Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Vote For Bob Peters!


One Charlotte favorite bartenders, Bob Peters, needs your help.

Peters and the Ritz’s Punch Rooms have been accepted by the James Beard Foundation 2016 Restaurant and Chef  awards in the categories Outstanding Bar Program (The Punch Room) and Outstanding Wine, Beer and Spirits Professional (Bob Peters).

We knew Peters gets hometown love for his mixology skills such as Creative Loafing’s 2014 & 2015 Best Bartender, Best Mixologist and Best Cocktail titles, and featured on the cover of Charlotte Magazine’s “Best Of 2015 issue. Now, he has a chance to win more national recognition.

Vote for Bob! scroll down to “2016 James Beard Awards Call for Entries," then click “Submit an Entry and create a free account to vote.
The voting deadline is Dec. 31.

Sip + Play's New Year's Eve Picks

I have a love hate-relationship with New Year's Eve. I love, love, love the parties, but New Year's Eve is so, so, over-priced. Worse, people who don't usually drink, drink way too much. The EpiCentre and NC Music Factory will provide a variety of parties in one-place. Below are my picks for parties from my favorite spot to kid friendly events. Have fun, and please be safe! 

Tonya's Picks:


Soul GastroLounge is my go-to low-key spot for everything. Always great music, fun people and delicious drinks. Details.



Rich and Bennett presents three parties tonight at #MOFO New Year's Bash. You can do all three or choose your style. There's the Southside VIP party, the more low-key Angry Ale or Craft Beer Tent parties. Details.


The Roxbury's 13th Annual New Year's Eve Back to the Future Bash includes NYE & glow favors, champagne toast, four bars and multiple Dance Floors



Black Parties












Kid Friendly
CLT New Year's Eve

The city's official celebration starts at 6 p.m. in Romare Bearden Park. Revelers can decorate a crown to wear for the evening's countdown. The family-friendly event includes crafts, games, food trucks and a DJ. The finale is the lighting of the Queen City crown and a fireworks display at midnight. This is an alcohol-free event.

Public parking is available at surface lots and parking decks throughout Uptown Charlotte at market rates. Mass transit options, including the Lynx Blue Line, Lynx Gold Line streetcar and CATS buses will be available as well. 

Street Closures: Mint Street from MLK to Third streets will close at 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31 and will remain closed until 3 a.m. Friday, Jan. 1



John Tosco’s 6th Annual New Year’s Eve Show 



Want to kick off your New Year’s Eve celebration with fun for the whole family? This year, John Tosco’s 6th Annual New Year’s Eve Show will showcase one of Charlotte’s favorite family entertainers with The Billy Jonas Concert Experience!

Thursday, December 31, 2015
3:30 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.

McGlohon Theater
at Spirit Square

345 N College Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

Tickets are $15.00 or Buy 3, get one FREE!

Box Office (704) 372-1000 



Holla: sipandplayclt@gmail.com

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Charlotte Funny Bus tour wasn't funny or informative (Review)


I had high hopes for the Funny Bus tour this weekend. It sounded great. Spend 90 minutes riding a bus through Southend, Uptown, NC Music Factory and NoDa while a funny tour guide told us about the area. Plus, it was BYOB.

I did the Lazoom tour in Asheville a couple of weeks ago. It was great. Saturday's Charlotte Funny Bus tour was uncomfortable at times and not funny. Our tour guide needed way more training and knowledge about Charlotte. It was obvious, he hasn't lived here long if he lives here at all.

Since I've lived here for nearly 20 years, and was a news reporter for 15, I tried not to be an obnoxious know-it-all riders. However, our guide had too many missed opportunities to be ignored.

The tour started uptown.  He pointed out the Old Settler's Cemetary, Discovery Place, and Romare Beardon Park.  Cool, but it went downhill from there. At the EpiCentre, he incorrectly called Whiskey River, Whiskey River Run and slammed Wild Wings. He failed to mention the entertainment complex was the centerpiece of the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

In Southend, he only mentioned Price's Chicken Coop. He totally ignored the area where Food Truck Friday is hosted or how Southend is home to numerous local breweries.

He gave a decent history of NoDa's YMCA, mill homes and the Neighborhood Theater, which at one point was an X-rated theater.  He pointed out Cabo Fish Taco and Boudreaux, which aren't even local restaurants. He didn't offer any history on the transformation of the area from a declining mill village to an artist community to present day. And he kept referring to NoDa as hipster neighborhood. It's not. It's a cool yuppie neighborhood.

