Date Night in the Queen City

date night in the queen city

Plan the perfect date night with our staff’s favorite restaurants!

Do you want to plan the perfect date night in the Queen City for Valentine’s Day? Whether you will be with your significant other or your besties, have no fear friends, we’ve got you covered! Check out some of our staff’s favorite date night restaurants below, and what to order at each.

Soul Gastrolounge

Soul Gastrolounge, located on the edge of Plaza Midwood, is hip yet cozy and perfect for a one on one date night. They serve a variety of small plates, sushi, and handcrafted cocktails. After dinner, enjoy music until 2 am with one of their resident DJs.

What to order: Pork Belly Tacos, Ramen Bowl, Shells & Cheese, Fried Brussel Sprouts, Lamb Lollipops, Supernova Sushi Roll. Find the full menu here.

Barcelona Wine Bar

The cuisine is clean and rustic, with Mediterranean, Spanish, and South American influenced tapas. There are nearly 400 wines featured on the wine list, so there’s something for everyone. Located in South End just steps away from Jenis Ice Cream (the perfect place for dessert).

What to order: Mussels, Grilled Hanger Steak, Patatas Bravas, Brussel Sprouts. Find the full menu here.

Bistro La Bon

Bistro La Bon is described as a “one-of-a-kind dining experience that celebrates culinary influences from all over the world.” They have locations in both Plaza Midwood and Cotswold. They offer a selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes.

What to order: Pan Seared Gnocci, Lamb Shank, Bouillilabaisse, and wild mushroom ravioli. View the full menu here.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

Firebirds is an American restaurant and steakhouse known for its scratch kitchen, bold flavors and inviting atmosphere, and perfect date night spot. With 3 locations in the Charlotte area, you are never too far away for an enjoyable dinner.  Make reservations while you still can for the amazing “Table for Two” menu being offered until March 1, 2020. See the special menu here.


Angeline’s offers an Italian-influenced menu with house-made plates of pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and simple yet flavorful small plates. Stop by Merchant & Trade after for a rooftop drink overlooking our beautiful queen city!

What to order: They are offering a Valentine’s day special,  5 Course Beverage Pairing for $35 per Couple and the Shareable Tasting Menu is $85 for 2. View the Valentine’s Day menu here.

Other Staff Favorites:


Good Food on Montford

The Porter’s House

Jade Asian Fusion

Patio Season: 15 Fresh Places To Dine & Sip Al fresco in Charlotte

Al fresco season is almost here! Whether you’re looking for a secluded patio or prime street-side people watching, here are 15 great places you should be sipping and dining al fresco all spring and summer long.  

1. City Lights Rooftop

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City Lights is located on the 18th floor of the Le Meridien hotel. Charlotte’s newest and largest rooftop bar boasts unparalleled views paired an eclectic, street food inspired menu and hand-crafted cocktails. Dance and mingle next to the LED rooftop furniture and the weekly live music and rotating DJ roster. This is a casual fun spot to let your hair down and put your feet up to enjoy a sunset, cocktails, and bites.

2. Sycamore Brewing

Sycamore Brewing is a small, family owned craft brewery in Charlotte’s South End. The light-rail-side brewery with its inviting rustic taproom and large, string-light-filled beer garden has become a fast favorite on the Charlotte social scene. Their patio sets the stage for the ever-popular Food Truck Friday and is sure to be packed all weekend long.

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3. Dilworth Tasting Room

Located in the heart of Dilworth, this circa-1940’s style building creates an atmosphere reminiscent of the wine bars and Enotecas of Europe. They have an open air private courtyard/patio that is Charlottes premier secret garden, luxurious seating, and nearly 30 feet of mahogany, copper and steel bar from which one can partake from a bold and unique wine list focused on low-production, high-quality wines.

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4. SouthBound / Mac’s / The Music Yard

Neighbors Mac’s Speed Shop (a southern smokehouse) and SouthBound (a SoCal-inspired taco bar) are linked together by The Music Yard, a huge outdoor performance venue. The curb appeal of those three places packed with patrons creates an alluring “patio row” of sorts along the busy South Boulevard corridor. Catch a free spring music series in The Yard every Saturday in April and May .


