The Belk Theater at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is the premiere theater in uptown Charlotte to attend Broadway shows. Located at 130 N. Tryon Street, Belk Theater is surrounded by restaurants, bars, and other forms of entertainment in uptown. The theater hosts multiple Broadway shows, concerts, speakers and other events. While Belk Theater hosted many Broadway shows for 2018 including The Lion King and The Book of Mormon, the most anticipated show to come to Charlotte this year was Hamilton.
Belk theater offers multi-level seating with tiered ticket pricing. There are a few impaired viewing seats along the sides of the theater. I would not recommend purchasing any seats available with impaired viewing. If you purchase seats further in the back, consider bringing glasses or wearing contacts to see everything and everyone on stage. Each level has their own bar area and bathrooms. Bars are open before the show and during intermission. One great tip is to pre-order your intermission snacks and beverages for pickup. This saves precious time during intermission instead of waiting in line for the bathroom and bar. Pre-orders are arranged by last name and require a receipt or photo ID for pickup.
I was fortunate enough to purchase reasonably priced tickets through CarolinaTix for one of the Hamilton shows. Blocks of seats were released daily for purchase while Hamilton was in Charlotte, NC. Hamilton is an amazing show with incredible writing and creativity. It was the best written show I have ever seen. There is a reason why shows sell out even when tickets are twice as much as any other Broadway production. I highly recommend going to see Hamilton if you enjoy Broadway productions and want to see the best show currently on tour.
Flour Shop is a gourmet American style restaurant located on the backside of Park Road Shopping Center in Charlotte, NC. They opened for business in January of 2018. The inside of the restaurant centers around the open air kitchen where you can watch the owner make pasta or see meat cooked over an open flame. As of November 2018, Flour Shop offers Open Table reservations for guests. I recommend you take advantage of Open Table since the restaurant is quite popular. Outside the back of the restaurant is a nice patio for drinks and food with casual seating. The true magic happens at the bar with the kitchen in front and your favorite date to the side.
Flour Shop is open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. My wife and I went for during during the week and waited around 20 minutes for bar seats. Their drink menu is larger than the dinner menu. They offer a lovely wine list along with mixed cocktails and craft beers. There are many wines available by the glass that you are welcome to try before placing a drink order. Many local craft beers are on draft. You will surely find a drink of choice during your visit. My favorite choice for dinner was the Napa, California Cabernet Sauvignon pictured.
The dinner menu contains about 17 different food choices between appetizers and entrees with a few specials as well. While the options are somewhat limited, the taste and quality of them is very high. We enjoyed the mussels appetizer special with a tasty red sauce containing chucks of pork. For dinner, we decided to order two entrees and share them.
Flour Shop makes their own fresh pasta. I encourage you to try at least one pasta dish during your first visit. My wife has been to Italy multiple times and believes the pasta at Flour Shop was just as good. She ordered the Strozzapreti with shrimp, breadcrumbs, and pistou pasta. It was a great choice and they were even able to make it without butter.
Our server highly suggest we try the Barbecued Spanish Octopus with chorizo, potato puree, and saffron broth. He said it has been a staple on their menu since opening. This dish was the best Spanish octopus dish we have had in Charlotte. The pieces were large and flavorful along with the chorizo. The egg and potato pulled everything together nicely. The broth of the dish has an olive oil base. I especially enjoyed eating the puree soaked in the both between bites of the chorizo and octopus.
It is rare for my wife and I to order desserts when dining out. However, my wife really likes olive oil cake and wanted to try it. She has enjoyed it immensely in Italy, but is usually disappointed when she has it in the United States. After one bite of the cake, she was praising its moisture and flavor. She said it was the best olive oil cake she has ever had outside of Italy.
We thoroughly enjoyed every dish ordered at Flour Shop as well as the wine. I wholeheartedly recommend you make plans to visit Flour Shop for your next date night or dinner outing with friends. I know my wife and I will be back again before Christmas to experience more of the menu and cozy atmosphere.