His tour of Plaza-Midwood was the worst. The street car information was good, but he repeatedly mispronounced Vanlandingham and erroneously referred to the Harris Teeter as the TajMaTeeter. That's the nickname for the store in SouthPark. He did mention that PM home to the first Harris Teeter, but he missed a chance to talk about the areas transformation or history. And out all of the locally-owned restaurants in the neighborhood, he pointed out Five Guys - Five Guys! Plaza-Midwood has built its reputation on being a haven for locally-owned restaurants and shops.
 
I fault the tour company for allowing someone with so little knowledge of the city to lead a tour. That's inexcusable.

Here's the thing. I understand that only so much information can be shared in a 90-minute tour. However, our guide spent more time telling really crass jokes, sharing too much information about himself and slamming restaurants and stuff he didn't like. He could've filled that time with useful information presented with humor. 

Our tour guide needs a lot of comedy training. It was supposed to be funny, but his jokes were insults to city staples. When pointing out BB&T stadium, he said no one likes baseball. He said he didn't understand why NASCAR was a sport when pointing out the NASCAR Hall of Fame. In reference to Big Ben's Pub, he said people with rotten teeth named Nigel could get a free beer. Wow.

Aside from insults, his other jokes were crass like the double etendre of Morehead Street. Pedophila is never funny. Nor is Black Lives Matter (and he was Black).

I really, really, like the idea of a comedy bus tour for Charlotte. I don't expect to learn alot since I've lived her for so long, but I do expect to be amused and learn a little something.  I strongly suggest the organizers of Charlotte's make a road trip to Asheville and experience LaZoom because if Saturday's tour is reflective of the all of the Funny Bus tours then the company will fail.



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Free tree ornaments and more holiday parties tonight

After you finish returning items and buying the stuff you really want, head out for a few holiday events.

Free Ornaments -  It’s not too late to get something for next year’s holidays at UnDeck the Hall. Visitors get a gift off of one of the trees. The racing-themed items, included autographed souvenirs and memorabilia, ornaments, die-cast cars, Sprint Cup race tickets, signed merchandise from 2016 Cup champion Kyle Busch and others. Event is going on now and continues until all the gifts are gone. A general admission ticket to the Hall is required for entry to the event. Nascar Hall of Fame, 400 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.

 

Holiday Party
- The 3rd Annual Red & Black Naught or Nice Affair features Divers Groove Go-Go Band and others. 9 p.m., Morehead Tavern, 300 E. Morehead St.  $10 Advance Tickets on sale now!  



Dancehall Groove - Su Casa is known for its Afro-beat and hip-hop, but this the monthly party Su CASA — The Dancehall tackles a different genre. DJ Justice Sun Tzulul, DJ Maf Maddix, and DJ Brian Jopedo Sambula spinning rock-reggae, Afrobeat, dub, Afrohouse + more. Live painting by Dammit Wesley, film, photography and mother. 11 p.m. and up. Petra’s, 1919 Commonwealth Ave. $5 and up.




Holla: sipandplayclt@gmail.com

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Night Parties

Tired of the family or just tired of being nice? Head out for an evening of revelry.

Family Break - Take a break from the fam and head out for a night of dancing at Pop Life: Christmas Night Edition AKA “Merry Kitchmas 3.” Music by DJ Loui Vee. 10 p.m. Bubble Charlotte, 210 East Trade St. Free till 11 p.m. then $10 and up. Details.



Happy Holidays - Old school fans will enjoy a night out at the World’s Largest X-Mas Party. Live broadcast hosted by Artie the One Woman and DJ Roladexx and a chance to win great prizes, such as a 50-inch flat screen TV, a Visa gift card, a Michael Kors Handbag and more. 9 p.m. Club Vibrations,  5237 Albemarle Rd.
 


 

Last Chance - For real, for real! Get it in. Retire the threads at the Ugly Sweater Bash. Ugliest sweater could win a price. 7 p.m., Howl At The Moon, 210 E Trade St. Details.


Offbeat Holiday - With potluck food, satellite spinning the music and drink specials at the bar Petra’s Xmas will be a fun, casual way to wind down. Five local performers will take the stage to perform everything from dream pop to ballads. 8 p.m. Petra’s, 1919 Commonwealth Ave.


