I asked, “Where do black professionals hang out in Charlotte?” I got blank stares

A number of local hangouts popular with the city's black professionals have come and gone. One woman looks for options for good food and good vibes.

Detroit is my home, but I’ve spent the last 8 1/2 years in Charlotte. I’ve witnessed the city’s development, and while it’s been somewhat exciting, there have been a few disappointments. One in particular, Charlotte’s social scene for the black community.

As a 43-year-old black woman, one question I’m left asking: where do the mature, black professionals hang out?

I remember the days of Delta’s Restaurant and House of Jazz. I’ve seen the nostalgia on people’s faces when they speak of Therapy Café and other places that closed prior to my arrival. But, when I ask, “Where do the black professionals hang out?” I consistently get the reaction of a blank stare and hunched shoulders followed by the response, “You tell me…” or “I just had this conversation with someone…”

Therapy Café was a popular spot for black Charlotte’s weekend crowd. It closed in 2010 amid allegations of racism. (Photo: Yelp.com)

Now, let me put my disclaimer out there that I’m not looking for a fad or overly hyped places. Rather, I’m looking for spots that have good service, good music, good food and good drinks. I’ve asked friends and casual acquaintances around Charlotte, conducted unofficial market research, explored on my own and have come up with some of the same spots like Sports One.

Google was no help, and while there are several blogs that provide a generous amount of places to frequent for non-black people, it’s virtually impossible — in my opinion — to obtain this list for people of color. I’ve visited several places like Loft & Cellar and Fire House Bar & Lounge, which have opened over the last few years. While I’ve somewhat enjoyed myself, it appears to be the same crowd of people. We’re all on the same mission to find new places to relax after a long day of work.

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The common theme of those spots are their center city location. Where are the spots that don’t require me to go uptown? The nuisance of parking and the expenses once I get to the spot aren’t always worth the hassle.

Am I missing something? Are the answers in a secret cookie jar? Am I not “in the know” enough? Charlotte black folks, where do we hang out? Let’s get a list going.

Editor’s Note: Millennials want to know, too. In the meantime, check out our events page for things to do.

Darnita Samuels is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Charlotte, N.C. You can connect with her at darnita_samuels@live.com.