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13 Charlotte Spots For Sipping Old Fashioneds This October

Elijah Craig Old Fashioned Week is back October 13-22

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This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

An old fashioned is the ideal drink to usher in cooler, and yes — earlier— nights in Charlotte this fall. It’s cozy, classic, and fit for a moody night. In celebration of the timeless cocktail, these 13 Queen City spots are serving up — well really, serving on the rocks — a specialty or classic Elijah Craig Old Fashioned for Old Fashioned Week from October 13 to 22. With each Elijah Craig Old Fashioned sold, $1 is donated to the Southern Smoke Foundation, a nonprofit by and for food and beverage workers, covering emergency relief funds, mental health care, and basic needs costs. So, while an old fashioned is always classic, cheersing one this week is classy.

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Dot Dot Dot

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Dot Dot Dot, a sneaky spot behind a hardware store in Park Road Shopping Center, possesses a unique across-Charlotte appeal. That could be due to it’s the central location, the speakeasy draw, or the art of a well-made cocktail. Upon entry, it’s all vintage black and white pictures, engraved low ceilings, red leather, and libraries of books and bottles. That vibe is perfect for an Elijah Craig old fashioned, which can be sipped solo or paired with the sorghum whiskey-glazed ribs. Pro tip: Definitely try to snag a reservation for weekend nights. If not, no stress — there will likely be some end-of-evening seating for a nightcap.

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Dilworth Tasting Room

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Romance is born and bred, or at least rekindled, at DTR — the aching, lavish love for wine and charcuterie, that is. The OG location on Tremont captures a European charm with its consistent crowd of regulars, draping vines, and jazzy live music outside on the second and third Wednesdays of every month. (There’s a second location in the SouthPark neighborhood too.) Get the charcuterie, which isn’t a mere sprinkling of meat and cheese, but a triumphant blend of local ripe cheese, nutty bread and briny pickles and olives. The specialty Elijah Craig old fashioned, with chocolate bitters and cacao nib infused Elijah Craig, is best gently stirred, savored, and followed by a bite of the syrup-soaked maraschino cherries. 

Photo by Round 7 Productions

Canopy Cocktails & Garden

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Canopy Cocktails and Garden is situated along the Rail Trail in South end, meaning this low-key party bar meets plentiful outdoor patio is not shy of post-grads and post-work happy hours. Here, an Elijah Craig old fashioned can be sipped fireside in the candlelit inside or also fireside in the more-action-packed outside. 

Haberdish

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Diners who’ve reserved at Haberdish are welcomed not only with wafts of the sweet and generously-sized hushpuppies, but with a handwritten welcome note, honing that home-sweet-home feel of the Tonidandel-Brown establishment. Split the fried chicken (with eight dipping options) and cheers with Old Fashioned Week’s speciality Elijah Craig cocktail: “Hail to the Queen City Old Fashioned.” It’s a spicy, juicy take on the classic, leveraging charred pineapple and toasted cinnamon. If the unfussy, shared plate style isn’t reason enough to take first-time Charlotte visitors to this spacious NoDa staple: They’ll leave full on the bee pollen-drizzled honey cake and wanting to come back for a healthy dose of southern flavor.

Supperland

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“Have you been to Supperland yet?” could very well be this unstuffy southern steakhouse’s slogan, given most of Charlotte has been asking that very question since its opening in 2021. Tuesday through Sunday, the church-pews-turned-benches are consistently full, while the miso cream mac and cheese and the sausage gravy croquettes blanket custom London-made plates. Owned by the same restaurant group as Haberdish, you can also snag the “Hail to the Queen City Old Fashioned” here during Old Fashioned Week, featuring Elijah Craig. Sip one with the succulent cherried pork plate or the crisped whole fish of the season, a decadent balance of flaky and tender.