Holla: sipandplayclt@gmail.com

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Last minute local gift ideas for the partiers on your list


You’ve waited until the last minute, and now Christmas Eve is here. This gift guide will satisfy the Sip + Play aficionado on your Christmas lists. Best of all, you can buy most of these gifts online!

For the Vodka Lover, $10
Charlotte’s first distillery opened in November. Doc Porter is a Charlotte-owned family business promising grain to glass vodka. Treat your vodka lover to a tour of the new distillery in Southend. Wait, there’s more! There’s a GroupOn for a limited time! Read more about Doc Porter's on Charlotte Five.



For the Music Lover, $49 and up
Rachelle Ferrell hasn’t performed in Charlotte in at least a decade so jazz fans are super-excited about her May show. Treat your music fan to tickets to see this incredible vocalist on May 13 at Knight Theater.

 

For the BBQ Lover, $35
The Improper Pig is hosting the Improper Pairing dinner in January. The dinner features cocktails by Muddy River Distillery and beer by Bird Song Brewing. It’s four drinks and four courses. $35



For the Beer Lover, $45
Charlotte has a plethora of beer festivals each year, but only the Queen City Brewers Festival specializes in Charlotte area breweries. There are some great beers and even better pairings of beers with donuts. The festival also features live music. Next year’s will be held at the Fillmore.






Traveler's Companion
Flasks are like socks. You can never have too many. The portable shot glass key chain makes using a flask even easier. Stop by Cltch boutique on Central Avenue for their selections of flasks and portable shot glasses. Flask ($29), Shot glass ($18)



For the Bourbon Lover, $45
I love Bulleit Bourbon, especially the Bulleit Rye. This year, treat your bourbon lover to a bottle of Bulleit 10 year. Here's a recipe to go with that new bottle.



Bulleit Hot Toddy
1.25 oz. Bulleit Bourbon
1 tsp. Fine Grain Sugar
2 Small Cloves
1.5 oz. Boiling Water
Glass: Coffee Mug. Add Bulleit Bourbon, fine grain sugar, and cloves in a mug. Add boiling water. Stir.

Holla: sipandplayclt@gmail.com

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Weekend Preview: A weird Christmas party, another ugly sweater party and dancehall fun

There's no way around it. This is the weekend to chill with the family, but if you must go out here are some things to do. See in you in the street...

Last Chance - For real, for real! Get it in. Retire the threads at the Ugly Sweater Bash. Ugliest sweater could win a price. 7 p.m., Howl At The Moon, 210 E Trade St. Details.



Offbeat Holiday - With potluck food, satellite spinning the music and drink specials at the bar Petra’s Xmas will be a fun, casual way to wind down. Five local performers will take the stage to perform everything from dream pop to ballads. 8 p.m. Petra’s, 1919 Commonwealth Ave.



Saturday
Dancehall Groove - Su Casa is known for its Afro-beat and hip-hop, but this the monthly party Su CASA — The Dancehall tackles a different genre. DJ Justice Sun Tzulul, DJ Maf Maddix, and DJ Brian Jopedo Sambula spinning rock-reggae, Afrobeat, dub, Afrohouse + more. Live painting by Dammit Wesley, film, photography and mother. 11 p.m. and up. Petra’s, 1919 Commonwealth Ave. $5 and up.



Holla: sipandplayclt@gmail.com


Monday, December 21, 2015

Don't miss the Star Wars gingerbread house! (Photos)

Time is running out to see the coolest ever gingerbread houses at the Grove Park Inn. Dozens of gingerbread houses are on display at the historic inn in Asheville for the National Gingerbread House Competition. They are exquisitely detailed and beautiful. My favorites were by little kids. They weren't the best, but who can resist Panther spirit and the Force? Not me! It's definitely worth a daytrip during the holiday break but it's only open to non-guests from Sunday afternoons through Thursdays until Jan. 3.

 

Holla: sipandplayclt@gmail.com

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Happy Birthday Double Door Inn

Let's go Panthers! After today's game, rest up for a fun evening of holiday parties and a special anniversary party for a venerable Charlotte institution.

Punk Holiday Party - This party sounds real loud and real fun. Hail Santa features red cups and Krampus. Appearances by Toke and Green Fiend and DJ J. Overcash. Music: Death Metal, Punk, Hard Core, XXXMas Trap, Carole No Cover. 8 p.m., Snug Harbor, 288 Gordon St.




