bar and Arcade, Essex and Imperial Lounge, check, check and check.
Oh, and of course my escape to Asheville brought an entirely new nightlife experience to my weekend for less than half a tank of gas.
After taking in the mountain views and crisp air, a stressful week in Charlotte commenced. I presented in front of my entire company, stage fright and all, started training a new co-worker and landed a cover page in Creative Loafing. (That's right, I hope you picked up your copy for all the juice on what it's like for singles searching for love with a Being Mary Jane mindset.) After all that stress, I took a break two weekends ago and got some much-needed R&R. And when I say R&R, I mean that, outside of making food runs to McDonald's and Taco Bell, I didn't leave the house at all Saturday. That's why I was ready to rally this past weekend.
Friday after leaving the office, I followed my usual schedule, which landed me in the most uncomfortable bleachers at a basketball game – the boyfriend coaches. Even though high school games are short, you'd be surprised how slow the time passes when you're sitting through four of them. We were both tired when they were over and defeated after three out of the four didn't get a W, but that was more incentive for us to grab a "drank."
"Any of your friends doing anything tonight?" The usual question the boo asks, with a hint of irritation, when I'm trying to get a temperature gauge on whether or not he actually wants to go out. That's when I know he knows I'm in the mood even if he isn't – just for drinks and dancing folks, get your head out of the gutter. *wink wink*
Of course, my friends were either already planning for a show or planning a night in – whack! But I knew I had to make a decision fast, or he was going to put on his sweats – the equivalent of me taking off my glasses, my bra and makeup – and that would be "all we wrote." So I went for a spot I knew he couldn't resist – Blue Olive Lounge.
One of my fave unexpected gems in the boonies, aka Ballantyne, Blue Olive is a popular hangout for a mature crowd seeking an upscale experience with a hint of "ratchet." (Urban dictionary people.)
From Erykah Badu, Foxy Brown and Jay-Z to Juvenile, Drake and Crime Mob, the music hits all the crowd favorites without overwhelming one demographic or another. Attribute it to an epic DJ if you want, but every time I end up at Blue Olive, I dance all night long. (It was only after two hours of hugging the toilet that I regretted my decision.)
As you can imagine, the next morning was an uneventful one and I settled for catnapping, television and a home-cooked lunch. It wasn't until later on that evening the boy toy and I were itching for some excitement. We were hoping for a grilled cheese from Papi Queso at Sycamore, but now that they're all popular and ish after being featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," "they ain't got time for that!" Of course, that meant dinner took priority over going to a bar, so we started down the list of possibilities. We settled on a spot he hadn't been and I'd only been to once: Alexander Michael's.
Who can resist a meta tag like this when you pull this restaurant up on Google? "A locally owned and operated American tavern in Charlotte's historic 4th Ward serving fresh, unpretentious food that is well prepared with quality ingredients." I certainly couldn't. And they were right. The quaint, popular neighborhood restaurant, may attract some of Charlotte's elite, but the food is anything but pretentious. Hearty and full of flavor, the 4th Ward Stroganoff and Honey Chicken Pasta (with a bacon and tomato cream sauce) were so good we actually couldn't wait to be hungry again and eat what was left over! (Pro tip: the venue is small, so grab a drink at the bar while you wait, or eat at the bar like we did.)
After a meal like that and a wild Friday night, we didn't need another rally, so we decided to call it a night. I watched The Huntsman: Winter's War, ate more of my leftovers and climbed into bed. Now that's what I call a nightcap.