Monday, February 15, 2010

New York vibe gives Butter flavor

On paper, it might look like a recipe for failure: Two New York nightclub owners decide to try their luck in Charlotte – by bringing us “a slice of New York nightlife.” After all, New York mentalities and perspectives sometimes don’t play well around here.

However, the owners of the posh new Butter Charlotte on the northern edge of uptown aren’t your average Manhattan nightclub owners. And one of them – 35-year-old Scott Sartiano – is guided by a Carolinas upbringing, having attended high schools in Columbia, Greenville (N.C.) and Hendersonville; his parents live in Kannapolis.

The 8,300-square-foot, bi-level space has hosted private events every weekend since its soft opening last month, and Friday night, Butter opens its oversized, faux cow skin-adorned doors to the masses. It’s another feather in the cap for the N.C. Music Factory, which also boasts concert venue The Uptown Amphitheatre, live-music club The Fillmore Charlotte, and Halo nightclub.

To give you a sense of how big a deal the clubs owned by Sartiano and business partner Richie Akiva in NYC are, become a regular reader of the New York Post online and you’ll eventually see their names on Page Six.

The Yankees celebrated their 2009 World Series win at Sartiano and Akiva’s Chelsea nightclub 1OAK. In December, their Butter restaurant in Lower Manhattan hosted an album release party for R&B crooner Robin Thicke; Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Usher were in attendance. Oh, and Sartiano’s exes include actresses Ashley Olsen and Jamie Lynn-Sigler.

So will our Butter become a regular hangout for celebrities, too? Almost certainly.

Pro Bowler Julius Peppers of the Carolina Panthers has already stopped in. Actor Wilmer Valderrama of “That ’70s Show” intended to celebrate his 30th birthday there last Friday night, but was snowed in in New York. Paris Hilton’s sister, Nicky, will be at Butter Friday night. And Black Eyed Peas reportedly will stop by after their concert at Time Warner Cable Arena Saturday night for an after-party sponsored by Bacardi (rumor has it will.i.am will serve as guest DJ).

“It’s important to have celebrities in a club,” Sartiano says. “That said, I don’t focus my business around them. I focus my business in good service and a great atmosphere, which is what ultimately keeps everyone – whether you’re a celebrity or not – coming back.”

In conversations with Sartiano, it wasn’t entirely clear what type of crowd he and Akiva are hoping to attract. On the one hand, it sounds like they plan to embrace everybody. But he also suggested that certain types of people aren’t welcome.

When asked to elaborate, Sartiano says, carefully: “Richie and I have always prided ourselves in making sure that our venues cater to a wide demographic of people. … That said, people with a great sense of style, fashion and culture create the vibe we want to maintain at Butter.”

How will this very-New York mentality play in Charlotte? Time will tell.

But on a recent Saturday night, Butter’s lower level was packed with happy-looking people – a wide demographic of happy-looking people – from velvet-covered wall to velvet-covered wall.

A sneak peek at Butter Charlotte

The scene: Award-winning club designer François Frossard has put together a space that oozes style, from the velvet flocked wall coverings inside to the Balinese daybeds on the outdoor patio. The lounge-like area upstairs – which guests walk into first – is punctuated by a protruding backlit sphere behind its main bar (pictured here).

A grand staircase leads down to the bigger main room, where most of the dancing takes place. The room’s centerpiece will be a giant chandelier that sends wild light shows bouncing across thousands of crystals; the VIP area (pictured below) is also here.

The music: On a recent Saturday night, NYC DJ Dimitry Mak downstairs wove together a top-notch mix of songs that ranged from Rihanna’s “Disturbia” to Prince’s “Kiss” to a club remix of Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” There’s also a DJ booth upstairs, where volume matches the vibe – it’s lower-key, so not as ear-splitting.

The drinks: Domestic beers are $5 each, imports are $6; wine by the glass, $10; liquors run $8-$75; $12 cocktails include a “Butter Martini” made with citrus vodka, orange and pomegranate liquors and pineapple juice. Bottle service is also available.

The servers: Attractive and bubbly twentysomething women in knee-high black leather boots and long-sleeved black mini dresses.

