It’s time for me to introduce the Charlotte Smarties out there to one of Charlotte’s best-kept secrets. Welcome to Montford!
Yes, Montford is a street that is where it’s at right now. So many of us are getting tired of the same old places. Tired of driving uptown? Looking to get out of your neighborhood bubble? Tired of the same restaurants, bars and clubs? Wanting to do something different? Then get your little mama tail over to Montford.
Montford is conveniently located just north of SouthPark at the corner of Park and Woodlawn. You may remember hitting up this street when you hung out at Moosehead or Angry Ale’s. Luckily, those same tried and true places are staples on this street but recently there have been lots of new additions that really round out this area as a place where you can get a little bit of everything. My rowdy crew was of course up for this adventure because we ALWAYS have a good time on Montford. Oh, and it just happened to be someone’s birthday so it was an easy sell. J
When planning for this outing, we had to keep some very important things in mind. Your entire wardrobe should be planned around the fact that you are BOWLING tonight. What this mean is that dresses may not be an option. Rolling a pink ball down the lane in a short, tight dress may not be your best play here… unless you are looking for free drinks from sleezeballs. Also, socks will need to be in your repertoire to have with those bowling shoes. Super sexy. My suggestion? Cute skinny jeans and a sexy top. If it’s time to break out the cute pumps, just pack a pair of little socks in your bag. No biggie.
We all piled into a big minivan and headed up to eat at my new favorite place to eat, Maverick Rock Taco. Maverick has AMAZING Mexican food paired with a rock-n-roll atmosphere that is owned by the same peeps at Ilios Noche and Nolen Kitchen (yum and yum). The vintage décor and murals of rock-n-roll legends is a new and welcoming feel instead of your traditional Mexican sombreros on the walls. They have a great outdoor patio that will be wait-listed for sure now that the temperature has started to rise in the evenings. Our large group was placed at a table in the bar area that we found aged between 25-45, perfect for our group. (Make reservations, ya’ll!)
Everything on this menu is delish. Their main specialty is the Mexican Street Food so that is what I traditionally order from. I love their Jalapeno Mahi-Mahi tacos with a side of the Street Corn (A MUST!). Every single person in our group had food they devoured. They have a vast drink menu with a variety of margaritas, tequilas, specialty cocktails and beer so you can quench your thirst. My suggestion is the skinny margarita or the Southern Peach (Jack Daniels, Peach Schnapps, Mint and Fresh Peach). Hello? Delicious.
So the food is great, the atmosphere is electric, the service is attentive. Only area of improvement? The bar. I’m not sure why Maverick has not perfected this situation. The bar area is packed from 7-10 with people meeting up for pre-night drinks, plus add on top of that all the dinner patrons which equals a very busy bar. More staff is definitely needed during this window to accommodate the rush. Many times we found our drinks empty as we waited. … and waited for refills. At one point I wished I had brought my own flask of tequila to keep the buzz going. Once they fix this issue, they will score a 10 in my book. But the spring season is upon them and it’s only going to get busier. My advice, if the bar is packed… switch to Coronas that are easy to serve up instead of waiting on a specialty drink. Or in my case, a shot of tequila… that I will regret the next day.
Now.. it’s time for the real fun. BOWLING!
10 Park Lanes is not your average bowling spot. This place got a ridiculous makeover and is the place to be. The place is packed! It not only has lanes for bowling but it has food and large bars that are well staffed as well as large outdoor covered patios with TV’s and cornhole. Yep. It’s got everything. Not to mention awesome DJs that play all the songs you know every word to.
Before I go into the best part of the night, you MUST MUST MUST book a lane before you arrive. If you try to get on the wait-list for this, you may never get in. Luckily, 10 Park Lanes offers an online reservation system for booking lanes up to 24 hours in advance. The prices are very reasonable. (Approximately $4.75 for shoe rental and $5.95 per game) Be sure to do this kids.
Everything about this part of the night is a blast. We split up into teams and put on our lovely bowling shoes. I am always surprised at the skill level from my friends on bowling. Some of them who can’t run down the street without passing out should be on the PBA tour while others who seemed athletic can’t get a ball out of the gutter. Everyone is singing, taking selfies and dancing.. it’s awesome.
Another great part of 10 Park Lanes is that when you reserve a lane, you get your own waitress. We were assigned a great gal who was quick with the drinks (and shots…gag) and even offered late night menus of things that sound REALLY good after a certain amount of drinking, like fried pickles and mac and cheese.
The crowd here is also great. I never once felt old or young in this crowd. Everyone is there in large groups so you aren’t getting creepy old guys that want to buy you drinks or young girls that should be at home babysitting your kids. No one is dressed overly trampy or looks like they are living on the street. For some reason this crowd just all vibes together. I have never seen a fight break out, huge makeout sessions in the corners or people falling down drunk. Maybe this is going out heaven?
Once you wrap up a game or two, by this point everyone is feeling pretty good thanks to the attentive staff. Many people actually stay here for the remainder of the evening, which I have done on occasion. The music is great and the bar is full so you can wrap up your night here. We however decided to make our way across the street to Brazwells for our late night escapades.
I remember going to Brazwells a year or so ago and thought.. it seemed like a place for me. The crowd is late 20’s early 30’s and kind of preppy. (Which I like.) It actually reminded me a lot of college bars that I once knew. Tonight the place was PACKED. So packed you couldn’t even get up to the bar. It was so tight in there that it was hard to move. With a large group, we easily got separated and I could see that this was not everyone’s cup of tea. Being pushed up against strangers in college didn’t bother me as much because you were all packed in like sardines everywhere you went. But now that I’m in my 30’s I find that I’m concerned about my purse or someone stepping on my new shoes that I love. Regardless, commit to the crowd or bail out. Otherwise you might just get annoyed. High-five to Brazwells for what they are doing to bring in the crowds… they are doing something right. I just cared too much about my shoes to stay.
All in all, you can’t lose on Montford. Good Food on Montford is another amazing place that serves tapas that I hear rave reviews about. And if Brazwells is not your scene, scoot over to Angry Ale’s or just sit on the patio of 10 Park Lanes and enjoy the crowd and the evening. I personally think this place has the Epicenter BEAT as far as a good time had by all. Trust me. Head over to Montford with the ladies, you will not regret it.