For adults in Fayetteville, finding a place to mingle and socialize may seem hard. But at the NZone Bar and Social Lounge on Raeford Road, you can always count on entertainment, good drinks, and tasty food.
Three years ago, Tonya McNeil, opened the location to give parents and co-workers a place to escape. She says she was tired of watching people have to drive miles away to find a fun nighttime environment. She wanted them to know that there is a social scene in Fayetteville.
“We’re trying to get out there so people know that we are actually here providing,” McNeill said. “They don’t have to go out and drive an hour away to actually have fun. We are right here in the city.”
Last Super Bowl Sunday NZone saw a huge crowd come in to watch the game. Things went so well, that they hosted an event the following week featuring R&B group, 112. Well-renowned Blues singer, Theodis Ealey, came by to perform at another event. Ealey felt so at home that he asked McNeil if he could use the lounge’s venue for his birthday party. A couple of weeks ago, Tonya invited a speed dating host from Atlanta which led to a hugely popular event.
For regular customers, NZone offers annual memberships for just $5 that allow people to attend the events for half price.
One thing Tonya wants people to know is that NZone is more than just a bar. Her plan was to create a spot that would not just turn into a club, but become a spot for entertainment. She wanted adults 25+ to feel welcomed in a lighthearted, fun environment.
She rents the venue out for people who want to host parties and events. The building has an area with tables and seating that can be blocked off and reserved. Several schools have already made reservations this year for alumni-related events and gatherings including E.E. Smith and Seventy-First High School. As a graduate of Seventy-First, Tonya will host a grown-up prom during homecoming to give those who never went to prom in high school the chance to attend.
At NZone, Tonya is known for her famous wings with savory sauces like lemon pepper, garlic parmesan, buffalo wings, barbecue, and sweet mild. Other than just regular appetizers served at the bar, Tonya provides southern comfort food. They have gizzards that are fried to perfection and golden fried pork chops.
Every day, they have drink specials that range from $2 to $5. Their top shelf beverages can go for as much as $10.
With prior experience bar-running experience, Tonya’s advice to potential business owners is to know your audience. It is important to have a plan and know who you want your business to target, she explained.
“When you open up a social bar, what is it that you want to give the people? When you say social, are you just giving them somewhere to go that they can come and meet new people,” she added.
The dress code upon entry is casual, without t-shirts and hoodies. In order for people to feel comfortable, security is at the door. They walk around to monitor, especially during packed events.
Operating hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 4 pm until 12 midnight. On Fridays and Saturdays, they open later, beginning at 4 pm and closing at 2 am. Tonya is looking at opening on Sundays but is in the process of finding a live band that would perform.
Overall, Tonya wants the city, and military community, to know that NZone is present and dedicated to providing an environment that will get people to relax and enjoy their time. To find out more about NZone Bar and Social Lounge, visit their Facebook page.