Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Petra's finally opening in Plaza-Midwood

Plaza-Midwood’s newest spot is finally ready for business.
Petra’s will have a soft opening on Thursday before bringing out the big guns on Friday.

As I reported in March, Petra’s Piano Bar and Cabaret will open next to the Penguin. Robb and sister Connie Huddleston (along with club namesake Petra Fugger and Chris Hollar) modeled the place after popular piano bars in New York’s West Village.

The club was supposed to open in April, but the owners underestimated how difficult it would be to obtain all of the permits required to open a club in this city.

Robb Huddleston said that for Friday’s grand opening, he is bringing in friends from cruise ships and tours who will sing everything from John Lennon to Patti LaBelle.

The format is like the Duplex club in New York’s West Village: The piano player starts at 9 p.m. He sings and takes requests. Audience members can sing with him. Waitresses, bartenders and doormen will also perform.

Huddleston said his priority in hiring staff was to make sure they could sing. Even the doormen can carry a tune.

“There are some very big guys out there that have very beautiful voices,” he said. “I have a couple of friends who sing, who happen to be 6-4 and 250 pounds.”

Doors open at 5 p.m. for the after-work crowd. Music starts at 9 p.m. It costs $10 for a one-year membership. Without a membership, it costs $3 to sign in with a member.


Anonymous said...

But what if you and your friend want to go and neither of you is a member (and neither of you want to be)?

Tonya Jameson said...

My guess is some member will sign you in.

Anonymous said...

What's all of this membership crap? Why can't people just go out and have a drink? This place opens months behind schedule then tries to be picky...pah-leese!

Tonya Jameson said...

Where's the love anonymous? 8 a.m. is too early to be all rowdy. In defense of the folks at Petra's, the membership thing is state law. Unless you serve a certain percentage of food, you have to be a private club. So for example, BAR Charlotte and Forum are technically private clubs. Dixie's Tavern and Grand Central aren't.

Some clubs get around this by having a "guest book" at the front door. Many clubs ignore the law altogether until they get busted by the ABC or get caught selling liquor to a minor.

The folks at Petra are rookies here and they're just covering their booty.

Anonymous said...

"The format is like the Duplex club in New York’s West Village"

I freakin' love this place it's one of my favourite places in all of New York. If Petra is 1/2 of what the Duplex is then I'm sure I'll make it in on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Smoking or non smoking club ?

Tonya Jameson said...

There will be a smoking section away from the main entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Went Saturday....total gay club.

Not my bag baby. But the place is done up well.

Anonymous said...

booty? where's the love? how racially stereotypical could you be?

do you walk like huggybear when you head down the street to da clubs? do you shuck and jive?

be glad you cover two categories in the minority bracket or your booty might not be doing this ridiculous thing you call a blog.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a breath of fresh air Petra's brings to Charlotte. Romantic candle-lit tables, soft lighting above, chocolate martini's, H.R. Puffenstuff playing quietly on a huge theater screen in the background... eclectic and classy without any snooty attitude. The pianist and performers brought goosebumps. It's like they were performing just for me. Move over American Idol; we've got bigger things in this city now! A great club set in the heart of Charlotte's most desireable and diverse neighborhood. Thank you for bringing some of the big city home. I'll continue to take a bite out of this apple!