Being a Virginia Tech alum, when the Hokies got stuck and sucked into the NIT ("Not Invited (to real) Tournament"), the NCAA became about as interesting to me as the NBA playoffs will be if the Bobcats aren't involved. So, rather than wallowing in "March Sadness," I opted to save my $5 and not fill out a bracket. Instead, I invested my effort into CL's Bar Madness bracket. From the First Call to the Sippin' 16, Inebriated Eight and down to the Faded Four, the bars in Charlotte face off in this popularity contest to be crowned the best bar in Charlotte.
But this brings a question to mind -- what makes for a champion bar? For some, it's a good ambiance, strong drinks or half-naked bartenders. For me, it's a good patio to party on. And there are a lot of patios overlooking Charlotte nightlife.
My fave four on a bracket of patios would include Selwyn Pub, Solstice Tavern, Loft 1523 and Bucks County Tavern.
Where and what the hell is Bucks, you may be wondering. Well, it's a neighborhood bar on Central Avenue. On the inside you'll find a poker and pool hall -- but outside it's a full-blown Tiki bar with everything short of hula dancers. That is, except when I'm there.
Meanwhile, the patio at the Myers Park neighborhood bar Selwyn Pub is bigger than the actual bar. The fireplaces give it a cozy mountain lodge feel, and the massive tree in the middle makes me feel like I'm in 100-acre woods. I keep hoping Tigger will come pounce on me and party with me.
As for Solstice's patio, it's not just the VT banners or the fact a Hokie built it by hand that puts it on the top of my list -- it's the backyard BBQ feel that makes this hipster hang-out hip.
And Loft 1523 has a nice view of the city. That's pretty much all I have to say about that.
Meanwhile, the lake to the north has a lot of good patios, such as Rusty Rudder and Midtown Sundries -- obviously because there's a lake attached.
Go online to vote for your favorite bar -- www.clclt.com/barmadness