I had the opportunity to take out-of-town guests to Bang Bang Burgers in Charlotte's Southend neighborhood. The Southend location opened in March of 2018. The original Bang Bang Burgers restaurant is located in Charlotte's Elizabeth neighborhood. Both locations are open 11am to 10pm daily. The signature dishes at Bang Bang Burgers are their double patty gourmet burgers. A great burger starts with its ingredients. Bang Bang Burgers uses artisan breads and quality meat to craft multiple burger options. They also have a few non-beef sandwich options as well as salad bowls. Their burgers and sandwiches come a-la-cart with optional sides such as fries and onion rings.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I would have to agree that the photograph of the Seoul 2.0 with fries speaks for itself. This delicious burger option comes with a beef patty, pork belly, burger toppings, and a spicy mayo sauce. The french fries are also very good and a recommended add-on. For those interested in something with less calories, Bang Bang Burgers offers a few different salad bowl options. The one pictured below is a Salmon Bowl. I was informed that the quality and taste was great.
When it comes to beverages, Bang Bang Burger offers non-alcoholic fountain beverages and craft beer. I was pleasantly surprised to see local craft beer available on draft. The prices were reasonable for food and drinks considering the quality of food served. There is a side room for people to gather and a nice front porch for outside seating. My guests enjoyed Bang Bang Burgers for lunch and would definitely return again. I recommend you visit Bang Bang Burgers on your next Southend adventure for a casual and tasty meal.
The AvidXchange Music Factory is an entertainment venue near Uptown Charlotte. There are multiple bars, restaurants, clubs, and concert venues located in one complex. World is one of the nightlife clubs at the Music Factory open on the weekends. The club focuses on hosting Electronic Dance Music concerts and other related events. I had the opportunity to visit World recently for a weekend EDM show featuring Tritonal.
I have been to the nightclub before when it was known as Label. New management took over the nightclub last year and made improvements in security and customer experience. Many of the events held at World are EDM concerts. You can except fast-paced music, flashing lights, confetti, and other visual effects. The opening act typically starts between 10 and 11 p.m. with the main act coming on around midnight. The concert usually ends around 2 a.m. There are three types of tickets available for shows. General admission tickets give you access to the floor space of the venue with bars on either side and bathrooms behind the stage. These tickets are the least expensive option with prices varying by show. You should expect to spend $20-40 for a general admission ticket. Prices vary depending on the popularity of the artist. The next level of ticket available is for the VIP area. This area is above the floor space on the right-hand side of the venue. You get a bird's eye view of the concert along with a separate bar and bathroom just for VIP ticket holders. These tickets range from $10-30 more than a general admission ticket. The third option to attend a show is to buy a service table service for a group of people. This is much more expensive than a normal ticket, but it does include alcohol, mixers, a private seating area, and table service for your group. It is common to see people celebrating a birthday or special event when purchasing a table service package.
Over time I have purchased floor and VIP tickets depending on the artist and pricing. I almost always buy a VIP ticket because it is less crowded and a better view of the show. However, you do not get the same vibe from the crowd and have much less space to move around in the VIP. The floor space is a better option for those that want to jump, dance, and be fully immersed in the show. World is one of the more intimate venues I have been in to see popular EDM artists like Hardwell, Blau, and Borgeous. The size of the venue allows you to always have a good view of the artists and visual effects. I am thankful to have a concert venue in Charlotte that brings my favorite EDM artists to town.
I spent the last weekend in uptown Charlotte with friends and family. Many of us visited the 7th Public Street Market for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. The market is a great location for reasonably priced food and beverages while in uptown. There are two shops at the market that sell local crafts and wine in case you want to shop a bit. A light rail station sits conveniently outside the building for quick and easy access to Charlotte. Out of the 13 vendors inside the market, my personal favorite is Bonsai Fusion.
Bonsai Fusion sells sushi, poke bonsai, and bonsai burritos. The poke bonsai are similar to a poke bowl you would order at other restaurants. Each poke bonsai is priced at $8.50 for a small and $14.50 for a large. Bonsai burritos are basically a poke bowl with sushi rice wrapped inside a tortilla. The Chop Chop, pictured below, includes sashimi fish, carrots, lettuce, jalapeno, beets, and spicy mayo. I also like to add soy sauce to the wrap as I eat it. Each burrito is $11.00 and come in various configurations.
The 7th Street Public Market is open daily with varied weekend hours. If you are planning to drive, you can get parking validated for the first 90 minutes with any purchase. Just make sure you park in the 7th Street Parking Garage. I hope you give Bonsai Fusion a try during your next trip to Uptown Charlotte.