Nov 14, 2023 - Business

Idlewild in NoDa is moving and a new dive bar called The Ugly will open in its place

The Ugly bar

Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

A new dive bar called The Ugly opens in NoDa in the former Idlewild spot on Wednesday, Nov.15. Idlewild is moving next door to the space where its sister bar, Fairweather, used to be.

Owner Vince Chirico says there are a few reasons the shuffling is happening. One is that Fairweather and Idlewild started to resemble each other.

  • Instead of having two similar bars side-by-side, “we’re going to have two drastically different concepts right next door to each other,” Chirico tells me. 

Why it matters: Idlewild is one of Charlotte’s most popular cocktail bars, known for its lack of a menu and its bartender’s choice approach.

  • Chirico assures me that, except for its physical location, Idlewild will mostly remain the same, including its skilled bartenders. 
The Ugly bar
Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

The Ugly is a casual dive bar, according to Chirico. “No waitlist and reservation, no assigned seating,” he says.

  • It’s open 6pm-2am daily at 424 E 36th St., except on opening day, when it will open at 7pm. 

Zoom in: Chirico describes the new bar as Idlewild’s “ugly little sister” and a “casual neighborhood spot.”

  • The menu has six pre-batched cocktails for about $10-$12, plus beer starting at $2.
  • The Ugly is not the place to go get a fancy cocktail. If you want one of those you can go next door — it even says so on their menu. 
  • Replacing Fairweather’s popular dollar-oyster Mondays will be an assortment of chips, bar nuts and Hot Pockets, as first reported by Eater
The Ugly bar
List of pre-batched cocktails. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios
The Ugly bar
From left to right: The bad, the good, negorini and the ugly. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

Flashback: Fairweather opened in August 2022 and unlike its sister bar, it has an extensive cocktail menu plus wine, beer and a small-bites menu with a raw bar. Fairweather is slightly bigger and the spaces are connected, so you can travel between them easily. 

Between the lines: Mecklenburg County health officials say someone got sick from eating oysters at Fairweather this past summer, WSOC reported

  • “This is not due to mishandling of any oysters on our end, but rather an issue stemming back to the purveyor/farmer that these oysters originated from,” a statement from Fairweather to WSOC reads.
  • Chirico says the choice to rebrand has nothing to do with the oyster incident. 

What’s next: Idlewild will re-open in its new location on Thursday, Nov. 16.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new drink pricing. Originally, cocktail prices were $12-$14, per the bar. They are now $10-$12.

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