With more than 20 specialty martinis and cocktails to choose from, and DJ's spinning late into the evening on the weekends, Olive Martini Bar is an ideal spot for a night out. Inside the posh, contemporary interior, patrons sit at tall, padded stools that line the shining bar, sipping on drinks and sharing tapas plates. Flat-screen TVs offer entertainment in the form of sports games, while intimate conversations and chatter abound throughout the pleasingly lit space. The chic, yet relaxed, atmosphere makes Olive welcoming to groups of coworkers, romantic dates, and old friends looking to break their 30-year-old habit of hanging out in their parent's basement.
Moxies Comedy Zone hosts top-tier and up-and-coming stand-up talent and pairs it with live music, a full bar, and a food menu. While watching laugh-inducing lines pour out of the mouths of comedians such as Cee-Jay Jones, who has graced the stages of the Apollo Theater, BET's Comic View, and several fruit conventions, chucklers can share a plate of hot wings doused in mild to hot sauces ($9.99 for 12) or a jalapeño burger ($8.99). Guests may also engineer a starch tower at the build-your-own pasta bar ($9.99).
The dueling pianists at Piano Man face off, vying for applause as they blaze through the biggest hits from the last hundred years. As they hit each note with perfection, audience members holler their requests and sing along with the pros, a fact the house prides itself on. When their requests hit the stage, guests can cheers with a host of tropical drinks, including the Malibu Painkiller—a euphoric combination of Malibu coconut, black, and sunshine blended with lemonade, OJ, and sprite—or the Entourage Margarita, with Avion tequila, raspberry liqueur, pineapple juice, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. To make sure they can remember the name of their favorite song, guests can soak up the cocktails with a menu of pub food classics such as burgers and wings.
Hawthorne's New York Pizza & Bar's dough-slingers serve a piping-hot menu of pasta, heroes, and hand-tossed pizzas, earning a 2011 Charlotte Magazine Voters' Choice award for best pizza. Edible disks are spooned with sauce and configured for specialty deliciousness with such options as the luau pizza⎯a blend of pineapple, bacon, smoked pulled pork, and caramelized onions wrapped up in a grass skirt ($9–$18)⎯and the Sicilian's thick, square crust clad only in mozzarella ($14.50). Herbs and gorgonzola cheese roam across hills of pasta and valleys stuffed with chicken or sausage in the gorgonzola pasta ($10.50), and the philly cheesesteak hero ($8.85) laces standard white american cheese with the illicit flavors of chipotle mayo. Chefs layer eggplant rollentini ($11) with a blend of mozzarella, ricotta, and romano cheeses before spackling it with pesto and oven-baking it to monumental deliciousness.
• For $40, you get two general-admission lawn tickets (a $62 value before fees, or up to an $80 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $58, you get two tickets for seating in sections 4–9 or 10–15 (a $90 value before fees, or up to a $115 value online, including all ticketing fees).