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5. Barcelona Wine Bar

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6. The Suffolk Punch

Located in Southend, Suffolk Punch’s earthy feel, with dangling greenery and a glass tile backsplash behind the bar, is instantly welcoming.  The Suffolk Punch is a Brewery, Culinary Café & Taphouse, and Coffee Bar.  They serve coffee starting at 7:30 am on weekdays (9 am on the weekends,) have a unique menu with a variety of flavors, and offer over 50 beers on draft including over 20 made in house! Breakfast, lunch, dinner – brunch on weekends, wine & craft cocktails.

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7. Brewers at 4001 Yancey

Brewers at 4001 Yancey offer well-known Victory, Sixpoint and Southern Tier beer, but also brew locally inspired beers in the brew house. With an annual capacity of 10,000 barrels, the Brewers are crafting new recipes designed with the local community in mind, taking inspiration from local ingredients and trends. The chef driven menu incorporates their beers in over 90% of their recipes and each menu item can be perfectly paired with a pint.

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8. Legion Brewing South Park

Legion Brewing Company was born from the ethos that sharing good beer with friends is one of life’s great pleasures. Legion Brewing SouthPark is open 7 days a week and offers a full menu and two bars stocked with beer, wine and local spirits. You’ll find 39 at the downstairs bar, and 8 at the mezzanine bar. Popular Legion beers include Juicy Jay, Project Pils, Freedom Park and Carolina Sparkle Party.

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9. Roots Cafe

Locally sourced ingredients and handcrafted with love, Roots Cafe is a fast casual cafe experience. Grab a menu, place your order at the counter, choose your seat and the rest will be taken care of.

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10. Kid Cashew

Kid Cashew is a wood fire grill inspired by farmers, butchers and the Mediterranean. Located in Dilworth, Kid Cashew offers vegan and gluten free options. Whether enjoying $3 mimosas at brunch or $6 appetizers during happy hour, their passion is giving guests a chance to share flavors and laughter with their loved ones and friends.

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300 East has been serving the Dilworth neighborhood and greater Charlotte for 32 years. They are a family-owned and operated casual dining establishment serving a creative American-eclectic menu in a rehabbed, 1900 Victorian home. They offer lunch, dinner, cocktails & Sunday brunch!

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12. Hello, Sailor

Hello, Sailor offers a bright, sunny, casual restaurant and bar concept, open all day Tuesday – Sunday. The horseshoe-shaped bar is a main focal point in the dining room featuring beach-worthy cocktails like Cherry Lemon Sundrop Negroni Slushies and no-frills 40-ounce Miller High Life bottles. The deck along with its forthcoming tiki bar and the restaurant’s 20 dedicated boat slips are prime spots in the spring and summer time.

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Fahrenheit is situated above the Skye Condos on the 21st Floor.  With one of the best views in the Queen City, the 8,600-square-foot rooftop restaurant and bar gives guests an opportunity to enjoy indoor and outdoor dining. The spectacular bar and lounge opens up to the stunning roof area, where linear fireplaces offer ambiance to the wrap-around patio. Fahrenheit’s menu is “inventive, new American regional cuisine.” It is the chef’s dedication to using the finest and freshest, locally sourced seasonal ingredients, along with Asian insinuations, that make this fare uniquely his own.

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A vibrant Italian restaurant in uptown Charlotte. Stroll through their inviting entrance at West 3rd street, where their warm and convivial restaurant is a meeting place for both Charlotteans and out-of-towners. Angeline’s offers a modern, Italian-influenced menu in the form of house-made pastas, wood-fired pizzas and simple yet flavorful small plates in an energetic and comforting environment.

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Fern was designed to create a comfortable and earthy atmosphere, using reclaimed barn wood for tables and baseboards, and sourcing our ingredients from the best farms in the area. Fern focuses on plant-based and southern cuisine to create seasonal menus.

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Charlotte Ballet Presents – Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte

dancing with the stars John CulbertsonCharlotte Ballet’s annual gala fundraiser – Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte – pairs stars from the community with the professional dancers of Charlotte Ballet. Each vote in the competition counts as one dollar raised, with proceeds benefitting Charlotte Ballet as well as the stars’ chosen charities.

This year we are excited to support John Culbertson, managing partner for Cardinal Real Estate partners LLC who will be dancing in memory of his sister Ruth Samuelson. He will be dancing with Charlotte Ballet’s Sarah Lapointe to benefit ovarian cancer research at Levine Cancer Institute.