Photo by Daniel Villa

Idlewild

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Visiting NoDa’s moody Idlewild is an exercise in trusting in mystery, surprise, and your personal palate. Instead of a menu, seasoned bartenders guide curious cocktail-sippers through their liquor and flavor preferences, crafting the individually-inspired drink or two, and creating a wellspring of possibilities —including a specialty Elijah Craig old fashioned that comes to life with hints of both vanilla bean and chocolate bitters. For cozy conversation vibes, settle into the plush wood benches or into the shadowy tables-for-two. For more interactive, be-impressed vibes, sit at the bar and watch the magic happen. (And then, sip it too.) This rare no-menu bar accepts reservations, welcomes walk-ins, and keeps parties under six to match that intimate feel. 

Photo by Danny Charland

The Vintage Whiskey & Cigar Bar of Charlotte

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This aptly-named spot in Southend is home to hand-rolled vintage cigars and hand-selected antique spirits and wine. It’s a membership situation, with discounted perks like guided cocktail classes and bourbon tastings from hospitality leaders across the Southeast. This is a place to sit and sip slowly on this week’s specialty build-your-own Elijah Craig old fashioned, where guests become bartenders, designing their own cocktail down to their preferred syrup, bitters, and garnish for $15. The Vintage knows its niche, and doesn’t try to be anything but an evening lounge.

Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte, Autograph Collection

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Enter the gilded doors of Grand Bohemiam’s 16th floor, Buho Bar, and experience this upscale rooftop bar’s take on South American food and flair. Both hotel guests and locals can enjoy the Grand Bo Old Fashioned with black walnut bitters, a cool $32 cocktail flight sampling, and chimichurri croquettes. With its panoramic views, live DJs on weekend nights, and Tuesday night salsa and bachata dancing, Buho clearly takes its “grand” nametag seriously. Go grand (bohemian), or go home, basically. 

Sea Level NC

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Neighboring the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and corporation-headquarter-galore is Sea Level, a restaurant priding itself on sustainable seafood. Slurp the Sea Level oyster (or a dozen at the $1.50 weekday oyster happy hour) directly from North Carolina, and then savor a cocktail from the libations menu, including a spirit-forward Elijah Craig old fashioned. The paella, dolloped with a saffron creme fraiche, is adorned in sausage, bacon, scallops, shrimps, and mussels, which primarily come from local fisheries and farms across the state, or at least, the east coast. The oyster shell wall at the front entrance is a fun touch too.   

131 MAIN Restaurant

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131 Main has been a nice-night-out mainstay for almost twenty years — a rarity in Charlotte — and now has a handful of locations across the area. Visitors, from Ballantyne to Lake Norman, keep going back for that cornbread, in its sweet, cast iron glory, as a standalone snack, or as a trusty companion to most every item on the classic entree menu — filet mignon, pork chops, shrimp and grits, which all pair perfectly with an equally classic Elijah Craig Old Fashioned.

Merchant and Trade

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Nineteen floors up the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel lives Merchant and Trade, with sleek fire pits, a stunner of an indoor and outdoor bar, an on-the-edge countertop with a cityscape view, and lots and lots of photo-ops. The flashy, fancy feel can be savored with a fair share of small plates (or not-so-small chicken and waffles) and an Elijah Craig old fashioned. Start the evening here with golden hour, or cap the night with a crowd and a skyscraper sky.  

Peppervine

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Peppervine is one of Charlotte’s true gems—a spendy, swanky, date-nighty gem—tucked in SouthPark’s Piedmont Row. Peppervine runs a class act, honoring a refined but not too-fine-dining style service. Start with the fried furikake cauliflower and green curry mussels, with the Peppervine Old Fashioned in hand, which features Elijah Craig energized by orange and cherry bitters. Continue with the star-player scallops and the crab pesto pappardelle. It’s very much an impress your boss or your boo type of spot. 

