If anyone is doubting Charlotte's climb as a world-class city, the cynics need to check out Suite, the sleekly designed nightclub with a big-city feel that opened last weekend in the EpiCentre. After a two-day grand-opening party in which the lines of people waiting to get in stretched out the door, Suite is sure to become Charlotte's next hot spot.
The Scene: The club is divided into three different sections – or suites. Behind the high-tech DJ booth is the Club Suite, a sleek seating area with black leather chairs accented by a textured wall with fluorescent lighting. Next to that is the Hardwood Suite, so named for the beautiful dark wood floors of the dance floor. The Hardwood Suite is slightly raised from the main floor and includes five VIP booths. Modern-looking mirrors line the wall and track lighting seems to twinkle from the ceiling. Another area called the Executive Suite includes a separate bar and is decorated in deep, rich, earth tones – chocolate-brown leather stools, a bar whose top reminded me of a chocolatey swirl, and Ralph Lauren suede paint. My favorite detail: the faux-crocodile wallpaper used as a subtle accent.
But the focal point of the club is its half-moon-shaped main bar. The bar area has a South Beach feel to it, with lots of white and slate gray, mod bar stools, intimate lighting and glass garage doors that open up to the Skyview Terrace, overlooking the heart of uptown. The terrace is decorated in the same trendy fashion as the rest of the club – green banquets and ottoman seating, plants and silver high-top tables.
Each suite and the terrace tables are available for rent, with bottle service and a private waitress. No doubt the men will appreciate the lingerie-clad cocktail waitresses and female bartenders. The ladies' uniform includes black or gray lace corset tops and black hot pants.
Some kinks still need to be worked out. The bartenders looked overwhelmed by the amount of people clamoring for drinks late Thursday night, and some people waited as long as 45 minutes to close their tabs. And the cocktail waitresses might need a refresher course in job responsibilities – I saw one taking shots with her customers.
A couple of other drawbacks: It's definitely not smoke-free and seating is limited, unless you want to pay $350-$450 for bottle service.
The Crowd: Young professionals dressed to kill. Women wore short, slinky dresses or jeans and sparkly halter tops. Guys were in blazers and button-downs.
Overheard: “I want another Segway.”
The Music: It definitely had more of a loungey feel to it early in the night, with house music playing at a reasonable decibel, before the DJ cranked up the energy (and the volume) with Britney Spears, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Run DMC, Kanye West, Nelly Furtado and Snoop Dogg.
Suite is located on the third floor of 210 E. Trade St. in the EpiCentre. 704-999-7934. www.suitecharlotte.com.