When not doing deals or spending time with his family, you will likely find John cycling in Northern Michigan or Linville or on the Booty Loop, running with the men of F3, or skiing the steeps of Alta. As an entrepreneur and business owner, John is not afraid to take risks, including on the dance floor. Often the first one on and the last one off the dance floor at a wedding reception, John likes to think he’s a talented dancer, especially to Earth Wind and Fire. His formal dance training includes the Promenade of Charlotte, where as a middle schooler he was taught the fox trot and cha cha by the famed dance instructor, Bubba Gross.

This year the event will take place on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at the Knight Theater at the Levine Center for the Arts. Tickets are on sale and selling fast. Purchase here.

 The 2018 community stars, their chosen charities and their professional dance partners are:

Gene Woods, President and Chief Executive Officer for Carolinas HealthCare System, Dancing with Charlotte Ballet’s Sarah Hayes Harkins to benefit The Eugene Woods Sr. Multiple Myeloma Fund at Carolinas HealthCare Foundation.

Patty Lambert, Civic Leader, Dancing with Charlotte Ballet’s Juwan Alston to benefit Community School of the Arts.

Jennifer Green, Western Carolinas Director of Wealth Management at PNC Bank, Dancing with Charlotte Ballet’s Drew Grant to benefit the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation.

Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, President of Central Piedmont Community College, Dancing with Charlotte Ballet’s James Kopecky to benefit The Opportunity Scholarship Program at Central Piedmont Community College.

David Secrest, Managing Director for Barings, Dancing with Charlotte Ballet’s Elizabeth Truell to benefit the Levine Children’s Hospital.

MBA Programs in Charlotte, NC

Do you have a full-time job in Charlotte but have always dreamed of getting your MBA? If so, you’re in luck! Charlotte is actually home to eight incredible MBA programs that all offer class times to accommodate individuals with day jobs. These eight programs include…


  1. Pfieffer University, Charlotte
  • Location: 4701 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28209
  • This MBA program offers a part-time schedule with an online and campus option
  • Average tuition: $655 per semester hour


  1. Northeastern University – Charlotte
  • Location: 101 N. Tryon Street, 11th floor Charlotte, NC 28202
  • This MBA program offers classes online only
  • Average tuition: $1,560 per credit hour


  1. Wingate University, Ballantyne
  • Location: 13024 Ballantyne Corporate Place, Suite 150, Charlotte, NA 28277
  • This university offers a part time program
  • Average tuition: $21,450 per year


  1. University of North Carolina – Charlotte
  • Location: 320 East 9th Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
  • This program offers both full time and part time schedules
  • Average tuition: Part time in-state: $9,822   Part time out-of-state: $19,701    Full time in-state: $13,278 Full time out-of-state: $26,449


  1. Strayer University of Charlotte
  • Location: 9101 Kings Parade Boulevard #200, Charlotte, NC 28273
  • Offers a “build-your-own” program with an online and campus option (or combination of the two), and the Jack Welsh Executive MBA program
  • Average tuition: Traditional MBA: $30,330     Jack Welsh Executive MBA: $39,000


  1. University of South Carolina – Charlotte
  • Location: BB&T Center, 200 S. College St., Suite 110, Charlotte, NC 28202
  • This university offers a part time professional MBA program
  • Average tuition: $37,936 per year


  1. Wake Forest University – Charlotte
  • Location: 200 North College Street, Suite 150, Charlotte, NC 28202
  • This university offers 2 part-time lock-step programs including evening MBA and Saturday MBA
  • Average tuition: $39,018 per year


  1. Queens University of Charlotte
  • Location: 1900 Selwyn Avenue Charlotte, NC 28209
  • This University offers flexible MBA schedules. Take classes on campus, online or a mixture of both.
  • Average tuition: Professional MBA- $41,500 Online MBA- $39,780

July 4th Happenings in Charlotte

Hanging out in the Queen City for July 4th?
Below are a few ways you can celebrate in and around Charlotte!

  • 4th of July Celebration at BB&T BallparkCatch the SkyShow Fireworks Spectacular after the Team USA and Team Cuba game on Tuesday, July 4th.
  • 4th of July Festival at US National Whitewater CenterLive music, indoor & outdoor activities and a fireworks display are just some of the fun activities taking place at the whitewater center on July 4th.
  • Waxhaw 4th of July Celebration: Head to downtown Waxhaw and kick off the morning with a parade at 10am followed by a beach party and fireworks in the evening.
  • 16th Annual 4th of July Pig Pickin’ in Plaza Midwood: Come out to Plaza Midwood from 4-1opm for a fun filled neighborhood crawl featuring BBQ and live music at many of the area restaurants including Soul Gastrolounge, Thomas Street Tavern, Whiskey Warehouse, Midwood Smokehouse, Legion Brewing, Moo & Brew & more!



