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ScottCLT

Menage shut down?!?

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I was walking along 5th street yesterday and passed by Menage - it's all torn apart inside with a sign in the windows that says "Coming Soon - Belle's BBQ". Does anyone know what happened? I have only been out there a few times, but it was always busy. And Stephan Latorre poured so much $$$ into that place, with the three-story slide and what not. What's strange, is that they were handing out cards to get people in with no cover just last weekend at Taste of Charlotte. And what's up with a three-story "ultra lounge" turning into a BBQ joint?

And since I'm on the subject, does anybody know what happened to Twist? It sat closed for 2 or 3 months with everything still in it like the bar staff just left one day and never came back. There were repo notices stuck to the window from Muzak for the sound equipment they were leasing. Just last week, the windows got covered up with brown paper on the inside, but I still have no clue what is going on with the place.

Both seemed like prime locations with a constant heavy crowd from what I have seen. What is going on here???

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I don't know details on either place but I have been to Menage several times and never liked it much. They just tried too hard to make into so exclusive club when it was clearly a tacky looking trendy dance club. With our without the slide.

The perils of posting by accident: "some club" and "or"

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Hopefully the Epicentre will add some decent nightlife.

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I suppose the new BBQ place could keep the slide....you could order a sandwich and then have to catch it when the kitchen drops it down:lol: Total speculation of course but Menage got pretty negative press in CL and the Observer regarding allegedly racist practices by employees against minority patrons. An independent investigation cleared the club of wrongdoing which is totally besides the point. The story sticks around and that kind of reputation, true or not is lethal for a nightspot. It could of be one of the contributing factors if they are indeed out of business.

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From what I've seen in other cities, suddenly closing is not unusual for clubs. Like restaurants, they are difficult to keep open even when they are popular. Add a story like the one about racial discrimination and you're almost guaranteed to close.

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In Creative Loafing, I saw an ad for both Menage and Belle's BBQ this week. They both have different addresses. One is 118 and 116 5th street I think, are you sure they closed????

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Well, if they closed suddenly after some controversy, ads that they might have prepaid for a period of time would continue to run.

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so if they are closed, what are they going to do with those awesome futuristic window tubes? If there is some other business locating there, I sure hope they decide to use them. I thought that was one of the neatest things around.

A2

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so if they are closed, what are they going to do with those awesome futuristic window tubes? If there is some other business locating there, I sure hope they decide to use them. I thought that was one of the neatest things around.

A2

Ok, I got the low-down on this when I passed by on Saturday night. The bouncer said that Menage is not shut down, and that Belle's BBQ is actually part of the same business. Only the main floor will cease to be Menage. The top floor (where everyone went anyway) will still be Menage. The main floor will host live music acts and serve ribs, chopped pork, and beef brisket BBQ until 2 a.m. I'm thinking it will be kind of like a smaller Buckhead with food. Admission will be one-for-both, and you will be able to freely roam from Menage to Belle's throughout the night.

And since we are on the topic of sudden closings, did you guys notice that Hoops and Dreams, the sports bar at the corner of 5th and Tryon closed? There's already a sign for a new italian restaurant/lounge going in there (can't remember the name).

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Ok, I got the low-down on this when I passed by on Saturday night. The bouncer said that Menage is not shut down, and that Belle's BBQ is actually part of the same business. Only the main floor will cease to be Menage. The top floor (where everyone went anyway) will still be Menage. The main floor will host live music acts and serve ribs, chopped pork, and beef brisket BBQ until 2 a.m. I'm thinking it will be kind of like a smaller Buckhead with food. Admission will be one-for-both, and you will be able to freely roam from Menage to Belle's throughout the night.

And since we are on the topic of sudden closings, did you guys notice that Hoops and Dreams, the sports bar at the corner of 5th and Tryon closed? There's already a sign for a new italian restaurant/lounge going in there (can't remember the name).

OK so now I have to ask where is Twist? BTW, thanks for scooping up that info ScottCLT! :thumbsup:

A2

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That is good to know about Menage. Twist is at the southeast corner of 5th and Church, where City Tavern was a few years ago. That appears to now have some construction work.

I don't know where I heard it, but I heard that Twist had some shady dealings, and was doomed to fail.

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That is good to know about Menage. Twist is at the southeast corner of 5th and Church, where City Tavern was a few years ago. That appears to now have some construction work.

I don't know where I heard it, but I heard that Twist had some shady dealings, and was doomed to fail.

