queen park social

Unplug and Be Social at SouthEnd’s Newest Hotspot

Queen Park Social’s mission is to encourage you with unlimited ways to have fun and “Be Social” that you’ll forget to check your phone. Disconnect to Reconnect.

A New York City inspired boutique entertainment house has opened its doors on Yancey Road in lower SouthEnd. Neighbors to Olde Mecklenburg Brewing, The Broken Spoke, Good Road Cider Works, Great Wagon Road Distillery and Sugar Creek Brewing makes this area a true destination for young professionals.

Georgia born owner Joe Lariscy has, with partners Reid and Daniel, crafted a social gathering place with multiple activities to enjoy under one roof. After living in NYC for over seven years working in finance, Joe finally had the opportunity to be an entrepreneur. His inspiration for Queen Park Social started back in New York when he visited the Brooklyn Bowl on a regular basis, which was located across the street from Brooklyn Brewing.

“We feel will are a great complement on Yancey to the entire neighborhood which continues to bring more and more entertainment in the Historic SouthEnd.” – Joe

Everyone is welcome! Bring your friends, colleagues, kids, or your entire family. Queen Park Social is a laid back party atmosphere meant to lift your spirits and enjoy life in the QC.

Location Location Location

It all starts by picking where you want to hang out. A spacious front patio with a few mounted TV’s, succulent plant bowls on large tables, comfortable chairs and tables gathered together and a bar stool table overlooking the lawn of OMB. For outdoor activities besides lounging, head out to their large grassy back yard, fenced in underneath the Queen Park cinema sign. Moving around to the different spaces is encouraged! The list of games include darts, skeeball, basketball hoop, foosball, corn hole, bowling, floor and table shuffleboard.

“We are matching fun, trendy restaurant bar with some upscale boutique elements you will see more in places like NYC or LA.” – Joe

Designed with you in mind whether you want to come with friends for drinks, having a birthday party or corporate event in their private room, each area has its own appeal to match your plans. Enjoy cocktails on the plush leather couches in the game room or sit at the indoor bar in any one of their teal leather rivet bar stools or high tables.

Food, Drink and Live Music

Joe teamed up with Carlos and Terrell to build a Gastro-Pub / Tex-Mex menu, offering about 40 items ranging from brussel sprouts and tacos to burgers and desserts. You might think with such an emphasis on fun and games that the menu would be overshadowed but that’s not the case here. Sauces, fries and waffle cones are made fresh daily. Specialty cocktails and draft list keep you coming back for more. There’s something for everyone.

If the fun, games, food and artwork wasn’t enough to get you here, their upcoming live music events are set to start this summer. They will soon be a hotspot for you music lovers.



No matter where you are in the 18,000 square foot space you’ll see homage paid to the 1960’s industrial warehouse by keeping the structure intact and its original elements. Decorated with newspaper style movie advertisements for 90’s favorites like E.T., Sixteen Candles, Clueless, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Fletch and more.

“Today everyone is on their cell phone constantly.  We are “throwing it back” to a simpler time where social interaction literally happens in person, over great food and drink with fun activities.” – Joe

Many of you have seen artwork around Charlotte by our talented local artists Matt Moore and Matt Hooker. It’s no surprise that they partnered up with a few other artists to create a massive mural taking up the entire sidewall of the bowling alley, appropriately worded “Be Social”. With a comic book style theme created with spray paint and acrylic, it begins at one end with a plug that’s been disconnected from an outlet showing electricity sparking outwards onto and throughout the words, lighting up the entire phrase. This incredible video by Reel Talk CLT captures the mural coming to life.


Insider Fun Facts about Joe

Favorite thing about the city: So many great breweries, the White Water Center, Joel Bunkley the Band of One
Favorite late-night snack: Dominos
Biggest lesson learned so far during the opening process:  Some classic clichés that ring especially true, trust your gut, enjoy the process.  Oh and try to “unplug” once in a while!
Describe QPS in no more than three words:  Boutique entertainment house.
Is there one element about QPS that is more of a passion than another:  Personally, I have a particular obsession with ping pong and skeeball (much better at the former).

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dilworth tasting room

Meet the new face of an old Dilworth neighborhood favorite.

