Sometimes, Charlotte has a reputation for being less than vibrant on the weekends, but we’re not sure why! Charlotte has got some of the newest and most innovative cocktail bars that you’ll be stoked to try this holiday season. From tropical pop ups to cocktail bars-meets-speakeasy to cocktails that combine some eccentric, delicious ingredients. Here are 8 of the newest openings and best classic cocktail bars in the city.
The Royal Tot is your one-stop, pop-up tropical paradise called Rumway Cove thats’s set up shop at Refuge. Until November 13th, you’ll be able to enjoy tropical cocktails like the Painkiller, a cocktail that combines rum, cream of coconut, pineapple, orange, lime, and nutmeg. There’s also the Ships Ahoy, a cocktail with 5-year aged rum and barrel-aged bitters. They’ve got an exciting announcement for what’s coming up next, so we’ll keep you posted.
Novelty House is a brand new rooftop bar that opened this summer in Uptown complete with a beautiful floral design. The designer, Nga Vu Designs, will be updating the bar to include a beautiful holiday-themed floral display that’ll serve as the perfect background for a photo opp. Dress smart casual, take the elevator five floors up to the beautiful rooftop, and enjoy a signature cocktail in style.
Where: 123 E 5th St Suite 500, Charlotte, NC 28202
Charlotte’s most classic cocktail lounge, Dot Dot Dot, has some of the best crafted cocktails in Charlotte. From their Asian-flavored Lemongrass Gin Gin Mule to their Slowroad to India cocktail with bombay gin, cordial, lemon, basil tincture, and fever tree tonic. These are the perfect cocktails for someone with a more adventurous taste but if you like classic, Dot Dot Dot does those just as well. Try an Old Fashioned with the finest bourbon they can find, simple syrup, and orange and cherry, or even choose from their fine selection of wine.
Where: 4237 Park Rd B, Charlotte, NC 28209
The Cellar at Duckworth’s is an amazing display of hand-crafted cocktails and mixologist knowledge. Their menu showcases all of their cocktails and ingredients, such as their Asian Pear cocktail with pear and ginger or their Where There’s Smoke with peach and lemon. They’ve also got smoked cocktails if you fancy something with a bit of a flair. The Cellar is also known for their carefully selected and rare beer list, as well as their food selections, like char-grilled oysters and lamb gyoza dumplings.
Where: 330 N Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28202
Soul Gastrolounge is one of the old-school, classic cocktail bars here in Charlotte that does delicious gastropub food, like Dirty South Nachos, Falafel, and Asian Glazed Pork Belly Tacos. For the main attraction, try something from their cocktail menu, like their Death Before Decaf with Brandy, cardamon cream, and nitro cold brew or their Rose Bundy with gin, carrot sage honey, lemon, and rose brut.
Where: 1500 B Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205
Cordial is one of the leading spots in beautiful, elegant cocktails. They recently did a Halloween pop up where they created signature drinks, like one draped in a red fruit leather coat, and the one pictured above called the Sea Witch cocktail. The next time you want an inventive cocktail, head over to Cordial on top of the AC Hotel in Southpark. They don’t accept reservations so make sure to get there early on busy weekend nights.
Where: 1824 Roxborough Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211
Bardo is a chef-driven restaurant with a full cocktail menu and wine menu as well. For a cocktail, we’d recommend their You’re Turning Violette, with gin, creme de violette, pama, blueberry, lime, and egg white. They’ve recently been dabbling in natural wine tastings (natural wines are less filtered, more flavor-forward) and full course tasting menus as well for the best of everything.
Where: 1508 S Mint St, Charlotte, NC 28203
[featured image by cordialclt via instagram]