Ahead of the Mythos reunion, let’s travel back to 1993 Charlotte

Twenty years after the famed Charlotte nightclub Mythos closed, it is coming back — for one night only.

  • ICYMI: AndyK Productions, led by Charlotte DJ/restaurateur Andy Kastanas, is hosting a series of nightlife throwback parties. The next one is the Mythos reunion, which will be held Friday, Feb. 16 at Blackbox Theater.

Kastanas opened Mythos in 1993 with partners Tom Tsilimos, Gus and George Georgoulias and George Stergiou. For years, the club anchored the thriving uptown nightlife scene at 6th and College streets.

Kastanas was also once a reporter for Billboard, where he used to discover the hit music, he told me recently. “Our job was to break new artists. I didn’t play the hits, I made the hits,” he said.

Andy Kastanas, kingpin of Charlotte’s uptown bar scene in the 1990s, is shown at Mythos in August 1999. Kastanas, a sometime DJ, built a network of clubs and bars that packed in the crowds for years. He owned Mythos, Cosmos and Salamandra along with a few partners.
Andy Kastanas, kingpin of Charlotte’s uptown bar scene in the 1990s, is shown at Mythos in August 1999. Kastanas, a sometime DJ, built a network of clubs and bars that packed in the crowds for years. He owned Mythos, Cosmos and Salamandra along with a few partners.

Why host throwback parties

Over here on the CharlotteFive team, we’ve been all about revisiting the ‘90s and early ‘00s these days, including our recent coverage of the nightclubs of back when. And it feels like we’re not alone in this quest for nostalgia — so many readers have reached out about the “old days”.

But why, and why now?, I asked Kastanas recently. He had a couple of theories:

  • The last 10 years in Charlotte, there’s a lot of vanilla, a lot of gentrifying has been happening. A lot of people coming from all over the country,” Kastanas said. “The grit we grew up with is gone a little bit. The people — especially people that were there — want to see some of it again. I think I like bringing some of that grit back. The nostalgia is part of that.”

  • Or maybe it was the pandemic, Kastanas wondered aloud. Granted, he pointed out the arrival of a deadly global viral pathogen is easy to blame for pretty much anything that’s happened since 2020. And that’s fair: It has changed everything. “It probably had a lot to do with it,” he said. “Everyone’s in a festive mood now.”

Regardless of the reason, if you’re reading this, you’ve likely already secured your tickets to the Mythos reunion. So now, all that’s left is to go back in time. And we’re here to help.

We dug into The Charlotte Observer’s archives and found the story published Dec. 24, 1993, which covered the opening of Mythos nightclub:

From the archives: New club a sleek addition to uptown’s nightlife

Published: 12/24/93

Byline: Dennis Romero

The scene: a private nightclub opening.

Ten skylights let in a radiant view pierced by skyscrapers. Hipsters in platform shoes collide in the unisex washroom. Glamorous people dressed in black groove to a dance beat so thick you can taste it.

This is not some event out of ‘70s New York. This is Charlotte, today.

Clubs like uptown’s Mythos - which opened Wednesday under the glare of the uptown skyline - are popping up in Charlotte to meet a growing need for urban nightlife. In the past six months, spots including Clarence Foster’s, Club 2000 and The Underground have appeared, to the delight of young clubgoers and some civic boosters.

Mythos - set in an old paint-and-glass warehouse at 6th and North College streets - is vying to become the city’s hippest club.

What it takes is 10 loudspeakers with 2,500 watts of power (that’s about 25 times the power of the neighbor kid’s raucous home stereo), a light trellis that moves up and down on hoists, and $250,000 worth of renovations to a funky old building.

Oh, and the music.

Andy Kastanas - a veteran Charlotte deejay and the creative force behind Mythos - will be spinning the latest in Euro-disco, progressive house and hi-N.R.G. dance music. As Mythos opens to the public, Kastanas will put six months of planning to the test.

“I think Charlotte’s ready for something like this,” says the deejay and newly ordained club manager. “There hasn’t been a new club of this nature in Charlotte in five years.”

It’s 55,000 square feet of black walls, cement floors and cubist architecture; a multipaneled mural featuring mythical Greek figures Medusa and Pegasus, two Technics 1200 turntables and exposed rafters.

Nine months ago, Kastanas leased the 80-year-old brick building for a dance-’til-dawn “rave” party. So when a group of uptown investors - who wish to remain anonymous - hired him to open a new club last summer, he knew the ideal spot. “The acoustics here were real good,” he says.

But it took more than two turntables and a few loudspeakers to make the leased building a night spot, Kastanas, 33, says: “Most of the money went into things you don’t see - the sound system, the design . . . the electrical wiring and air-conditioning.”

The building was pretty raw, he explains. A wall had to be knocked down, new doors had to be put in, bathrooms had to be created and frosting had to be stripped from the skylights.

The result looks like an art gallery with disco lights.

The Charlotte Convention & Visitors Bureau, for one, isn’t complaining about this new addition to Charlotte:

“With the opening of the new convention center (in late 1994) and the (Carolina) Panthers stadium coming (in 1996), it seems there would be a need for more nightlife,” says Lynne Mitchell, marketing director at the bureau. “Also, a lot of our competing cities (for tourist dollars) - Baltimore, Minneapolis - have vibrant nightlife.”

Tracy Tilley, corporate sales manager at the Holiday Inn across 6th Street, won’t be complaining either, despite the thunderous roar from next door. Now she has another place to send guests at night:

“Uptown closes at 5, as you know. So it’s exciting to have some more entertainment outside of the performing arts.”

Peter Herrero, co-owner of North College Street’s nightlife pioneer - Cafe 521 - hopes more nightlife industry drops anchor there. “These uptown spaces can become a hip place to come at night,” he says.

“Already, people can drive to one area, park in one parking lot and eat, go to the theater and go dancing. It’s a positive thing.”

Even the Park Elevator nightclub - king of Mount Hipness in Charlotte for more than five years - welcomes the competition. “I’m not concerned because I know that there’s nobody in this town that can touch us as far as music goes,” says club manager Lisa Christenbury.

Kastanas, who deejayed at Park Elevator for five years and left last year after a mutual disagreement with the management, says he’s not trying to slay his alma mater - that there’s more than enough room in this growing city for several night spots.

“I think that Charlotte has grown up,” he says. “And so has the club scene.”


What: Mythos, a “club for a post-alternative consciousness” for those 21 and older.

Where: 300 N. College St., corner of East 6th and North College streets (entrance and parking in the back).

Hours: 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Wednesday is ‘70s disco night, Thursday features thumping house music, Friday and Saturday nights feature a mix of progressive dance sounds and Sundays cater to gay clubbers with hi-N.R.G. dance music.

Admission: Cover is $3 for members Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday; $5 for nonmembers and guests. It’s $4 for members Friday and Saturday; $6 for nonmembers and guests. Membership is $10.

More Mythos nostalgia

We’ll be here all week, friends. Come back to CharlotteFive.com for more reports from The Charlotte Observer’s archives as we ramp up to the Mythos reunion:

  • Tuesday: “Boogie Knight rides uptown,” published Sept. 13, 1999.

  • Wednesday: “Mythos: 10 years of having last laugh. Club owners started entertainment district with 1993 opening,” published April 16, 2004.

  • Thursday: “Mythos opened door for uptown nightlife. Club’s closing marks the end of an era in city’s cultural evolution,” published June 13, 2004.