Billy Sunday

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Billy Sunday, reigning from Chicago but settling into Charlotte, is an indoor and outdoor cocktail bar tucked beneath Optimist Hall’s seemingly endless food vendors in NoDa. It’s open and unpretentious with a generous bar-top. The varied spread of $13 cocktails includes a special Elijah Craig old fashioned with earthy rhubarb amaro and orange oil, as well as other options that can pretty much fit any craving. The snacks and light bites, like the sun-dried tomato butter candle or the dill pickle pizza, come from upstairs Ava Pizzeria.

This advertising content was produced in collaboration between Vox Creative and our sponsor, without involvement from Vox Media editorial staff.

Dot Dot Dot

Dot Dot Dot, a sneaky spot behind a hardware store in Park Road Shopping Center, possesses a unique across-Charlotte appeal. That could be due to it’s the central location, the speakeasy draw, or the art of a well-made cocktail. Upon entry, it’s all vintage black and white pictures, engraved low ceilings, red leather, and libraries of books and bottles. That vibe is perfect for an Elijah Craig old fashioned, which can be sipped solo or paired with the sorghum whiskey-glazed ribs. Pro tip: Definitely try to snag a reservation for weekend nights. If not, no stress — there will likely be some end-of-evening seating for a nightcap.

Courtesy Dot Dot Dot

Dilworth Tasting Room

Romance is born and bred, or at least rekindled, at DTR — the aching, lavish love for wine and charcuterie, that is. The OG location on Tremont captures a European charm with its consistent crowd of regulars, draping vines, and jazzy live music outside on the second and third Wednesdays of every month. (There’s a second location in the SouthPark neighborhood too.) Get the charcuterie, which isn’t a mere sprinkling of meat and cheese, but a triumphant blend of local ripe cheese, nutty bread and briny pickles and olives. The specialty Elijah Craig old fashioned, with chocolate bitters and cacao nib infused Elijah Craig, is best gently stirred, savored, and followed by a bite of the syrup-soaked maraschino cherries. 

Photo by Round 7 Productions

Canopy Cocktails & Garden

Canopy Cocktails and Garden is situated along the Rail Trail in South end, meaning this low-key party bar meets plentiful outdoor patio is not shy of post-grads and post-work happy hours. Here, an Elijah Craig old fashioned can be sipped fireside in the candlelit inside or also fireside in the more-action-packed outside. 

Haberdish

Diners who’ve reserved at Haberdish are welcomed not only with wafts of the sweet and generously-sized hushpuppies, but with a handwritten welcome note, honing that home-sweet-home feel of the Tonidandel-Brown establishment. Split the fried chicken (with eight dipping options) and cheers with Old Fashioned Week’s speciality Elijah Craig cocktail: “Hail to the Queen City Old Fashioned.” It’s a spicy, juicy take on the classic, leveraging charred pineapple and toasted cinnamon. If the unfussy, shared plate style isn’t reason enough to take first-time Charlotte visitors to this spacious NoDa staple: They’ll leave full on the bee pollen-drizzled honey cake and wanting to come back for a healthy dose of southern flavor.

Supperland

“Have you been to Supperland yet?” could very well be this unstuffy southern steakhouse’s slogan, given most of Charlotte has been asking that very question since its opening in 2021. Tuesday through Sunday, the church-pews-turned-benches are consistently full, while the miso cream mac and cheese and the sausage gravy croquettes blanket custom London-made plates. Owned by the same restaurant group as Haberdish, you can also snag the “Hail to the Queen City Old Fashioned” here during Old Fashioned Week, featuring Elijah Craig. Sip one with the succulent cherried pork plate or the crisped whole fish of the season, a decadent balance of flaky and tender.

Photo by Daniel Villa

Idlewild

Visiting NoDa’s moody Idlewild is an exercise in trusting in mystery, surprise, and your personal palate. Instead of a menu, seasoned bartenders guide curious cocktail-sippers through their liquor and flavor preferences, crafting the individually-inspired drink or two, and creating a wellspring of possibilities —including a specialty Elijah Craig old fashioned that comes to life with hints of both vanilla bean and chocolate bitters. For cozy conversation vibes, settle into the plush wood benches or into the shadowy tables-for-two. For more interactive, be-impressed vibes, sit at the bar and watch the magic happen. (And then, sip it too.) This rare no-menu bar accepts reservations, welcomes walk-ins, and keeps parties under six to match that intimate feel. 