The details: 950 Seaboard St. in The N.C. Music Factory. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. Cover: $10. 704-295-1565; www.buttercharlotte.com.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a joke

Anonymous said...

Thank god we finally got a "real" nightclub in Charlotte. This club is truly amazing! It is in a league of it's own.

Anonymous said...

I went to Butter and the NC Music Factory for the first time this past weekend. All i can say is SICKKKKKKK!

Anonymous said...

this place is BEAUTIFUL and the so is the crowd. charlotte is hot finally! there is no where else i would go other than BUTTER.

Anonymous said...

the best music and djs charlotte has ever seen

Anonymous said...

I went the other night and it was the best club Ive ever been to in Charlotte. The guy saying "what a joke" must have been one of the dummies outside not getting in lol

Anonymous said...

I went to the soft opening the first weekend and all I can say is WOW! Nothing in town compares to Butter. Everything was first class.

Smile said...

I enjoy all these similar-sounding comments

Anonymous said...

AMAZING place! Can't believe this is in Charlotte. Feels like NY or Miami.

Anonymous said...

Best place in Charlotte by far!! Butter is gorgeous! The vibe is amazing!! Staff was friendly. Crowd was classy, fun and fashionable. So glad to get away from the trashy college night type of places. Music downstairs off the hook, the best I've heard in Charlotte. This place is like no other in Charlotte. Applauding to all involved.

Anonymous said...

I was there last night for my girlfriend's birthday party and I was blown away! There is nothing in Charlotte even close!!!

Anonymous said...

the dj this past weekend killed it. I mean he killed it. His style is at a different level then the other local clubs. Tried asking his name but he was too busy to talk to me because he kept putting his hands in the air and jumping up and down like a wild man. Of course there were like 10 girls in the dj booth. Please bring that guy back. Anyone know his name please?

Anonymous said...

I tried to go the week before but couldn't get in because i was with 5guys and 1 girl. I was pissed. So i finally got in this past sat because i brought my sister and no guys. And when we got in i just left her for dead in the club. There were too many women inside to be hanging with my sister.

Anonymous said...

i went on a thursday night and didnt get in because they said it was a private party. Just didnt understand why there was a bunch of photographers outside in the cold.

jessica said...

Just moved here from ny and was disappointed to hear there was no food. Funny to see that you guys turned away a few panther, bobcat players and their posse. But even funnier to see those players minus their possse come back a few mins later then getting in.

Anonymous said...

gee $5 beers and $75 liquors..or, a six pack from the store for the same money. no wonder that there is no food. why should there be, they are making a 600 percent markup profit on drinks alone!

Anonymous said...

Is this a news article, or free advertising for a(nother) nightclub? Sometimes I can't tell.

Anonymous said...

to the anonymous posting about the $5 beers etc...like Fergie said "if you ain't got no money, TAKE YOUR BROKE ASS HOME".

Anonymous said...

I honestly doubt I'll ever go to Butter, but I appreciate that new places are opening around town. It makes the recession seem less...present.

Anonymous said...

Wow, overly positive comments at 5:41, 5:42, 5:42, 5:44 and 5:44. Could you be any more obvious, Butter/NCMF employee or owner?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Quoting Fergie. This place must be awesome.

dar456 said...

not my kind of place as most of my clubs days are behind me, but having been inside i have to say that the owners know what they are doing. there is definitely not another club like this in NC. also if you havent already, check out what the NCMF has to offer. most ppl havent heard about it yet but it is going to be a very poplular place once a few more of the bars/clubs open up

Anonymous said...

Agree! I went to a show a few nights ago at the Fillmore and wow what an amazing place to see a concert. Judging by what I have heard from many people already I assume Butter is equally as impressive. My hats off to the Music Factory. Keep the great places coming!

Anonymous said...

This place is awesome!! Why else would the BEP have decided to party there!? It was an awesome night! http://www.bacarditheendtourblog.com/2010/02/charlotte-nc-2/

Anonymous said...

Thats how us yankees roll

Anonymous said...

The spot next to it is much better. Not wet willies its the other one. Can't remember the name(tipsy tipsy ) anyways extremely nice decor on the inside and the atmosphere is much more sincere. There's no discrimination. If your black white brown gay straight didn't matter. Screw people who judge in the blink of an eye.