Wednesday, June 06, 2007

You don't have to drink and drive

Hey partiers, now you have no excuse for drinking and driving.

Starting June 15, Red Fish Entertainment and Kount Down Entertainment will host the Charlotte Party Bus. Buses will club-hop to the hottest parties, then return you to your pickup point at the end of the night. The crawl costs $35 in advance, and $40 at the bus. Drinks on the bus are free. For an additional fee, you can use Two Guys and Ride, which is a company that drives you and your car home.

Pickup locations are the Wal-Marts on Mount Holly-Huntersville Road and in University, as well as Southend Brewery and Eastland Mall’s parking lots. The June 15 crawl itinerary hasn’t been finalized, but when it has, I will post it on the Paid to Party blog.

Seriously folks: Drinking and driving is no joke, and this is a great concept. I definitely plan to try it out. I hope you do as well.

Coliseum implosion was cool

A toast to the good old days and new beginnings.

When I moved here, the Hornets were a fixture. As a Maryland native, my favorite NBA team was the Washington Bullets, or Wizards, or whatever they were called back then. Part of what turned me off about the Hornets was Alonzo Mourning, who I watched when he played for Georgetown -- I always thought he whined too much. (But I did like the gutsy Muggsy Bogues.)
My fondest memories of the Hive were concerts.

Last Sunday, I joined about 100 other people who watched the Coliseum crumble into rubble at Pope & Land’s implosion party. For me, watching the implosion wasn’t about nostalgia, but a chance to watch a building go down. I’ve always wanted to see one.

After interviewing Bogues and Calvin Easter, who pushed the button that set off the detonation, I began thinking about my favorite moments at the Coliseum.

*Janet Jackson perform in 2001: The crowd was so hype, it was incredible.
*The Tina Turner concert in 2000: I felt so fortunate to see someone of her stature.
*Cyndi Lauper’s opening performance for Cher in 1999: I didn’t realize how much I liked her.
*U2 in 2001: It’s U2. What more do I need to say? Plus, they had a heart-shaped stage, and fans stood both inside and outside of it. I still remember my editors going nuts trying to warn me about the deadly Who stampede.
*Neil Diamond in 2002: I can still smell the Ben-Gay.

Still, the best memory I will ever have about the Charlotte Coliseum was watching that baby implode. Awesome.
What was the best concert you ever saw at the Charlotte Coliseum? And did you watch the implosion? What did you think? Post your replies below.

McCoy's loves Harleys

Hanging at Mac's Speed Shop for their two-year anniversary on Thursday.

McCoy's on a Friday night.

I’ve been riding motorcycles for 10 years, but biker-bar-hopping the last couple of weeks made me feel like a real biker.

I was at Cans' Tuesday night Bike Night a few ago, but last week I hit two straight-up biker bars: Mac’s and McCoy’s.
Thursday, I joined dozens of other bikers celebrating Mac’s Speed Shop’s two-year anniversary. Simplified, a local band that is steadily improving, performed. Bikers and FOBs (Friends of Bikers) streamed outside the popular restaurant and bar.

If you’ve been to Mac’s, you know their food is ridiculous. They cook their chicken wings and other meats in a smoker. They also have a huge selection of craft brews, which is what first drew me to the place. And don't forget the deviled eggs.
Mac’s is my favorite yuppie biker bar, but McCoy’s -- which is around the corner from Mac's, at Woodlawn and Old Pineville Road -- is the place to go when I’m feeling like a roughneck.

Ryan Register, who managed the Men’s Club, followed his dream and opened the bar with his father Namon and brother Jimmy about six months ago. Register named it after his grandfather. Relatives say Register reminds them of his grandfather.

McCoy’s has a rougher vibe, a smaller selection of beer, and slammin’ food. They also smoke all of their meats. Their chicken wings were delicious, pulled pork melted on my fork, and they even had good macaroni and cheese (I rarely like mac 'n' cheese unless it comes from a soul-food restaurant.)

Most of his patrons last Friday were Harley-Davidson riders. When I pulled into the lot, the doorman directed me to put my Honda Shadow in the far parking lot. I wasn’t allowed to park my bike next to all the Harleys out front.
I screamed segregation. Register assured me that it wasn’t the bike, but the lack of available parking. (I still don’t believe you!)

When I walked in, several patrons looked me up and down, but the staff was friendly. By the end of the night, I exchanged goodbyes with a few patrons.

If you go, Register typically hires a Dyno machine or a burnout bike to set up in the parking lot on Fridays. The noise makes it difficult to hold a conversation on the patio, but both are fun to watch.