Yes I know where it is physically, what I meant to ask is, "where did it go"? Sorry for the miscommunication. :) It has been closed for weeks and brown paper now covers the windows. It sucks since that was a hot corner for some time, & now it is just dead.

A2

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I think its time for a club that is more lowkey and less high octane in Uptown. I guess I am a party pooper but I like a more laidback scene. Menage and all the bars in Uptown seem to be in a constant competition to be the loudest and trashiest on the block. I would rather go to The Dog Bar :lol:

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I'm not sure Twist's location was ever hot. It seems to me that that location has always struggled a bit. That is why City Tavern moved, as it really wasn't doing as well.

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that space that Twist was in has been so many places in the past 8 years or so. It seems that whatever goes in there fails or moves. At one point cars kept crashing into it as well. in the late 90's it was quasi modos bell tower, or something stupid like that.

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Ok, I got the low-down on this when I passed by on Saturday night. The bouncer said that Menage is not shut down, and that Belle's BBQ is actually part of the same business. Only the main floor will cease to be Menage. The top floor (where everyone went anyway) will still be Menage. The main floor will host live music acts and serve ribs, chopped pork, and beef brisket BBQ until 2 a.m. I'm thinking it will be kind of like a smaller Buckhead with food. Admission will be one-for-both, and you will be able to freely roam from Menage to Belle's throughout the night.

How wonderfully southern and Charlotte!! A multi-floored night-club that has BBQ with live music on one level and a glitzy club above it -- with admission for both together. Seriously...I LOVE it! I don't think you'll find this combo in other cities and it certainly gives a healthy and realistic nod to our culture. I'm sure plenty will slam it, but it definitely ads some flavor to our nightlife. Literally.

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that space that Twist was in has been so many places in the past 8 years or so. It seems that whatever goes in there fails or moves. At one point cars kept crashing into it as well. in the late 90's it was quasi modos bell tower, or something stupid like that.

I think Twist fell prey to a problem a lot of places that have tried downtown had. Identity crisis. What exactly was it? A restaurant? A club? A sushi bar? Cosmos on steriods? They tried to be everything and weren't (IMHO) good at any of it. The food and service were bad when I went there for dinner, and the bar scene was cramped and sort of dull when we went there for that.

Rumor also was that when Stephan LaTorre (who owns LaTorre's and Menage across the street) bought the bottom of Iveys he wanted Twist out.

The owner of Twist was also the same guy with City Tavern, which does pull off being a bar with loud nightlife and a restaurant, but no one I know really thinks their food is that great, they survive from the bar crowd and 'party nites'. The Dilworth location seems to be the over 30 singles scene -- which works for them well.

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I think City Tavern's food is pretty good, personally.

As for Latorre, I think it is more than a rumor that he bought the retail spaces on the ground floor of Iveys. It was reported as fact in the papers.

Personally, I hope he opens some doors to that retail out onto 5th Street. Then, if 5th has a group of retailers, then the spot that Twist was in would be much more viable.

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I think Twist fell prey to a problem a lot of places that have tried downtown had. Identity crisis. What exactly was it? A restaurant? A club? A sushi bar? Cosmos on steriods? They tried to be everything and weren't (IMHO) good at any of it. The food and service were bad when I went there for dinner, and the bar scene was cramped and sort of dull when we went there for that.

I will second that. Just trying to get served a drink at the bar at Twist was always a nightmare. Not enough bartenders, and even when things were slow, service pretty much suked.

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That was true of that space even when City Tavern was there. There must be something about the lay out, the walking paths/service areas for wait staff, and the kitchen location that must breed that. Maybe that is why it is not a good spot.

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That was true of that space even when City Tavern was there. There must be something about the lay out, the walking paths/service areas for wait staff, and the kitchen location that must breed that. Maybe that is why it is not a good spot.

I think it would be a good spot and layout for a restaurant, but flow and bar layout are terrible for a bar crowd.

I agee with your earlier statement, some real retail down in that spot would be great. Can't wait to see what comes about. Has Avenue announced what will be in thier ground level spaces? Not specifics, but is it retail, food, what?

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Looks like Palomino has suddenly shuttered as well.

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I guess everyone also knows that Bistro 100 closed shop. That was for corporate reasons though, I believe. Bistro''s spot is supposed to be taken by the Mimosa/Sonoma owner for a new place.

Also, I know it's been said but I'll say it again anyway. Busting a few holes in the wall on 5th would do alot not only for the street there but for the retail/dining spaces that inhabit them. Those suckers need direct access to 5th.

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I usually avoid 5th street. Don't like walking under those grease fans from the restaurants in the old Ivey's. :sick:

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