The ritzy members-only Charlotte City Club is undergoing a major renovation this year, adding a new bar with panoramic 32nd-floor city views, a cigar lounge with a balcony, and an open-air garden.
You too can enjoy it for the low, low price of a $1,250-$5,000 initiation fee — plus the monthly fees of $119-$179.
It’s pricy, yes, but Charlotte City Club is a landmark in Uptown.
Its members, about a thousand of them, are Charlotte’s bank executives and industry leaders and people with names you may recognize. (The club’s general manager, John Scharer, is not at liberty to share them.)
Background: The private club started in 1947, and has been in the top two floors of the 121 West Trade building since 1990. It’s a hub for business and networking, but there’s also a social element. That’s something the new and improved Charlotte City Club will be playing up come September when construction is complete (and when pandemic safety guidelines allow for socializing).
Renovations: The second floor of the club was previously used more as a private event space; now it’ll be the primary gathering area for club members with a new cigar lounge, terrace, and an expansive dining and bar area. The lower club level will be for private event space once the renovations are complete.
There will also be a computer lounge with soundproof booths and a “huddle room” for up to six guests.
The bar and dining area have especially impressive views — you can see Corporate Center, the Duke building, Bank of America Stadium, and Truist Field. The interior design is also pretty snazzy with a regal curved stairwell and enough wine storage for 1,000 or more bottles.
There will also be a chef’s table with a direct view of the kitchen that can seat six to eight.
Membership: There are a few steps to becoming a member. First, you have to be sponsored to apply for membership. If you’re new to the area, though, the staff will help you through this.
Then, you’ll have to present at least two references in your application. Next, the membership committee will review your application. If you’re accepted, you’ll pay an initiation fee of $1,250 to $5,000 (depending on your age and membership level).
Cost: After the initial fee of up to $5,000, there’s a monthly fee ($119-$179) and a quarterly $75 food and beverage minimum. These costs will increase once construction wraps up, considering the new amenities.
[Related Agenda guide: How much does it cost to join Charlotte City Club?]
What members get: There’s a long list of perks that members get at the Charlotte City Club. Here are a few highlights:
- Access to the club for anything from business meetings to dining to private events.
- Invites to social and networking events, including buffets for every Panthers game.
- Opportunity to join affinity clubs and interest groups like the Barley & Hops Society (a.k.a. beer club) and the Gridiron Club, which meets with former NFL players to discuss football. These clubs can cost up to $450 annually.
- Golf privileges at local country clubs in Davidson, Lake Wylie, and Gastonia.
- Wine and cigar storage.
Getting there: To get to the club, park in the deck off of 4th Street, just past Tryon Street. You’ll see a small sign labeled Charlotte City Club. Then take an elevator to the building’s lobby, and then another one to “LC” or lower club, the 31st floor. If you’re walking, look for the sign for Reid’s Uptown and then take the elevator up from there.
Here’s a look around the space under construction:
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