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Meet Your Tour Guide
Who: Corri Smith, owner of Black Wednesday
Time in Charlotte: Almost 12 years
Neighborhood: Druid Hills
Itinerary ideal for: A solo staycation
From Corri: I work a lot. Most of the time when I’m out it’s a mix of work and pleasure — networking or visiting clients. Going out for FUN? Rare, but special… sounds rad.
It’s my “job” to be well-connected, know what’s going on and what’s coming, so it’s important to check out the newest places, but I can’t help but visit my mainstays/favorites whenever I have time.
Here’s how I’d spend a blank slate of two days all to myself in Charlotte…
[Corri’s responses have been lightly edited. Header photo by Remy Thurston]
Explore: What a beautiful respite McGill Rose Garden has always been, and now you can hang there for a glass of wine at Rosie’s Wine Garden. Then head to Camp North End (MY HOOD). I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have something like this in my neighborhood. I go to CNE as often as possible — whether it’s to walk my dogs, visit different pals/businesses, or check out cool events like the Saturday Morning Markets or Next Plate dinners.
Beers: Tip Top Daily Market, a bottle shop/patio/bar/record shop, is so special. They have tons of beers to pick from as well as snacks and a nondescript fenced in backyard. You can always find a super diverse group of people, interesting entertainment, and me losing all types of card games to Torrie Savage.
Dinner: Al Mike’s is a hidden gem in Fourth ward, and has been “in our family” for almost 20 years; it’s one of the first places my cousin Sarah took me to when I first moved here. The menu has never changes, the staff rarely. Bring your friends, sit in a booth, and watch everyone order the What It Is.
Late Night: Rarely happens, but I’m on a mini-vacay, so let’s rage. I’ll be at Midwood Country Club for cheap drinks, darts with your friends, spending too many dollars on the jukebox. Recommended songs to shake up the scene: anything by Flyleaf or Die Antwoord or the Spice Girls.
Rise: HEX in South End to start, picking up a draft vanilla latte on ice. Then hopping over to Lincoln’s Haberdashery where I’ll likely run into Katie Levans (who also mentioned this spot). Everything they make is fantastic, especially their bread and desserts. I get avocado toast with eggs over-easy. So good.
Lunch: Le’s Sandwiches. Beware the potholes in the parking lot, and don’t mind this desolate/sort-of-scary building. This sandwich is worth it. Bring cash, get the #6 and a bubble tea. Stay and eat it there if you can snag one of their two tables.
Activities: I love to see what events/experts Sanctuary Imports has going on. I recently got my crystals read there; they have a pretty intense schedule of palm, tarot, and card readers any given day of the week in addition to a great selection of stones, books and jewelry. From there, I’d pop over to Lunchbox Records to see what new/used vinyl is available. I keep record players at home and at the office. There is just something different/better about music on vinyl. I don’t often have time to just think. I love the 24-hour prayer room near Metropolitan because it’s quiet, still and inspiring.
Dinner: Definitely at Lang Van. There is some great Vietnamese food in this city, but there is no place that has culture like LV. Not only is the food awesome, the decor unmatched and the service is comfortable — they’ll greet you as “my friend.”
Music: My favorite thing to do is see live music, so I’m likely to be found at the Fillmore. The best 2019 shows I’ve seen there: Raconteurs, KFlay, Angels & Airwaves, Wet and Silverstein. Beers at VBGB or Corner Pub beforehand.
Coffee: I’d start with a pour over at Undercurrent Coffee (the Plaza Midwood location).
Lunch: A staple in my life since moving to Charlotte has always been the Crepe Cellar. From visiting friends who have worked there to now being friends with the owners, it’s a classic spot in Charlotte that never gets old. Start with the pesto brie fries, then get the Queen City crepe.
Hang: If it’s spring/summer and the first Sunday of the month (which it is, because this is MY weekend), I’d pop over to check out all the vendors at Front Porch Sundays at Sycamore Brewing. Have a beer, stroll around, buy things I don’t need. Then it’s over to Bohemian Wine Bar. I really dig their decor and ambience, and they’re serving one of the most beautiful charcuterie boards in the city.
Dinner: Intermezzo. I’ve started going there more often recently, though they’ve been around forever. Their Serbian food is great and the vibe is always chill. I like to sit at the bar because the owner Djordje and his staff are nice to talk to.
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