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Nightlife

By Theoden Janes

Posted: Monday, Nov. 22, 2010

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In the battle for dominance of the nightlife scene here in Charlotte, the EpiCentre (210 E. Trade St., www.epicentrenc.com) is winning.

The $180 million complex is home to nearly a dozen bars. In addition to NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Whisky River, there are spots to bowl (StrikeCity), catch a movie (Mez), hear a summer concert (The Pavilion) and howl at the moon (Howl at the Moon). You can also pair your drinks with everything from wings (Wild Wing Cafe) to sushi (Enso Asian Bistro & Sushi Bar) to steak (Fleming’s Steakhouse).

But the NC Music Factory (820 Hamilton St., www.ncmusicfactory.com) on the northwest edge of uptown continues to stake its claim as a formidable competitor. Anchored by Road Runner Mobile Amphitheatre, a 5,000-capacity venue, and the 2,000-capacity Fillmore Charlotte (both of which regularly book major-label artists), the Factory features pub-oriented Black Bear Saloon, frozen-drink-oriented Wet Willie’s and upscale clubs Halo and Butter.

Other areas popular among partiers:

Ballantyne Village

This south Charlotte complex – on the southwest corner of Johnston Road and Ballantyne Commons Parkway – appeals strongly to the over-40 crowd, with places like Villa Antonio (which becomes extremely dance-friendly after dinner hours) and D’Vine Wine Cafe (which has more than 600 selections and 2,000 bottles). Details: www.ballantynevillage.com.

Birkdale Village

This Huntersville food and drink mecca – just west of Interstate 85 at the exit for Sam Furr Road – offers varied options, including something for the sports fan (Fox & Hound), something for the wine connoisseur (Corkscrew Wine Shop & Bar) and plenty of sake over at the popular eeZ Fusion & Sushi. Details: www.birkdalevillage.net.

South End

Just outside of uptown, this laid-back neighborhood boasts ultra-loungy Sunset Club (1820 South Blvd., www.sunsetclubcharlotte.com) and The Liberty (1812 South Blvd., www.thelibertycharlotte.com), which is a craft-beer lovers’ paradise just across the parking lot.

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