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Former Plaza Midwood gay bar changes hands to become a new rock venue

3 musicians are opening the bar to help curb the tide of music venues in Charlotte disappearing in recent years

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte has lost a number of music venues over the past few years, including Tremont Music Hall, Amos’ Southend, and the Double Door Inn. Three musicians saw the trend and decided to try to help turn the tide. 

Taylor Arthur, Justin Driscoll and Joshua Taddeo are responding by opening a new rock venue, called Skylark Social Club. 

The bar, at 2131 Central Ave. in Plaza Midwood, is the former home of the long-running gay bar Central Station.

central station charlotte

The bar during its Central Station days. (Credit: Facebook)

Central Station became The Station, in 2015, with Warren Stiles, owner of Midwood Country Club next door, taking over operations at that point. While The Station remained explicitly LGBTQ-friendly, it was at that point that it stopped being specifically a gay bar.

The Station regularly hosted punk and rock shows, primarily by local and regional bands.

Skylark Social Club also looks to hold similar types of shows on weekends, and Dirscoll told Charlotte Five that he expects it to be a “neighborhood bar for neighborhood people,” with an atmosphere something like a “rock’n’roll ‘Cheers.'” 

Taddeo told qnotes that the LGBTQ community will “of course” be welcome at the establishment, which will have a soft opening starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 5. 

“We are looking to provide a safe, fun, rock n’ roll, neighborhood bar for EVERYONE to enjoy,” he said. “It has been our dream to open this spot and we are very excited to open our doors with loving arms to every human being.”

Skylark Social Club Charlotte

Regular hours will be 5 p.m.-2 a.m. during weekdays and 12 p.m.-2 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. A $1 lifetime membership fee is required, available for purchase at the door, due to North Carolina’s “private club” law affecting establishments that make the majority of their proceeds through alcohol sales. 

The full bar will feature domestic beers, as well as a rotating crop of local beers and ciders. 

In addition to the closing of music venues, Charlotte has seen the closing of LGBTQ bars increase in recent years. In addition to Central Station, the city has said goodbye to both Marigny and Cathode Azure in South End, as well as the lesbian bar L4 Lounge in Plaza Midwood.

Petra’s, which is also in Plaza Midwood, has begun branding itself as an LGBTQ-friendly bar in recent years, instead of an LGBTQ bar as it had been, further adding to the trend.

On the other side of the ledger are the new establishments Boulevard 1820, Charlotte’s first drag restaurant, at 1820 South Blvd., Ste. 106, and Bar Argon, at 4544 South Blvd., Ste. H.

Posted by Jeff Taylor / Social Media Editor

Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006.@jefftaylorhuman.