Sullivan's Steakhouse South Blvd. Thursday nights, Sullivan's is a popular hangout for many of the city's young professionals. It's often packed by 7 p. With a separate bar area at the front of the restaurant, low lighting, and loud music, it's easy to strike up a conversation simply by bumping into someone accidentally or on purpose.
Arrive a little later and mingle with a mob of banker types and stylish ladies at the far end of the bar. Dressing to impress is definitely the rule of thumb. Valet parking, available and convenient, has the added perk of some very cute valets if that's your type. If you're looking for a diverse crowd, you probably won't find it here. Harris Teeter in uptown W.
But what if your grocery store is smack dab in the middle of center city, surrounded by apartments, condos, and essentially single living? Strolling into the Harris Teeter on the corner of Fifth and Poplar streets during the weekday lunch hour is a singles haven. You'll find a line of young professionals waiting to place their order for the daily sub sandwich special. Because of the wait, there's time to look and socialize. Can't make it for lunch? The after-work shopping crowd is equally as single.
Dressed in gym clothes or business wear, shoppers roam the aisles with baskets, most likely for one. This is not the place to see hot soccer moms loading up a cart for their family of five. Weekend shoppers need not worry—the beer-and-wine section keeps this Harris Teeter alive all the way through Sunday night.
It just feels right to be holding a glass of wine while perusing galleries of fine art. Perhaps it's because that scene has been shown time and again in movies especially romantic comedies. The live jazz and light hors d'oeuvres complete the experience, making it perfect for mingling. Most people arrive from work, but they seem to have spiced up their wardrobes a bit in anticipation of the night.
There are usually more women than men. And, fellas, here's a tip: Check out the galleries prior to coming this evening and impress the ladies with your knowledge of art. Free admission and a cash bar.
The Dog Bar N. Canines and humans alike are welcome to this casual bar, located in the heart of NoDa. Even if you don't find the hottie for you, dozens of sweet pups are around to divert your attention.
And don't be afraid to dress down because, like the liquor, the dog hair—or worse—is plentiful. We're going to assume that goes toward sanitation.
HOM has become a major player in the city's nightlife scene with a crowd that mixes singles and the attached with gay, straight, and everything in between.
Although all are welcomed, Petra's attracts some of the liveliest individuals in Charlotte's gay community. An assortment of red lanterns and chandelier lighting, low ceilings, and the sound of piano keys gives the bar an intimate, charming vibe. A large projection screen fills the back wall, rolling anything from Madonna music videos to old movies. Music ranges from Broadway tunes to Elton John hits, and anyone is welcome to jump in and sing alongside the piano player.
Most nights are filled with regulars, but if you're outgoing and love to have a good time, you'll fit right in. If nothing else, you don't have to worry about awkward first conversations—the entertainment is an immediate icebreaker and most of the singers are good for comic relief. Ad 2 Club www. An affiliate of the American Advertising Federation, the Young Professionals in Advertising, better known as Ad 2, has developed a Charlotte chapter that serves as a source of networking in the creative business world.
The first Tuesday of each month, Ad2uesday, is set aside for an after-work soiree at one of Charlotte's many hot spots, which have included Tutto Mundo and Dolce Vita.
Guys in ties and ladies in business attire gather for cocktails, mixing business and pleasure. And you shouldn't have a problem making the guest list. Anyone under the age of thirty-two and involved in the fields of marketing, communications, graphic design, public relations, media, or other creative professions is invited.
College students aspiring to find work in any of these fields are also welcome. Ad 2 also sponsors public service events and fundraisers throughout the year, for you civic-minded types.
Business After Hours , www. Professionals who seem happy to have escaped their cubicles are actually quite lively and engaging. Gents have loosened the ties, while ladies have opened a button or two. People at Business After Hours tend to clique up, so if you walk up to someone and introduce yourself, you'll soon be in a group conversation. You'll have to dodge the couple dozen or so Realtors who are there looking for clients. But other than that, it's a pleasantly diverse group.
And if someone sparks your interest, it's common to ask for a business card what you do with it from there is up to you. The chamber selects a different place each month to hold its event, from restaurants and cafes to country clubs and sporting venues.
The uptown location being a key ingredient, Peak Fitness on Morehead attracts anyone from bankers to members of the service industry to professional nightlife goers. Weekdays between 5 and 7 p. And there are never enough machines, so there is plenty of time to mingle as you wait for an Elliptical. Girls trot lightly on the treadmills, hesitant to break a sweat, every so often fixing their ponytails.
Guys mostly lift weights, but not without eyeing the entire room between sets. And the mirrored walls make it easy to nonchalantly check out your neighbor. If you're single, looking, and want to burn a few a calories, this is the gym to join. If you're not single, bring an iPod. Where Is the Love? Karla Thompson started the forum nearly two years ago after frequent morning debates with a male co-worker that showcased the differences in opinions men and women often have.
National Whitewater Center Hawfield Rd. It's still relatively new, and there are activities for all ability levels. It's a great spot to ask a cute seasoned kayaker how to hold a paddle, or flirt as your instructor helps you out of the water after you "fell" in. Be warned, however—whitewater rafting, kayaking, and climbing require endurance and a positive attitude, so this is probably not the ideal place to meet someone if you're the bump-on-the-log type.
Even if you are having a lazy day, the Eddy Restaurant and Bar allows you to regain your energy with a bite to eat while scoping the well-toned eye candy on the course. She thought he was clean cut and a gentleman.
When he opened the door to the restaurant for her that evening several months ago, he did it out of instinct. Kevin might have had an idea that she was his date but couldn't have known that for sure. They were supposed to meet at the hostess stand. Cindy thought this could be him, as she knew he had red hair.
Other than that, they had yet to say a word to each other. The date was arranged by Laurie Berzack, whose Chai Expectations is one of the South's only dedicated Jewish matchmaking services. Her service is the professional version of what Jewish mothers do as a hobby.
Berzack is clear that this isn't a dating service. Being Jewish is a must, as is being serious about commitment. Success is based on a benchmark such as getting engaged, or being together for at least a year. Kevin, thirty-three, and Cindy, thirty-two, met in April and are getting closer.
He works in the motor sports business and she's a speech pathologist. It was Cindy's third introduction through Berzack, his first. They most likely would never have met another way. I figured it was a good way to meet people," says Kevin.
It's harder to meet people at my age. I'm at the point in my life when I want to get married and be with somebody. I'm a shy person so it's hard for me to meet people. When I started this, I never thought in a million years that the first person she set me up with would be someone that I would be with for the last seven months. She had tried JDate, a popular Jewish matchmaking Web site, and other services with no results. Her mother pointed out a newspaper article about Chai Expectations, several times in fact, but it was her sister who eventually pushed her to try it.
She's glad she did and would definitely recommend it. I find, too, because I'm busy [that] it's hard to find time to go out and meet people. Her reward will be in the bank and in the heart. To Berzack, the whole thing is simple. Show off whatever you've got, because it's impossible to hear yourself think, let alone carry on a conversation with a potential mate. The music, whether rock or rap, is ear-piercing even for an uptown nightspot. Men adhere to the esteemed hair-gel-and-muscle-shirt dress code, while women squeeze into their tightest attire.
The bar is aptly named, with tall boys to match any style of graphic tee.