Club is KISSed with South Beach touches

Another Charlotte nightclub is having its grand opening this weekend – and it's not uptown or in the EpiCentre for once.

KISS Lounge, a venture by the owners of Sunset Club, opens Saturday. The staff spent last weekend doing a test run with private parties – including a going-away bash for former Carolina Panther Kris Jenkins.

If you're willing to overlook the club's location (West Woodlawn Road, in the same shopping center as The Gentlemen's Club and The Red Door), KISS is a good way to get out of the usual uptown scene.

The Scene: Co-owner Nick Spain says he and fellow owners Sonny and Rick Gur were going for a “secluded, South Beach feel” to the new club. It's an intimate space – about 3,800 square feet – but feels much larger thanks to the high, exposed ceilings. The décor is light and airy – all white with silver details. Table service is offered at dark leather couches and raised beds – a South Beach staple. Cocktail waitresses in little black dresses serve drinks off silver platters. There's no dance floor, but there is a stage and other raised platforms for go-go dancers.

A patio out back with about a dozen tables and a small bar is beautifully landscaped and lighted with candles. On this particular night, two young feline friends were the major attraction on the patio – a 6-week-old white tiger and a 6-week-old lion from Tiger World in Rockwell.

The nightclub/lounge will also serve food – small plates, tapas style. Smoking is allowed only at the bar.

The Music: A mix of Top 40 and hip-hop, including Kanye West, Jay-Z and Rihanna. But don't expect to hear the same music every night. Spain says the club will bring in a variety of DJs. At the club's grand opening this weekend, a mix of electronic and Top 40 music will be on the playlist.

The Crowd: “We don't want the same people every night,” Spain says – that's why there's such a mix of music/events planned. At Jenkins' party, it was a diverse crowd of young urban professionals, with a few Panthers players enthusiastically partaking in the buffet.

If you go: Order the club's signature KISStini.

Details: KISS is located at 204 W. Woodlawn Road. www.kisscharlotte.com.

Sunset reopening soon

The Sunset Club, closed for renovations, is tentatively scheduled to reopen the first week of August, Spain tells me.