Explore Charlotte

Charlotte Bars Where You Can Play While You Drink

From chess to Nintendo, the local nightlife scene is big on fun and games.

Charlotteans don’t limit fun and games to preteens. In fact, the Queen City’s 21-plus crowd embraces joie de vivre, particularly at notable nightlife establishments that serve up as many rounds of jumbo Jenga as they do gin and gingers.

Abari Game Bar

Combine that favorite neighborhood watering hole with the arcade halls of your youth and you get Abari Game Bar.

With over 20 arcade games, a variety of pinball machines and game consoles such as Nintendo, you could spend hours here—and you will, craft beer and cocktails in hand. 

Pickles and Ms. Pac-Man at Abari Game Bar
Pickles and Ms. Pac-Man at Abari Game Bar (Courtesy Abari Game Bar)

The Blind Pig

Nestled in the heart of the NoDa arts district, The Blind Pig is the place for watching the big game or playing one.

Traditional bar billiards and darts are available, but old favorites such as Skee-Ball, Jenga, and Foosball are the real draw. No food here, but you can always get food at one of the restaurants within walking distance to the bar.

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

Don’t let the 80 taps and about 150 bottles of beer here distract you from bar games that range from usual suspects like darts, billiards and Foosball to a more thought-provoking pastime in chess.

Lucky's Bar & Arcade

At this new entrant to Charlotte’s after-dark scene, it’s like the ‘90s never went out of style.

Patrons can challenge friends, or strangers, to video game battles on classic systems like Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, XBOX and more.

No worries though, if you’re not feeling the love from Mario and Luigi—go even more retro with pinball, Skee-Ball and air hockey.

(©Raw Productions and Poprock Photography)
(©Raw Productions and Poprock Photography)

VBGB Beer Hall & Garden

The games gods at VBGB are shouting go big or go home. Just take a gander at the volleyball courts, cornhole, oversized chess and massive outside patio that are part of this beach bar biergarten.

Located at the AvidXchange Music Factory, VBGB serves up 30 beers on tap and has an open concept with bench seating. 

Use your noodle at VBGB Beer Hall
Use your noodle at VBGB Beer Hall. (Courtesy VBGB Beer Hall)

The Unknown Brewing Co. 

The South End's Unknown Brewing Co. features 10 of its own signature drafts on afternoons and evenings five days a week, but its weekly event schedule is just as fresh as its beer and runs the gamut from yoga and boot camp to pub trivia. When there's nothin' doin' as far as organized social gatherings, patrons can take a turn on a wooden swing, play some arcade games, cornhole, ping-pong and board games including everyone's favorite Cards Against Humanity.  

Thomas Street Tavern

Head to the back patio of Plaza Midwood staple, Thomas Street Tavern, where a portion features a separate bar with cornhole boards and the true star: ping-pong. Customers can watch any match from stadium seating while waiting for their turn at the paddle.

Inside billiards and darts occupy imbibers.

Thomas Street Tavern
(Courtesy Thomas Street Tavern)