Keeping true to the original structure and character of the longtime neighborhood pub of 35 years, Dilworth Billiards, you can tell the moment you walk through the front door that it has been upgraded into a beautiful and spacious new gathering place.

Owner Jaffer Kovic, and his father Hase, remodeled almost every inch of the interior. What you will notice first is the two large red leather couches facing one another, a long mustard yellow leather bench wrapping the street facing wall of tables and another huge black couch along the side wall. Secondly, you’ll see a gorgeous bar lining the back wall that is back-lit with vertical rows upon rows of wine bottles.

Kovic has extensive knowledge in the wine industry as an advanced sommelier. He also understands exactly what it means when a new venture just feels right. By chance, he and his family drove by a “For Lease” sign posted in front of Dilworth Billiards. Owner of the building, Eric Sprouse, was pleased to enter a leasing agreement with Kovic and is excited about what he has done with the space, keeping it as open and welcoming as it was before.


The Decor | The bar is custom made by Kovich’s father Hase, mahogany wood with handcrafted copper accents as well as the columns and wine racks. An exposed brick wall is adorned with empty square picture frames. Soft round light fixtures hang and fill the 2,800 square foot room. You will also find some artwork created by Kovich’s young daughter. A warm and comfortable atmosphere with a knowledgeable staff creates for a great night of learning and indulging.


The Food | Created by Ivana Bekavac to compliment the wine and beer menu, simple and elegant, and approachable.Heavy on superior quality meat and cheese, small bites and snacks like mixed nuts and burrata, four styles of bruschetta, three panini options and a plethora of combinations to choose from to create your own charcuterie spread. Keep an eye out for new additions as their supply will change on a regular basis.
My recommendations would be the Roasted Grape Bruchetta and the Burrata with Basil Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes.


The Drinks | As written on Kovic’s business card “In every empty wine bottle is a story.” the drink menu was designed with you in mind. A craft beer list twenty-nine deep from around the world, fourteen white wines and twenty-four reds, plus a handful of champagne and sparkling wines. The staff is unbelievably knowledgeable and asks the right questions to help you find a wine that suits you when undecided.
I was graciously assisted by our waitress to find my favorite of the evening. She gave me three different wine samples so she could learn my taste. We found that Four Vines “Naked” Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County, CA 2015 was a winner.


The Patio | The original koi pond still exists. Lush trees and flowers surround private bistro table nooks with brick walkways leading to each around the pond. String lighting and paper lanterns shine above. This patio is the ultimate date spot.

Swing by Dilworth Tasting Room as soon as possible for a girls night, date night, quick drink and a light snack. You could also make a night of it with your family or coworkers visiting Charlotte, show them something new.

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I had an amazing opportunity a couple weeks ago with my fellow food friends of CLT Food Bloggers. We were given the chance to learn how to make our own pizzas! Tavolo, located in uptown Charlotte at the corner of 6th and College, is an Italian restaurant focusing on fresh, local ingredients that fit right in to our modern and traditional expectations of great Italian food.

General manager Anthony Cardone and Executive Chef Deacon Ovall and his team show us their pizza making ways at Tavolo. They were all very proud about the quality, sourcing and preparation of not only the pizzas but their entire menu.

Their menu is full of classic plates like Eggplant Parmigiano, Chicken Francese and Shrimp Fra Diavolo. There are more modern options like Charcuterie Boards as well as a Bar Bites Menu featuring items like Meatball Sliders, Fried Zucchini and Fried Dough Bites. It was clear they really enjoyed and valued their process of pizza making, so let’s get right to that.

Only the Freshest Ingredients

Their dough is a 50/50 flour and semolina and shaped into 8 ounce rolls. Once risen and pounded, they’re ready for toppings. Although the pizza dough is made in house, their table bread is baked by Libretto’s Pizzeria.

Tavolo uses a cheese mixture of mostly whole cow’s milk with a bit of buffalo milk shredded mozzarella blended in for that extra punch of flavor. If you’ve never tried buffalo mozzarella, put it on your to-do list! The have three sauces: marinara, alfredo and garlic oil, which are all made from scratch in their kitchen.

