Of Duke Wins and Karaoke

The answer lies within the "secret room" at 8.2.0

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After staying out too late on Thursday, the end of the Friday work day couldn't have come soon enough. By the time 3:30 p.m. rolled around I was itching to get the weekend started.

Why was I so anxious, you may ask? Well, for one, Duke was playing Carolina in the ACC tournament. If you haven't heard already, the Duke University/UNC Chapel Hill basketball rivalry is the biggest rivalry between two sports programs in North Carolina.

After multiple texts, threats and Facebook posts from UNC fans, this Duke alum was ready to paint the Queen City with royal blue.

The night started out with a couple RBVs at the Corner Pub off North Graham. Per usual, I should've eaten but I opted for a glass of water here and there instead. That's why when I showed up an hour late to meet the boyfriend and company at Brazwell's on Montford I was so wired and anxious for the game that I talked all the way up until the last couple minutes.

After the game was over and Duke walked away victorious, the boy toy and I convinced a couple of his friends to join us for celebratory hookahs at Barreled at the Lift. Sighs.

This night was starting to look just like every other Friday in the Q.C. That's when I realized one of my co-workers was celebrating her birthday at 8.2.0. Charlotte. If the boyfriend had been smart, he would've vetoed that decision. But he's also a Duke fan so it didn't take much convincing when I suggested checking out somewhere new.

For months, I've had multiple friends talk about how much they loved going to 8.2.0 for karaoke.

However, they never went into detail about why they loved it so much and, quite frankly, finding the energy to go to AvidXchange (will we ever get used to this name change?) takes more effort than I feel like putting forth most times. Fortunately, the boyfriend was the designated driver making the adventure much more feasible.

(Side note: Shout-out to Scott, one of the chefs — I believe — for chatting with me about the venue for what had to be the longest 17 minutes of your life. I listened to the voice note of our conversation and it was the longest 17 minutes of my life, so I feel your pain.)

By the time we finally arrived, it was pretty much time for my co-workers to throw in the towel. They'd been rallying since escaping the office as well and it's safe to say we should have all been home. Before they left, however, they took the time to take me on a private tour of the humongous venue.

The space is broken up into rooms, each serving a different purpose. From the moment you enter, you'll notice an arcade room featuring old school games and next door, in another enclosed room, the attraction everyone's talking about: karaoke.

I was shocked I literally couldn't hear patrons belting out songs while standing in the main bar area — soundproof glass. No more shame karaoke lovers, you can sing as loud as you want!

But that wasn't even the best part of 8.2.0. If you're like me and you love secrets, you'll be floored at the secret room featuring a library, record player, lounge chairs and jazz music over the speakers. Try not to narc, like I almost did; knowledge of this hideout is a privilege, not a right. I'd suggest sitting back and watching customers to see where the entrance is.

Brought to you by the same owners of VBGB, 8.2.0 adds something quite unique to the nightlife scene in Charlotte. Feeling karaoke? They got you. Feeling like playing a few games? They got you. As my new friend (hopefully) put it, "It's hard to get bored of."

And if you do get bored, you can eat your face off in their pizzeria. Thankfully, I'd at least had a slice before chatting my man Scott's head off.

What's featured on the menu? All the gourmet "za" your heart can handle, including a cauliflower-crust option for you calorie counters.

Meatballs, cauli-balls, pommes frites (cooked extra crispy for those that end up eating them at home anyways), dips and salads. Your midnight munchies will thank you.

Four bars, outdoor patio, massive event space, karaoke, arcade games, secret rooms and a late night menu. Does it get much better than that? Be sure to check out 8.2.0, if you haven't already, and share your experience with me at backtalk@clclt.com!

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