Happy Birthday - The city’s venerable blue club celebrates more than 40 years of bringing live blues to Charlotte with the Federal Bureau Of Rock & Roll at the Double Door Inn’s 42nd Anniversary. 7 pm., The Double Door Inn, 1218 Charlottetowne Avenue $10. Details.


Holla: Sipandplayclt@gmail.com

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Chili cookoff, and final holiday markets and holiday parties

This is it! The last weekend to party as a sexy Santa or to wear your ugly sweater or to shop in the holiday market. This is it. What are you waiting for? Let's go!!! See you in the streets...

It’s Cold! - What better way to celebrate the cold weather than at the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off. Taste unlimited samples of chili from 20 home chefs teams.  Family friendly and dog friendly event so bring the whole crew. Proceeds benefit Purple Heart Homes. 1 – 5 p.m., Unknown Brewing, 1327 S Mint St. Details. #WeLoveSouthEnd #WeLoveCLT  



Don't Forget
Sexy Santa - In keeping with the naughty spirit, the 5th Annual Sexy Santa party celebrates all things naughty. Wear your sexiest, funniest, goofiest Christmas-themed costume. Ice Martini Bar, 9525 Birkdale Crossing Drive #102, Huntersville.

Christmas Comedy - The Evening Muse and Matt Barrentine feature local, regional and even national comedy talent for the Stand Up, Get Down Comedy Show Holiday Special. 10:30 p.m., The Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $8 - $10. Details.






Holiday Markets 

VTGCLT Pop is a full scale pop up shop that will be feature products from 85  local/regional vintage and handmade vendors. The shop will be open daily from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily and feature special guest and events ranging from Food Trucks to performers. The old Goodyear building at S. Tryon and East Stonewall Uptown. (100 East Stonewall St.) Details.



Art Gifts - Support NoDa artists by buying your last minute gifts at the All Arts Market. It will feature works by more than 70 artists. 6 p.m.-8 p.m., CenterStage At Noda, 2315 N Davidson St. Details.


Winter Market - Another chance to by gifts and baked good from 30 local vendors at The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery's 6th Annual Weihnachtsmarkt. This is the opening weekend of the German-inspired Christmas Market. Winter seasonal beers include Dunkel, Bauern Bock, and Yule Bock and OMB’s homemade Gl├╝hwein: a spiced red wine served hot. Weihnachtsmarkt is every Friday and Saturday through the Dec. 18-19. 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. - 9 p.m. Saturdays.  4150 Yancey Road.



Holla: sipandplayclt@gmail.com



Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas play, paint party and toy drive

Finish up your holiday shopping and then head out tonight for dance parties, holiday parties and more. See you in the streets...


Christmas Play - A Soulful Noel re-interprest holiday classics such as “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Go Tell it on The Mountain” through music. 7:30 p.m., McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square, 345 N College St. $15. Details.




Poetry Slam - Performer, writer and community organizer Lauren Bullock headlines this month’s Slam Charlotte. 8 p.m., Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, 130 North Tryon St.





Don't Forget
Paint and Play - Brush N Beats brings hip-hop flavor to the sip and paint theme with live music by Ron Mull. Enjoy open painting, wine and good peeps. Bring a canned good to be donated to the local food bank. 7 p.m. Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Road. Free. Includes paint & brushes. Canvases will be provided at discount rates courtesy of Carolina Canvas Company.



Cultural Dance Party - This special edition of Mint To Move Cultural Dance Night. Music: DJ Pepito (Jorge Moran), Angel Delgado, Jerry Giraud, and Brandon Nater. Featuring: ArtSi members; Lena Hopkins-Jackson, caricature artist, Rodrigo and Wendy (tango). Dance Lessons by  Rumbao Latin Dance Company at 8:45 p.m. 7 p.m. - 11:30 p.m., Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St. $7-$11. Cash Bar and Complimentary Light Snacks.




Toy Drive - Join the Sigmas, Youth Educational Society and Queen City SGRho at the The Holiday Gathering. Bring a toy, clothing or non-perishable food to donate. Music by DJ Cali and DJ Skillz. 10 p.m. Oak Room. 200 East Bland St. Music by DJ Cali & DJ Skillz. Brought to you by: Sol Kitchen, Ultra Entertainment, Round Table Ent., Blue Goose & Status Inc.