Ranging from house-made balsamic and cherry soaked figs to 4 inch diameter Board’s Head pepperoni and spicy sausage, all of their toppings are of the highest quality.
Fun Fact:  Boar’s Head was the only company who could accommodate their request for such large pepperoni, high fives!

As a final touch, they dust their pizzas with a spice blend made special for them by Motown Spice Provisions in Mooresville.

Wood Fired Oven

Tavolo uses hard wood cherry and white oak for their wood-fired oven. At a temperature between 700-800 degrees, the pizzas only take about 6-8 minutes to cook. We almost burned the demo pizza, so it’s obvious their pizzas require a lot of attention to make sure they come out perfectly.

The pizzas start off in the very back of the oven where the embers are hottest. Then, they are turned slightly and moved along the sides for equal distribution of heat. Once all the turns are made and it reaches the front of the oven, voila!


My Personal Pizza

Since I couldn’t decide on just a few toppings and didn’t want my pizza to weigh 5 pounds I decided to create a half and half. One half just had to be those 4 inch pepperonis and nothing else because they are simply impressive. For the other half, I also chose spicy sausage, portabella mushrooms, fresh tomatoes and buffalo milk mozzarella. Then I doused my edges with their house-made garlic oil.

Great company, strong cocktails and amazing pizza, what a fantastic evening. See more about my friend’s Allie, Jess, Chrissie, and Tanya and their experience at Tavolo!
EatDrinkCLT | SliceofJess OffTheEatenPath | MyForkingLife | CLTFoodBloggers

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o-ku pop-up

I’ve been to clothing pop-ups but never food pop-ups! When I heard of this event, I just had to be there. Two of my favorite things combined into one event, sushi + beer!

O-Ku Charlotte teamed up with Unknown Brewing for an exclusive 5 course dinner pairing. Specialty sushi + craft beer brewed for this event made for an evening full of flavor and happy company. I always enjoy seeing all of the familiar faces from the Charlotte social food scene at events like these. :)

O-Ku Charlotte

Based out of Charleston, SC O-Ku has expanded to Atlanta, GA and to SouthEnd’s Atherton Mill here in Charlotte. Their menu is traditional with a mix of contemporary sushi offerings. All can be accompanied by their craft cocktails and sake, meant to represent and celebrate Japanese culture.

They pride themselves in their ability to feature seafood from some of the finest fish markets in Hawaii and Tokyo while also using local and seasonal ingredients. Fresh, local & seasonal is what we like to see here in Charlotte #amiright?!

Unknown Brewing

Unknown Brewing is all about living a life of freedom, fun and going beyond your boundaries. Having a positive outlook stems from doing what they love… making really great beer. They aren’t afraid to try something new, unique or different when it comes to their recipes.

Step into the Unknown” and #livewithoutboundaries is the motto among the Unknown team.

For this event, they brewed some super interesting recipes! Sake Beer, a Wasabi Stout, Cucumber Kolsch and Sriracha Amber.

Sushi & Beer Pairing

Pre-Meal | Edamame + Pre-Game Session Ale
Course 1 | Spicy Scallop Hand Roll + Ginger Wheat
Course 2 | Salmon Lemon Roll + Wasabi Stout
Course 3 | Yellowtail Carpaccio + Cucumber Kolsch
Course 4 | Tuna Tataki with Asian Pear + Sriracha Amber
Course 5 | Spicy Tuna Hako Box with Squid Ink Rice + Sake Beer


Samurai Show

For the last course pairing, we were treated with a short sword-fighting routine performed by Feint and Parry Stage Combat. Even though it was only a few minutes, it was an exciting way to end a night of great sushi and fantastic beer.

Two “actors” came out and started play-fighting as if one was training the other (pictured). It seemed as though everyone was thinking “Is this just a play about Samurai’s, what’s going on here?”. Then, the twosome left the stage and were replaced with professional looking Samaurai’s, face makeup and all. I understood them to be a representation of the future selves of the other two. They were very serious and had legit metal on metal sword fights. I was sitting front row and had my fingers crossed the entire time that they kept tight grips, yikes!

It was such a fun evening, a huge thank you to everyone! A special shout-out to Aly and Laura from Phase3 Marketing, you two are awesome.

Connect with O-Ku Charlotte and Unknown Brewing to see what’s next!