Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Charlotte City Club & The Tower Club

The grand staircase at the City Club

Above pictures show the different dining rooms of the City Club

The view from above

Map showing the current City Club location

Menu from May 1966 (including lunch and dinner specials for two days)--note the many dishes that were standard in the '60's--many not seen today

Tower Club entry area

The Tower Club's view from above

The Charlotte City Club officially opened on January 10, 1947. After two years of planning led by Herbert H. Baxter, the City Club opened on two floors above the Union National Bank (on the corner of 4th and Tryon). The goal of the City Club was to provide members of the business community a private place to meet and discuss business over meals in a quiet, attractive atmosphere. 

On June 6, 1962, the City Club moved to the second and third floors of the (then) new Mutual Savings and Loan Association Building. The Club would remain at this location until November 29, 1990, when the Club moved to their current location atop the Interstate Tower on the corner of Trade and Tryon.

From the beginning, the City Club has always been regarded as Charlotte's premier private fine-dining venue. With a membership that has always featured Charlotte's prominent business leaders, the popularity of the City Club will continue for years to come.

For over two decades, the Tower Club served as an alternate option to the City Club in downtown Charlotte. It was similar in design to the City Club-- a private, membership-only fine dining club. At its peak, the Tower Club had three different locations downtown-- the main fine-dining location on the 27th floor of the Charlotte Plaza building, an athletic club and grill located on the mezzanine level of the Bank of America Plaza building  (across from the lobby of the Omni Hotel), and a third location on the 38th floor of the Three First Union building. The Tower Club continued operations until finally closing its main location in 2003 followed by the closing of the health club and grill at the end of 2004. The Tower Club opened when (other than the City Club) fine dining options in downtown Charlotte were greatly limited. As downtown Charlotte evolved in the late-90's and more dining options became available, the owners of the Tower Club found it was no longer financially viable to stay open. At its peak, the Tower Club boasted over 1400 members.



  1. Great post and a very beautiful restaurant.

  2. I've been fortunate enough to visit the City Club several times since I've been here (although not so many in the near future due to the economy!). I do enjoy going up there. They have a pretty large banquet room on the 30th floor (with no ceiling, so technically it takes up the 30th and 31st floors) struck me as a very large room to have in that tower.

    I wasn't as big of a fan of the Tower Club, but I never experienced it when it was in the CP building (and never knew there was one in 3 First Union). The food and service were both fine in the BoA mezz, but it just didn't have that same panache as the City Club does, and 98% of that is probably due to the fact that it wasn't towards the top of a tall building.

    I do like the restaurant that replaced the Tower Club in the CP, Bentley's on 27 (hint, hint...).

  3. Thanks for all of the comments!

    The City Club is definitely in a class by itself!

    I've heard great things about Bentley's--the owner was at the Fishmarket at Southpark for years and years. It's on my list of places to visit downtown (after Chima...).

  4. The addition of the menu was a great touch, Pat R. Thanks for including a peek at mid-60s fine dining in Charlotte!