Weekend Getaways To Explore This Summer!

getaways near charlotte

It’s officially Summer! The best thing about summer in Charlotte is the long weekends you can spend in the mountains, at the beach or somewhere in between. Check out our top picks for weekend getaways close to the Queen City.

A Blue Ridge Parkway experience is unlike any other: a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains & pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands.

Greenville, SC has combined traditional southern charm, stunning natural beauty, an unexpected contemporary cool and is quickly becoming a national destination. With a revitalized downtown that ranked among “America’s Ten Best” by Forbes Magazine, Greenville is a great escape for your next weekend getaway!

Asheville is the ultimate playground, with a wide range of outdoor adventures and the ideal destination for an active and healthy getaway. Known as an art colony, a healing retreat & a home to notable luminaries, statesmen and bohemians, Asheville is one of the most welcoming, vibrant cities in America, not to mention the incredible food & beer scene!

Just over 3 hours from the Queen City is Charleston, SC known for its rich history, well- preserved architecture, distinguished restaurants and nearby beaches. Charleston is a no-brainer if you’re looking for a vibrant downtown scene or an escape to the beach.

Take the time to wander off the beaten path and experience the history, beauty and charm Savannah has to offer. From cobblestone streets and gorgeous public parks to some of the most unique architecture of the South, Savannah is the perfect vacation destiantion for all ages. Don’t forget to visit Tybee Island, known for its wide, sandy beaches, just a short drive from downtown Savannah!

Charlotte’s Top 5 Most Walkable Neighborhoods

Charlotte, NC has so many beautiful neighborhoods to choose from, each with their own characteristics. We have the list for Charlotte’s top 5 most walkable neighborhoods for you as you search for your new home in the Queen City. As always, contact one of our neighborhood specialists any time to help you navigate the home buying experience.

Uptown Charlotte

Uptown Charlotte walkable neighborhood

Romare Bearden Park in Uptown Charlotte

Charlotte’s city center is known as “Uptown“(don’t be caught saying downtown!). It is divided into four wards, with the most walkable areas being First & Fourth Ward. The Fourth Ward area is the most popular for uptown living as you can walk to dining, entertainment and shopping areas. This area follows Graham and Poplar streets and boasts Discovery Place as well as Fourth Ward Park. You can find high-rise condos and Victorian homes dating back over 100 years. Take the historic walking tour to get a feel for this area.

First Ward is the center of sports and entertainment in Uptown! You will find The Spectrum Center(home to the Charlotte Hornets Basketball, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and Spirit Square. You will find high-rise condos and townhouses in this area. The Lynx light rail runs through all of uptown to make traveling to other neighborhoods south of town convenient.(North routes to UNC Charlotte coming in the future).

South End

southend charlotte walkable neighborhood

Atherton Mill in Southend *photo courtesy of WFAE Charlotte

The Historic SouthEnd district is known as a live/work/play community and is very popular amongst hipsters, professionals and young families. The craft beer scene in Charlotte has really exploded in the area as well converting old warehouse spaces and factories into breweries. Numerous art galleries and boutiques feature the work of local artists and can be seen on the monthly Gallery Crawls. You can find apartment living, condos and single family homes in this Historic district as well as 4 light rail stops to make traveling through the area even easier.

Plaza Midwood

Plaza Midwood is situated approximately 1 mile northeast of Uptown. The neighborhood has seen revitalization in the past decade and is now one of the “hippest” addresses to have in Charlotte. You can choose from great dining options as well as eclectic shops and antique stores. Young professionals as well as families can be seen out and about on any of the pedestrian friendly sidewalks which make this neighborhood very walkable. Choose from condos, bungalows, craftsman houses and ranch style homes in this neighborhood.


NoDa Charlotte walkable neighborhood

Art gallery crawl event in Charlotte’s NoDa Historic Art District community. Photo is part of a series of images taken during a July 2012 gallery crawl.

