Nov 22, 2022 - Food and Drink

New nightclub Encore and lounge XOXO now open in Uptown


Photo courtesy of James Nguyen

Two additions to Uptown’s nightlife — Encore and XOXO — opened over the weekend in the former Topgolf Swing Suite location. 

Why it matters: As many echoed in our Instagram post about the announcement — “Charlotte needs this.” What they mean is they’re ready for Charlotte to have a nightlife similar to that of other big cities — clubs that are open late, bottle service and renowned DJs, all of which Encore co-owner James Nguyen promises to provide.

  • “There aren’t many places where women can go to in Uptown to get a drink before going out,” creative director of XOXO, Brittany Reed, tells Axios. She hopes XOXO will offer a safe space for women looking to have a fun night out in Uptown.

The big picture: Encore and XOXO are the latest additions to Charlotte’s growing list of nightlife destinations. They’re right next to Hive, which opened earlier this year.

  • Next year, Charlotteans will have even more traditional club options with Trio opening in South End.

What to expect: Encore has full-service bars, VIP booths with bottle service, a live performance stage and a DJ booth.

  • XOXO is a high-energy cocktail lounge with an extensive scotch and bourbon selection. Starting in December, you’ll also be able to grab light bites.
  • The 10,000-square-foot space includes both the lounge and the club.

The vibe: “Big city vibe with Southern hospitality,” meaning you can expect the same level of energy inside as you would a club in Miami or Vegas, but you won’t encounter the same strict bouncers at the door that only let certain people in, Nguyen said.

  • As far as music, you can expect house/pop on Saturdays, and Sunday is hip-hop night.
  • Ladies won’t have to pay for cover and men will pay $10-$20.
  • Nguyen says he’s working with the other club owners nearby to equalize the cover charge across the board. “Everyone charging the same at the door just makes it easier,” he said.
Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Zoom in: Encore’s owners, Nguyen, Russell Payton and Tyler Wicker, are no strangers to Charlotte nightlife or the entertainment and hospitality industry. Wicker owns Deco Nightclub in Charleston and Nguyen and Wicker previously co-owned Oak Room together.

  • Nguyen, who was also formerly a co-owner of QC Social, grew up going out in the same strip where Encore is located. “This whole alley used to be filled with life,” he said.

Flashback: The 300 North College stretch has a history as a former nightlife hotspot. Before Topgolf closed during the pandemic, the Uptown property was home to a beer hall called Flight as well as Lucky’s Bar & Arcade, among other tenants.

  • Years before that, it housed Cosmo’s Cafe, Alley Cat, The Forum, Mythos, Bar Charlotte and Phoenix. 
Inside the lounge, you’ll find a peacock painted by Chris McDaniels of Artisan Rooms, a decorative painting company whose work has been featured on HGTV. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Details: Encore’s entrance is off an alleyway at 314 N. College St. XOXO has a dedicated entrance on College Street, and guests can also enter through Encore.

  • Encore is open Friday-Sunday from 10pm-2am. XOXO is open Wednesday-Saturday 6pm-2am.

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