If my punk rock upbringing taught me one thing, it’s that there’s nothing less cool than being a rich suit.
After ten years in Charlotte, I’ve seen wealthy people in finance, tech, and development systematically destroy a lot of really cool spots in the city.
Here’s how it works:
- Step 1: Cool place pops up
- Step 2: Cool locals love cool place
- Step 3: Rich transplants find out about cool place
- Step 4: Rich transplants move into overpriced hideous apartment complexes to be close to cool place
- Step 5: Cool place closes because the property values from the hideous complexes forced them out of business
- Step 6: Repeat ad nauseam until Charlotte is just as bland and flavorless as whatever midwest city y’all blew in from.
But it ends here. If you make over 100 grand a year, please stay away from these 10 awesome spots.
This awesome rock and roll bar in Plaza Midwood is not going to make you a $16 cocktail with artisanal foam, so don’t bother coming.
It’s kind of like Dot Dot Dot because it’s members-only, but it differs from Dot Dot Dot because of literally everything else about it. It’s got a classic stripped down rock club look. There’s live music, but it won’t be some 19-year-old playing 90s R&B covers on a ukulele.
High-income earners, stay away.
This quintessential bar recently underwent a redesign to try and appeal to yuppies, so I hope you’re happy. The familiar yellow walls were painted sky blue, and the tatted waitstaff was replaced by some lady who called me “sugar.”
Duckworth’s is all about drinking beer after beer while you watch sports. If more of the 1% show up, they might stop putting pictures of the food on their menu and we can’t have that.
If I see one person in a J. Crew blue button up dress shirt and Brooks Brothers khakis on the Common Market patio, I’m dumping out my PBR and leaving.
This bottle shop is one of the few places in Charlotte that’s still just as cool as it was when I moved here ten years ago.
It’s got craft beer, quirky snacks, great sandwiches, and the most fashionable regulars in the city. If you work for a bank, go drink somewhere else.
Kickstand’s burgers are incredible, their $2.50 draft special is all day everyday, and their love of biking reminds me of Brooklyn circa-2005 proto hipster aesthetics.
Do not drive your BMW into this gravel lot with your Elevation family and start gentrifying the dining room.
Only two kinds of people go to Boardwalk Billy’s: college students and parents visiting their college students.
Did you see me say “patent attorney and his wife, a pharmaceutical sales rep” anywhere in there? Those of us who still occasionally struggle to pay bills can enjoy sipping inexpensive cocktails and eating one of the best buffalo wraps in town on the waterfront patio. No normies allowed.
Hattie’s is right between NoDa and Plaza Midwood, nowhere near all the development choking out both the neighborhoods.
It’s got pool tables, an awesome fenced in patio, and the best part is the classic console video games like Mario Kart and Street Fighter. Gamers rise up. Chads aren’t welcome.
Nothing gets on my nerves more than driving down my dearly departed North Davidson and seeing polos and boat shoes. Thanks for killing the neighborhood, Richy Riches.
But once I drive far enough past them, I get to places like Salud Beer Shop, where the spirit of NoDa still lives. This spot has a great selection of craft beers, many of them local, and not a Bud Light in sight, so don’t bother leaving Haberdish to come check it out.
This isn’t technically a bar, but West Charlotte isn’t technically West End, so I’m counting it anyway.
I kind of want to trick Charlotte developers into thinking West Charlotte is haunted like a Scooby-Doo villain or something. Anything to keep them away from it.
Blue Blaze Brewing is cool, with group yoga and great beer, but I fear it may attract the kind of Charlotteans who use words like “rejuvenate” and “revitalize.”
“If a restaurant made a Black Trash Burger, it would be racist, so why is a White Trash Burger okay?”
These are the kinds of conversations we’d have to overhear if people with six-figure salaries start crowding Pinky’s.
This gem of Charlotte dining is famous for funky fusions like fried turkey, corn dog shrimp, and crab puppies. The paleo keto gluten-free types would ruin its greasy goodness.
Rich people already ruined Amos’ once, when rising property costs forced them to close, and I don’t want you guys to do it again when they re-open in 2019.
This venue featured my favorite bands in high school, like Say Anything and Taking Back Sunday. I legitimately moved to Charlotte in part for Amos’ Southend.
Rich people, I promise no yacht rock is being played here, so you won’t be missing anything.