Holla: sipandplayclt@gmail.com

   




Thursday, December 17, 2015

Learn to eat with chopsticks (Video)



Tired of looking clumsy when you eat with chopsticks? AZN Azian Cuisine owner Anna Hsu demonstrates how to use chopsticks. She also offered tips for people with small or little hands.



Don't miss happy hour at AZN. All of the sushi rolls are great and will give you a chance to practice your chopsticks skills. However, don't miss the Korean Bulgogi Burger. You won't need chopsticks for this, but it is finger licking good.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Not So Acoustic Christmas, ugly sweater parties, and sexy Santas

This is it! Last weekend before Christmas. Get your last minute shopping done. Wear your ugly sweater! Donate a new toy! Give a canned good! See you in the streets...


Wednesday
Rock Holiday Party - I’ve been listening to Christmas music since Thanksgiving, but I may need to take a break for Awolnation’s “Sail.” The band headlines 106.5 The End's Not So Acoustic Christmas featuring Awolnation. Metric and Grizfolk will also perform. 8 p.m. The Fillmore, 1000 NC Music Factory. Tickets.





Ugly Sweater Party - Don’t put your ugly sweater away yet. There’s Posh Mixer: Ugly Sweater Edition. Prize given for the best holiday ugly sweater. Cash donations requested for the charity Mom4Moms and featuring HotRodtheDJ. Sip Charlotte, 200 N. Tryon. Details.




Thursday
Crafty Party - Make personalized jar-lid wreaths at Girl’s Night Out - Pinterest Party. Crafters will use mason jar lids, fabric, paper, photos and all sorts of other nik-naks to make wreaths. Hosted By Vikki O'Keefe and Vinny Trierweiler. They will provide all the supplies and assistance needed. Bring your favorite photos to add a personal touch. 6 p.m. Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Road. $30. Details.

Friday
Paint and Play - Brush N Beats brings hip-hop flavor to the sip and paint theme with live music by Ron Mull. Enjoy open painting, wine and good peeps. Bring a canned good to be donated to the local food bank. 7 p.m. Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Road. Free. Includes paint & brushes. Canvases will be provided at discount rates courtesy of Carolina Canvas Company.



Cultural Dance Party - This special edition of Mint To Move Cultural Dance Night. Music: DJ Pepito (Jorge Moran), Angel Delgado, Jerry Giraud, and Brandon Nater. Featuring: ArtSi members; Lena Hopkins-Jackson, caricature artist, Rodrigo and Wendy (tango). Dance Lessons by  Rumbao Latin Dance Company at 8:45 p.m. 7 p.m. - 11:30 p.m., Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon St. $7-$11. Cash Bar and Complimentary Light Snacks.




Toy Drive - Join the Sigmas, Youth Educational Society and Queen City SGRho at the The Holiday Gathering. Bring a toy, clothing or non-perishable food to donate. Music by DJ Cali and DJ Skillz. 10 p.m. Oak Room. 200 East Bland St. Music by DJ Cali & DJ Skillz. Brought to you by: Sol Kitchen, Ultra Entertainment, Round Table Ent., Blue Goose & Status Inc.


Saturday


Sexy Santa - In keeping with the naughty spirit, the 5th Annual Sexy Santa party celebrates all things naughty. Wear your sexiest, funniest, goofiest Christmas-themed costume. Ice Martini Bar, 9525 Birkdale Crossing Drive #102, Huntersville

Christmas Comedy - The Evening Muse and Matt Barrentine feature local, regional and even national comedy talent for the Stand Up, Get Down Comedy Show Holiday Special. 10:30 p.m., The Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. $8 - $10. Details.



Sunday
Punk Holiday Party - This party sounds real loud and real fun. Hail Santa features red cups and Krampus. Appearances by Toke and Green Fiend and DJ J. Overcash. Music: Death Metal, Punk, Hard Core, XXXMas Trap, Carole No Cover. 8 p.m., Snug Harbor, 288 Gordon St.



Happy Birthday - The city’s venerable blue club celebrates more than 40 years of bringing live blues to Charlotte with the Federal Bureau Of Rock & Roll at the Double Door Inn’s 42nd Anniversary. 7 pm., The Double Door Inn, 1218 Charlottetowne Avenue $10. Details.


Holla: Sipandplayclt@gmail.com