Nightlife & Music

Best Hipster Hangout Spots In Charlotte

May 24, 2012 6:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Snug Harbor via Facebook

Photo Credit: Snug Harbor via Facebook

Where do the hipsters hang in Charlotte? Look for their bikes (pedal or motor) racked up outside thrift stores, coffee shops, tattoo parlors and nightspots where DJs spin dubstep and trance. The hipster vibe is especially strong in the Plaza-Midwood neighborhood, where Boris and Natasha, a boutique featuring edgy garb, is the place to shop for your Wayfarer glasses, fedoras, skinny jeans and t-shirts bearing ironic sayings. Within a few blocks, a cluster of nightspots, vegetarian-friendly restaurants, salons, second-hand stores, galleries and the iconic Common Market provide night-and-day life-support for the cool kids. Like the hipsters themselves, their hangouts don’t conform to the norm, offering art and wine, deli and beer tastings, dance music and vegetarian cuisine in a continually evolving mix, just keeping it cool.
common market renee wright Best Hipster Hangout Spots In Charlotte

Photo Credit: Renee Wright

The Common Market – Plaza-Midwood
2007 Commonwealth Avenue
Charlotte, NC  28205
Store: (704) 334-6209
Deli: (704) 334-5991
www.commonmarketisgood.comBeginning life as a convenience store offering a wide range of beers and wines, the Common Market – named for its location on Commonwealth Avenue – is now a daily drop-in for hipsters, as well as many other Plaza-Midwood residents. All the must-haves of daily life are sold here, even a few groceries, but most regulars come to hang out at the few rustic tables, nursing a coffee or beer. Free wifi is a big draw, as is the deli menu that lets you design your own sandwich, wrap, salad or breakfast sandwich, with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options that let you substitute tofu for anything. Wine tastings (at $5 per flight) are held on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and free beer tastings take place most Wednesdays (7-9 p.m.), with drafts $3 all night. On Saturday nights, free live shows from 9 p.m. to midnight (for the 21 and up crowd only) pack the narrow brick courtyard with sounds from hip hop to Americana.

Related: A Guide to NoDa

nightlife music hipsters snug harbor Best Hipster Hangout Spots In Charlotte

Photo Credit: Snug Harbor via Facebook

Snug Harbor
1228 Gordon St.
Charlotte, NC 28263
(704) 333-9799
www.snugrock.comPlaza-Midwood’s self-styled pirate bar, Snug Harbor revels in its individuality, harboring a variety of experiences each week. Live bands with a decidedly alternative bent play from 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and some Wednesdays and Sundays (average cover: $5, 18 and up). At 10:30, Country Tuesday presents bands playing old-style Americana to nu-grass originals for no cover charge. Thursday is the hipsters’ favorite, when DJ/make-up artist/ringmaster Scott Weaver hosts Shiprocked, an evening that ranges from old-style rock ‘n roll to the latest electronic dance music, mixed with equal parts go-go girls and drag queens. This show, running strong for five years, is 21-and-up only and starts at 10 p.m. with no cover. At any time, Snug Harbor is a go-to spot for hanging out on the park benches out front, or under the Tiki torches on the back patio, enjoying a 24 ounce PBR, priced right at just $3.

123498815 Best Hipster Hangout Spots In Charlotte

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Dharma Lounge
1440 S. Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28203
(704) 334-8336
www.dharmacharlotte.comExotic and eclectic are two words often used to describe this south side dance club where top DJs spin the latest in techno and electronic under the benevolent gaze of the resident Buddha statue. The free Wednesday Le Bang party is a hipster favorite. Dharma Lounge’s monthly Global Fever nights bring in a diverse mix of DJs from around the world, while Identity Theft evenings promise a night of “forward and filthy-minded music.” Good PBR prices, free parking, and a patio with fire pit add to the charm.

salvador deli renee wright Best Hipster Hangout Spots In Charlotte

Photo Credit: Renee Wright

Jack Beagle’s
3213 N. Davidson Street
Charlotte, NC 28205
(704) 334-5140
www.jackbeagles.comNoDa, the city’s historic arts district centered on the intersection of North Davidson and 36th Streets, is another of Charlotte’s coolest neighborhoods, and currently a hotbed of live music, beer brewing, and pubs where you can score a PBR and a bite to eat. Jack Beagle’s is a stand-out in the beer and a hotdog category, serving food until 3:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, and until 2 a.m. every other night of the week. A local craft beer is generally on special for $2.50, along with $2 cans of Rolling Rock, and $1.50 Back beers. There are daily drink specials as well, including $3.50 Bloody Marys and $2.50 Mimosas on weekends. The big patio out back is a favorite hangout in good weather, and free live concerts are held weekly in the courtyard between Beagle’s and sister restaurant the Salvador Deli on weekends in the spring and summer. Nearby music venues, including the Neighborhood Theatre, the Evening Muse, and the Chop Shop, provide plenty of sidewalk traffic. On Monday nights, hipsters head down the block to Growlers Pourhouse for $1 PBRs on draft.

Related: A Guide to Plaza-Midwood 

nightlife music hipsters crown station pub Best Hipster Hangout Spots In Charlotte

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Crown Station Coffee House & Pub
1425 Elizabeth Avenue
Charlotte, NC, 28204
(980) 224-8020
www.crownstationpub.comBy day a mild mannered coffee shop (with free WiFi and full bar), by night Crown Station transforms into one of the city’s top clubs for techno beats. Located just a couple of blocks from the Central Piedmont Community College main campus, Crown is a favored hangout between classes when the organic fair trade coffees, teas, and chais take center stage along with locally baked pastries. But, come sundown, the tiny club hosts live entertainment every evening, ranging from karaoke and comedy to live acoustic acts and the region’s top DJs spinning tracks. Weekly events include the Thursday Dubstep/Electro night (no cover). Monday Night Mic Fights are held the first Monday of each month, featuring stand-up hip hop (no cover); Taboo Tuesdays are open mic comedy nights, held about twice a month ($2 cover). The occasional Broken Series provides an education in the history of breakbeat, with DJs spinning everything from old school electronic dance music to the latest dubstep varietal. Some events are 21 and up. The bar serves a nice selection of craft beers on draft, along with some clever cocktails, and a short list of Asian-influenced appetizers.

With 15 years of experience covering restaurants in Charlotte and the Carolinas, and two regional guidebooks under her belt, Renee Wright examines the dining scene with enthusiasm plus a deep knowledge of food trends and outstanding local eating ops. Her work can be found at

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