Conveniently located at the bustling nexus of College, Trade, and Fourth Streets, Epicentre acts as a hub of entertainment, shopping, and dining adventures at the heart of the Queen City. There, guests find everything they need to make trips memorable, whether they're grabbing a bite at one of two dozen bars and restaurants, taking in a quick movie, or simply working in a game of bowling before heading off to nearby Time Warner Cable Arena, and Bank of America Stadium. In total, more than 40 venues beckon for attention, including everything from a karaoke bar to an enthralling rooftop terrace.
Head chef Jon Martinson and owner-sommelier David Soper incorporate fresh local ingredients into a menu brimming with unique tapas, flatbread pizzas, and other seasonal bites. Warm up with an order of rosemary-brown-butter roasted nuts ($5), or submerge tooth divers in the Cajun sweet corn and crab dip ($6). For the main course, shareable small-portion tapas entice diners with a spectrum of unique tastes. Mussels perform tableside feats of strength with a topping of red curry dashi, coconut milk, and miso butter ($8), and grilled flank steak teams up with a locavore-pleasing Clover Farm mushroom and spring-onion bread pudding ($12). At lunch, Nanny’s margherita flatbread tut-tuts unruly hunger ($6), and a mouthwatering pulled-pork sandwich served on a soft bolillo roll dives playfully into tomatillo-ancho chili sauce ($10).
On the open-air rooftop at Pavilion at EpiCentre, event guests take in views of the Charlotte skyline and the stars as they mill about. More than 25,000 square feet of seating and dancing space accommodates large groups of revelers or conferences of 25,000 sentient floor tiles. With its convertible’s roof, the Penthouse Bar and Lounge can be opened or closed based on the event, and an expansive sound stage often plays host to live bands and emcees.
The eclectic organizers at Red Frog Events take a lighthearted and fun-focused approach to building their adventurous events, such as obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, and themed bar crawls, to connect city dwellers with local neighborhoods. Their creative, interactive offerings include regularly occurring competitions such as the Warrior Dash, Great Urban Race, and Beach Dash, the proceeds from which usually benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Like the idea of having a pet rock, their events have grown more popular annually, and frequently spring up in cities across the United States.
PRP Wine International's experts carefully select each bottle in their inventory from all corners of the globe and ship them directly to patrons’ doorsteps. They collect from vineyards in Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Australia as well as stockpiling an array of Spanish wines such as Vega del Geroa rioja, a maze of smoke and berries. Unique offerings include celebratory sparkling wines with gold flakes, and all are available through an online shop, private tastings conducted in clients' homes, or special tasting events.
Although wine is their specialty, PRP also deals wine-related gifts such as etched stemware, bottles, and personalized coasters. They can customize labels for special events such as weddings, birthdays, or a yacht's first bath, and they can seal bottles with a hand-dipped wax seal.
The Wine Shop, as the name cheekily suggests, specializes in providing numerous wines in an easygoing, friendly shopping arena. With a densely populated stock of over 3,000 domestic and imported wines, and nearly 1,000 of these bottles priced under $12, there's no shortage of affordable potables to pick from. The smartcard you receive with today's deal actually operates on three machines contained within the store. Not altogether different from old-timey soda fountains, these non-vengeful examples of automata read the amount of credit on your smartcard and allow you to select a glass of wine accordingly. With three machines on hand, each is stocked with a variety of wines curated directly from the stock on hand, containing eight reds and four whites at all times, at varying price ranges. Make your selection and receive a glass of up to 4 ounces from the polished machinery, which keeps wine fresh between pours. Depending on the wines you choose, you can use your card over more than one visit, or use the entire value in one card-swiping go.
A new player on Charlotte's vibrant culinary scene, El Camino greets diners with a menu of fresh, scratch-made Tex-Mex dishes that are as innovative as they are family-friendly. Meals often start with the kitchen's signature guacamole, which contains traditional ingredients—hand-smashed avocados, fresh tomatoes, and cilantro—but with a creative addition of roasted peppers. Warm flour tortillas play triple duty; they envelop spinach and cheese to create quesadillas, hold unusual fixings, such as fried chicken or beef brisket, inside half a dozen taco varieties, and wrap themselves around nine kinds of overstuffed burritos. The El Camino kitchen prepares north-of-the-border specialties as well, including Cowboy Burgers topped with pepper jack cheese and a West Texas chili made with five varieties of peppers.