Life's full of little victories and thus excuses to celebrate: birthdays, achieved goals, new gigs, promotions, engagements and break-ups. Last week, I celebrated for the sake of celebrating, starting Thursday night at Grand Central. Grand Central claims to be a taste of Manhattan in Charlotte. I hate to break it to them, but it's really just a local dance club ... that doesn't even serve champagne. What a way to put a damper on the celebration. Or, should I say, dry it up?
If you want Big Apple flava in the Queen City, go to Plaza-Midwood. In this diverse 'hood, you will find the goth scene adjacent to the hip-hop one, which is right down the street from the hippie hang-out. Plaza-Midwood's nightspots are as eccentric and diverse as their patrons. Check these out: Fire & Ice, Creation, the Penguin, Thomas Street Tavern, Joe's Raw Bar -- and the newest addition to the 'hood, the Goblin.
On Friday, I stopped by the Goblin's grand opening party. On hand to welcome the new spot to the P-M were Jimmy King, Brad Fury, Andy Cauble and John Marlow -- also known as DRAT. DRAT is not just a band comprised of local artists that collect musical equipment. They're a significant Charlotte entity, having rocked the live music scene for a decade, playing a range of styles from punk to pop (sans the cheese). I met up with the band at Creation where they told me that their high-energy music caters to their own musical taste, not that of the mainstream. Since they play to have fun, not become rock stars, it's hard to do anything but have a blast at their shows.
"We're excited to welcome Goblin to our neighborhood, but it will always be the Steeple to us," drummer John Marlow said.
Before it was the Goblin, the site housed Pure Platinum and before that, the Steeple. Prior to the Steeple's residency, it was a church. There is something about partying in an old church that made me feel sinful. The bottom level of the bar was dark with black walls and covered windows, the only form of light emanating from neon strobe lights and orange-lit chandeliers. It reminded me more of a haunted house party than a bar, especially since the bar was alcohol-free. The Goblin had yet to get their liquor license, so the opening was B.Y.O.B. Meanwhile, the second floor served as an eccentric art gallery full of masochistic-style paintings. I was catching the crowd's feel good vibe; however, the chain accessories, dark make-up, and body art made me rethink my cowboy boots.
The sun shined on me Saturday when I got an invite to uber-exclusive party palace, the Sunset Club. It's where platinum playas and gold diggers come to smoke cigars and toast big bank. But don't let the name fool you; it's not actually a "club" like Forum or Crush. The Sunset Club resembles a country club, but the cover charge is a yearly membership. The exception to this exclusivity is "Suite 106 Saturdays," where you can pay a reasonable cover to mix and mingle with Charlotte's really rich and somewhat famous.
"If it gets so crowded that it's too difficult to get a drink, we stop the door," Sunset Club owner Rick Gur said. Now wouldn't it be nice if every Charlotte bar owner shared that mentality? Sunset has the ambiance of a mansion's drawing room, and everyone was sure to make me feel right at home. But once again, my beloved cowboy boots were a fashion faux pas. They didn't quite go with the high heels, bling-bling and fur decorating the women.
The crowds at the Sunset Club and the Goblin couldn't be more different. But they shared one major similarity: they were all fun-loving peeps ready to party, welcoming to me and my poor cowboy boots.
Daylight savings time darkened my weekend celebration. Between Paul Oakenfold spinning at Scorpio, the Milestone benefit at Amos' SouthEnd and assorted events associated with For Sister's Only at the Convention Center, an hour was valuable party time lost. Guess I will have to celebrate even harder next weekend to make up for it.