Axios Charlotte

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February 20, 2024

Hello, Tuesday. It's Ashley, reminding you early voting is underway.

🌀 Weather: High 59°. Low 34°.

🍰 Happy birthday to Axios Charlotte members Kathryn Thompson, Jason Gulak, Dee Gorski-daigle Leslie Johnson and Kathy Cantwell! And happy belated birthday to member Patti Barrett.

Today's Smart Brevityβ„’ count is 893 words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🍸A giant martini glass with a massive sign

Site plans: Wells Fargo/City of Charlotte

Wells Fargo will soon beat Truist for hanging the largest sign in Uptown, Axios' Alexandria Sands writes.

Driving the news: Monday night, Charlotte City Council approved a rezoning for two huge signs on top of 550 South Tryon St., also known as the former Duke Energy Center or the giant martini glass building.

Why it matters: Displaying flashy logos atop skyscrapers can be a touchy subject, as residents feel pride and ownership over the skyline and its architecture.

  • During the rezoning process, some have likened a skyline crowded with corporate logos to a CVS aisle or Tokyo.

Yes, but: Wells Fargo, one of the city's largest employers, rightfully owns the building.

Details: The two signs will read "Wells Fargo" and span 1,880 square feet on the building's "handlebar."

  • To compare, the rectangular Truist sign atop the bank's North Tryon tower is about 980 square feet.

Full story

2. 🏑 House hunting with AI

Photo: Courtesy of Tomo

Mortgage platform Tomo is rolling out a new AI-powered home search portal today in several places across the country, including North Carolina, Axios' Bri Crane writes.

Why it matters: As more real estate marketplaces integrate AI into their platforms, searching for homes in the Charlotte area could become a lot faster and easier. Plus, results could be more personalized.

Details: Former Zillow exec and Tomo cofounder Greg Schwartz developed the platform so consumers could search for homes based on specific wants β€” beyond the number of beds and baths β€” and shop more like savvy investors.

  • Bri tested the tool and found it was capable of picking up on specific preferences.
  • When you click on a listing, you'll see a description plus the names of the current owners, their original loan amount and the estimated remaining mortgage balance.

Full story

3. πŸ₯‚ Babe Cave's new home and "mature" look

Photo: Courtesy of Morgan Robinson

Babe Cave will reopen next month. In addition to a new home in LoSo, you'll find that the popular cocktail bar is all grown up.

Catch up quick: The women-designed bar closed in late 2022 following disputes with nearby businesses, Axios' Alexis Clinton writes.

What's happening: Now owner Robbie McNair-Guzman and brand manager Morgan Robinson tell Axios the new space will still be female-focused but it'll no longer have its fully pink aesthetic.

  • "We're still darling, just a little more mature," McNair-Guzman says.

Details: The new space will include a content studio called "No Boys Allowed." There will also be cocktail classes and daily floral design workshops.

Full story

Sponsored job listings

Fresh job openings

πŸ’Ό See which top Charlotte companies are hiring.

  1. Police Lieutenant at Town of Matthews.
  2. Digital Marketing Manager at Discovery Place.
  3. Event Coordinator for Nation's Top Supper Club at Tasting Collective, Inc.
  4. Event Coordinator at Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

4. Weeknights 🀝 Concerts

Paul Jason Klein of LANY performs live in concert at Alcatraz in Milan. Photo: Mairo Cinquetti/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Live music lovers, rejoice. There's a live show to check out in Charlotte every night through Friday, Axios' McKenzie Rankin writes.

Here's your schedule:

🎢 Today: See pop rock band LANY at The Fillmore (with an additional performance on Wednesday). Resale tickets start at $75 on LiveNation.

🎀 Wednesday: Spend the evening with Gladys Knight at Ovens Auditorium. Tickets start at $17.

🎹 Thursday: Sing along to dueling pianos at Goldie's in LoSo. The free show starts at 7pm.

🎸 Friday: Catch indie band Two Door Cinema Club with opener Joywave at The Fillmore. Resale tickets start at $135.

Full weekday planner

Sponsored messages

πŸŒ€ The loop (we're keeping you in it)

News you can use from our partners.

  • πŸ’ͺ Good news for your fitness goals: The key to your strongest, most confident self is a consistent, sustainable routine. See how it's done from the pros at MADabolic, a strength training studio with three Charlotte locations.
  • πŸͺ₯ Good news, Uptown workers: Kalons, Glidewell & Grewal makes skipping out for a dentist appointment quick and easy. Located near the 3rd Street Light Rail station, it's a quick walk or ride from most offices, and they validate parking.

5. 🏁 Charlotte's Daytona winner

William Byron celebrates winning the Daytona 500. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

William Byron went from virtual racing on a computer in his parents' home as a kid to winning one of NASCAR's most iconic races.

What's happening: The Charlotte native, 26, won the Daytona 500 Monday night.

Catch up quick: Byron, a Charlotte Country Day alum, drives for Concord-based Hendrick Motorsports.

6. 🎟 Ticket price hikes and other speed reads

Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

🎟 A major increase in season ticket prices is on the horizon for Charlotte Hornets fans. (CBJ πŸ”’)

πŸ¦ͺ Sea Level NC has $1 house oysters today to celebrate its eighth anniversary. There will also be $8 drink specials, $8 chowder and corn bread and free dessert. (Axios)

πŸŽ™ Former President Trump will hold a rally in at Winthrop Coliseum on Friday. (WBTV)

πŸ— Charlotte City Council approved the rezoning for a Plaza Midwood tower, near Giddy Goat. The multi-family/commercial building is allowed to be up to 126 feet, not 150 as originally proposed. (Axios)

πŸ€ Charlotte 49ers men's basketball beat Wichita State 72-61 Sunday. The 49ers are 18-8, second in the American Athletic Conference. (Observer πŸ”’)

⛽️ Gas prices have gone back up. (WBTV)

🍽️ James Beard award-winning Chai Pani, from the restaurant group that also owns Botiwalla, is moving into the space in Asheville's South Slope neighborhood that was formerly occupied by Buxton Hall, the BBQ spot that closed in November. (Eater Carolinas)

7. πŸ” 1 mystery to go: Shark-ray?

Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

Charlotte, a stingray in a Hendersonville aquarium, is pregnant, Alex writes.

Yes, but: Charlotte hasn't shared a tank with a male stingray in at least eight years.

Why it matters: This mysterious pregnancy in a small North Carolina mountain town has captured the world's attention, with scientists and TikTokers weighing in.

Catch up quick: The lump on Charlotte's back, which officials at the Aquarium and Shark Lab by Team ECCO first noticed, wasn't a tumor or extra weight, but babies.

The intrigue: Charlotte's only been in the presence of two sharks, Moe and Larry. This led some to speculate she could be expecting shark-ray babies.

Reality check: It's impossible a shark impregnated the stingray, experts say. What's likely happening is a super rare asexual reproduction phenomenon called parthenogenesis, according to Forbes.

What's next: Charlotte could pop out up to four pups any day now.

  • The aquarium is sharing Charlotte's journey on Facebook.

Full story

🍝 Two hours: That's how long it took my partner and me to make ravioli from scratch over the weekend. We improvised on the filling and used this recipe we found on TikTok for the pasta dough.

Thanks to Katie Peralta Soloff for editing and Lucia Maher for copy editing this newsletter.