Wednesday, July 26, 2006

(Night)life in Lincolnton...

Ever since I posted Tales of a Karaoke Sandbagger, I have been meaning to come back and clear up some misconceptions about Lincolnton nightlife. After all, I wrote that post back on May 29th, with just 3 weeks of Lincolnton living under my belt. Having now been here for nearly 3 months, I feel like I am better able to speak on the subject.

Ok - so Lincolnton is a far cry from Hoboken which has some 70+ bars within a single square mile and where liquor licenses are so abundant, you can no longer get one without bribing a government official (hey - it's New Jersey) or hoping that someone who has one dies so you can buy it from their estate.

That said Lincolnton nightlife is not without its charm.

By my last count, we have 3 bars in town.

Zippers, which you are already familiar with, appears to be open 7 nights a week and hosts karaoke 6 of those nights, with the 7th being reserved for Bike Night. It's more like a stripbar, and I wouldn't drink anything other than bottled beer - but it's nice to know there's a place you can go to at 10pm on a Sunday should you feel so inspired.

Fatz, which I have also mentioned in other posts, is more family dining establishment but it does have a bar - also open 7 nights - and according to the owner who we met a few weeks ago, the bar business is better than any other bar business in Lincolnton. Not sure that's a massive accomplishment, but hey - somebody's got to be the best. I won't lie - Marty and I popped in one Saturday at around 10:30 for a quick drink after dinner. It was sort of entertaining to sip mediocre white wine and watch the waitresses hit on the 2 single guys at the bar while NASCAR played on every available TV screen.

Tradewinds restaurant and lounge is only open Wednesday through Saturday - as Marty and I discovered when we showed up on a Tuesday night for dinner. It's a seafood place that reminds me of the type of restaurant you'd find down in Key West - all faux nautical theme and plenty of fresh fish. They too have a bar (hence the "lounge" in the establishment's name) which was hopping on the Thursday night we finally went. Thursdays also happen to be karaoke night. Are you seeing a theme here?

There was a fourth bar - the previously mentioned Rock Garden Private Club and Sports Bar - but it closed. They kicked off their work week on Wednesday nights with karaoke (do people not go out in the beginning of the week?). They are apparently relocating and should be reopen in 3 months or so, but I did have the opportunity to go a few times before they closed. It wasn't nearly as sketchy as I thought it would be (Marty claims this is because he was with me so no one bothered me. I say Zippers was sketchier) and apparently the "private club" part was akin to some sort of membership fee to avoid paying a nightly cover. I'm not sure how that played in a small town like ours and we will see if they continue that policy when they re-open.

Most other joints in town don't serve alcohol at all or don't offer a bar to go have a drink, so that sums up what we've got to choose from one any given night (short of getting in the car and driving somewhere).

So we're not exactly bustling when it comes to bars but at least we have liquor by the drink (still unavailable in some neighboring counties) and on the bright side, I'm getting better at karaoke.

Still, I am holding out for a trip to the Silver Bullet, a country & western bar out on Route 10 that my friend Richie tells me I can not - under any circumstance - go to because of the sketchy goings on with tons of slutty women and rowdy men. He doesn't realize that I've already been to Iron Thunder (twice).

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...