Immediately upon entering Amos’ At The Lake, you have to choose: Turn right for the bar and restaurant area or turn left to join the crowd enjoying the live band. The staff at Amos’ ultimately wants you to do both. But make no mistake: Amos’ mission is to showcase live music for Lake Norman residents to enjoy. “First and foremost we’re a live music venue,” says Vallie Blair, the venue’s manager. Amos’ At The Lake opened last November on West Catawba Avenue in Cornelius. “Our goal is to host a variety of bands so that people don’t see the same band or hear the same style of music over and over again. A band that’s playing this weekend may not be back for a couple of months.” If you recognize the Amos name, you’re familiar with Charlotte’s live music scene, of which Amos’ Southend has been a part for over a decade. Owner John Ellison is a fixture in Charlotte’s music scene and also a Lake Norman resident. “For years people have been telling John to open an Amos’ near Lake Norman, so he finally listened to his neighbors,” laughs Blair. Many bands appearing at the Tryon Street location appeal to Lake Norman residents, but the drive doesn’t. “There’s a need for a place like (that) in this region,” Blair says. Amos’ books bands from all over the area, but is committed to supporting local music. “There are a lot of great bands around Lake Norman, and we want to support local artists as much as possible.” On a Saturday night not long ago, people were enjoying flashback hits from The Breakfast Club, dubbed Charlotte’s favorite retro 80’s band. Couples seated in the restaurant area munch on everything from sandwiches to wings to salads. Of the two Amos’ establishments, the Cornelius location is the only one serving food and the kitchen remains open until closing. Other friends gather in the club area, enjoying drinks and belting out lyrics to Van Halen and Corey Hart.But don’t let the music genre fool you into guessing the audience’s demographics. “We’ll host a show and have 16-year-olds and 70-year-olds in the audience,” says Blair. For many shows the age limit is 16 or 18, and the staff does a thorough job of monitoring the under-21 crowd, using stamps, wristbands and extra security to prohibit under-age drinking. “It’s cool to see a mom and her daughter jamming to the same bands,” Blair says. Both Amos’ locations partner with Street Wise Music, a Charlotte-based school of rock providing private music instruction for ambitious young rock stars. One Street Wise program, Rock Shop, is a 10-week series during which kids work with musicians to create set lists, learn stage performance techniques and more. The program concludes with the kids performing on stage at live music venues like Amos’ At The Lake. So if you’re son aspires to be the next Eddie Van Halen or your daughter does a wicked imitation of Lady Gaga, check out Street Wise’s Rock Shop. But if a night away from the kids and the opportunity to hear some adults jam is in order, put Amos’ At The Lake on your list of places to go.
Want to go?Amos’ At The Lake 19501 West Catawba Avenue, Cornelius704-895-6875, www.amosatthelake.comHours: Wednesday – Thursday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday – Saturday, 6 p.m. – 2 a.m.