It takes a certain type of person to appreciate Bartender’s Ball, and that person appreciates alcoholic beverages. A lot.
But the popular boozefest – now in its 10th year – can be more than a little bit overwhelming to even the most seasoned bar-hopper: five DJs spinning, 30-plus bars, 40 types of beer, 100 different flavors of liquor, with 1,500-2,000 partiers expected to take over 22,000 square feet at The Blake Hotel (555 S. McDowell St. near uptown) on Sunday.
Here are five tips for making the most of Bartender’s Ball, courtesy of Steve Caldwell of Elevate Lifestyle and Rich Saner of Rock House Events:
1. Dress to impress. It’s not the Grammys by any means, but judging by some of the dresses women have worn in the past few years, you wouldn’t know it. The “optional” in “black tie optional” has been the guys’ choice of late; expect more suits (with or without ties) than anything else on men.
2. Get a base before you start drinking. It wouldn’t hurt to eat before arriving at the event, but if you’re hungry, make a beeline to the Men’s Club area, where food will be provided by Chef Frank Van Den Bosch.
3. Make sure you stop by all the bars. One of the highlights of the event is seeing each bar’s decorations. This year, bars are celebrating the past decade of themes, competing with each other and choosing from motifs such as Hollywood, America and Holidays.
4. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Don’t be the drunk uncle or aunt you make fun of at weddings. Take your time, and enjoy the night responsibly. The organizers won’t run out of booze.
5. Don’t drink and drive. There will be plenty of cabs standing by, or if you drove, the Zingo transportation company will be available to get you and your car home safely. Or, you can stay at The Blake for just $99 that night.
Tickets can be still purchased online at www.CharlotteBartendersBall.com or at one of the 30 participating establishments listed on the website.