Photo by Danny Charland

The Vintage Whiskey & Cigar Bar of Charlotte

This aptly-named spot in Southend is home to hand-rolled vintage cigars and hand-selected antique spirits and wine. It’s a membership situation, with discounted perks like guided cocktail classes and bourbon tastings from hospitality leaders across the Southeast. This is a place to sit and sip slowly on this week’s specialty build-your-own Elijah Craig old fashioned, where guests become bartenders, designing their own cocktail down to their preferred syrup, bitters, and garnish for $15. The Vintage knows its niche, and doesn’t try to be anything but an evening lounge.

Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte, Autograph Collection

Enter the gilded doors of Grand Bohemiam’s 16th floor, Buho Bar, and experience this upscale rooftop bar’s take on South American food and flair. Both hotel guests and locals can enjoy the Grand Bo Old Fashioned with black walnut bitters, a cool $32 cocktail flight sampling, and chimichurri croquettes. With its panoramic views, live DJs on weekend nights, and Tuesday night salsa and bachata dancing, Buho clearly takes its “grand” nametag seriously. Go grand (bohemian), or go home, basically. 

Sea Level NC

Neighboring the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and corporation-headquarter-galore is Sea Level, a restaurant priding itself on sustainable seafood. Slurp the Sea Level oyster (or a dozen at the $1.50 weekday oyster happy hour) directly from North Carolina, and then savor a cocktail from the libations menu, including a spirit-forward Elijah Craig old fashioned. The paella, dolloped with a saffron creme fraiche, is adorned in sausage, bacon, scallops, shrimps, and mussels, which primarily come from local fisheries and farms across the state, or at least, the east coast. The oyster shell wall at the front entrance is a fun touch too.   

131 MAIN Restaurant

131 Main has been a nice-night-out mainstay for almost twenty years — a rarity in Charlotte — and now has a handful of locations across the area. Visitors, from Ballantyne to Lake Norman, keep going back for that cornbread, in its sweet, cast iron glory, as a standalone snack, or as a trusty companion to most every item on the classic entree menu — filet mignon, pork chops, shrimp and grits, which all pair perfectly with an equally classic Elijah Craig Old Fashioned.

Merchant and Trade

Nineteen floors up the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel lives Merchant and Trade, with sleek fire pits, a stunner of an indoor and outdoor bar, an on-the-edge countertop with a cityscape view, and lots and lots of photo-ops. The flashy, fancy feel can be savored with a fair share of small plates (or not-so-small chicken and waffles) and an Elijah Craig old fashioned. Start the evening here with golden hour, or cap the night with a crowd and a skyscraper sky.  

Peppervine

Peppervine is one of Charlotte’s true gems—a spendy, swanky, date-nighty gem—tucked in SouthPark’s Piedmont Row. Peppervine runs a class act, honoring a refined but not too-fine-dining style service. Start with the fried furikake cauliflower and green curry mussels, with the Peppervine Old Fashioned in hand, which features Elijah Craig energized by orange and cherry bitters. Continue with the star-player scallops and the crab pesto pappardelle. It’s very much an impress your boss or your boo type of spot. 

Billy Sunday

Billy Sunday, reigning from Chicago but settling into Charlotte, is an indoor and outdoor cocktail bar tucked beneath Optimist Hall’s seemingly endless food vendors in NoDa. It’s open and unpretentious with a generous bar-top. The varied spread of $13 cocktails includes a special Elijah Craig old fashioned with earthy rhubarb amaro and orange oil, as well as other options that can pretty much fit any craving. The snacks and light bites, like the sun-dried tomato butter candle or the dill pickle pizza, come from upstairs Ava Pizzeria.

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