NoDa was once known as a tiny mill village but as artists started to move in the neighborhood it has become known as the Arts District in Charlotte. The area is situated along North Davidson street(hence the NoDa nickname). You can find live/work condos, restored mill homes, historical homes as well as new modern homes. You can find many places to eat, shop and listen to live music. The community is tight-knit and you can always count on the annual pumpkin carving event, movie nights, scavenger hunts and so much more. Many investors are buying in this area, as it has continued to boom with the craft beer scene and the Lynx line extension which will include a stop at 36th Street.


dilworth neighborhood

Dilworth is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Charlotte dating back to the 1800’s. Located south of uptown, the area is truly one of Charlotte’s most sought after neighborhoods. You will stroll down tree-lined streets while waving to neighbors on their sprawling front porches on your way to dinner. You can also find some of Charlotte’s top-rated schools in this area. Walk to your favorite eatery, coffee shop, parks and nightlife. The housing is an assortment of bungalows, Craftsman-style homes, Queen Anne homes, Victorians, and Colonial Revivals and some condos. Most of the homes were built during the late 1800s and early 1900s through the 1930s and have since been renovated, but you may find a little newer construction scattered throughout the neighborhood.

Charlotte’s most walkable neighborhoods have something different to offer everyone from hipsters & young professionals to families with children. Whether you are relocating to Charlotte from another state or trying to find your niche in the Queen City, let us help you start on your home buying journey.

10 Things To Do With Kids In Charlotte

It’s the weekend and you are ready for fun, family time.  Where are the latest hot spots for families with children? We’ve created a list of our top 10 things to do with kids in Charlotte.

Discovery Place has been inspiring kids for over 70 years through hands-on learning. They now feature 3 locations including uptown Charlotte, Huntersville and The Nature Museum near Freedom Park. Fun for the whole family as you lay on a bed of nails, catch an IMAX movie or hold a snake.

Find a Sprayground near you. What’s a sprayground you ask? They are areas set up with with sprays, nozzles, streams and fountains. Fun for the little ones in the family that can run around while Mom & Dad can sit and watch. Best part – most of them are free!

Imaginon/Children’s Theatre of Charlotte – Imaginon uptown is a fabulous destination during the hot summer months. It holds the children’s library and features many fun activities for children to do in the AC. It is also home to the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte where you can catch a child-friendly performance that will thrill the whole family. See their schedule here.

US National Whitewater Center – The whitewater center has activities available for everyone in the family. The little ones can play on the mini rock climbing walls and watch the adults as they raft on the whitewater river. The center has miles of trails to roam and feature many festivals.

Lazy 5 Ranch – Located in Mooresville – just a short drive from Charlotte, you will find the Lazy 5 ranch. You can either book a wagon ride or drive your own car through the park and feed many different exotic animals. The zoo features emus, giraffes, donkeys, zebras and many more animals. They also have a large playground with picnic tables. Bring cash, they do not accept credit cards.

Explore the greenways! Charlotte is home to over 35 miles of greenways throughout the city. The family can run, walk and bike on any of the greenways. The most popular are the Four Mile Creek Greenway with an entrance near Trader Joes in Piper Glen and the Sugar Creek Greenway  which takes you through uptown Charlotte. A must for the adventurous  family.

Freedom Park – Freedom Park is the 98-acre “Central Park” of Charlotte located between Charlotte’s historic Dilworth and Myers Park neighborhoods. The park is centered on a 7-acre lake, and is about 3 miles from the heart of Charlotte’s downtown area. The park has paved trails, tennis/volleyball courts, sport/athletic fields and playground equipment. Every September Freedom Park is the site of the five-day long Festival in the Park, which annually attracts over 100,000 visitors, and has been recognized as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Explore the area farmer’s markets.  Charlotte boasts over 30 weekly markets around the area. Saturday mornings are a great time to visit the local markets to not only find fresh fruits and veggies but try local pastries, cheeses and meats. The Matthews Community market is one of our favorites for residents south of uptown and the 7th Street market is convenient for those in the uptown area.

NASCAR Hall of Fame – The Charlotte area is the nation’s home to NASCAR. You can visit many racing shops in the area or head uptown to the NASCAR hall of fame. The hall is an interactive entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. There are hands-on  activities for the young and old and you can even ride in a simulator.

Explore Lake Wylie or Lake Norman. Charlotte is home to two area lakes. Rent a boat, explore the shoreline, go fishing or visit McDowell Nature Center at Lake Wylie. There is always something to do at the lake!

This list is only the beginning of all of the fun adventures you and your family can have in Charlotte, NC. We hope to see you around town taking advantage of all that our great city has to offer.