Apr 7, 2021

Axios Charlotte

Hello, Wednesday. It's Emma.

  • Weather: 85 and mostly sunny.
  • Happy birthday to Axios Charlotte members Kaitlin Bartholomew, Ron Everhart, Rachel M. Zimmer, Angela Johnson and Sally Saez.

🗓 Save the date: Join Axios this Thursday at 12:30pm for a virtual event on Asian American identity and politics, featuring activists Linh Nguyen, Amanda Nguyen and Michigan State Sen. Stephanie Chang. Register here.

🚨 Cool job alert: Mama Ricotta's is looking to hire a bartender. Think of all the lasagna you could eat!

Today's Smart Brevity count is 917 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Massive East Side rec center debuts

Interior of the new Eastway Regional Recreation Center. Photo courtesy of Mecklenburg County

After months of pandemic-related delays, the highly-anticipated Eastway Regional Recreation Center opens today at 11:30am with limited capacity, Axios' Katie Peralta Soloff writes.

Why it matters: The 95,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility will be a community hub for Charlotte's most diverse neighborhoods, and it's years in the making.

  • As development accelerates in the area and across Charlotte, retaining gathering space is crucial.

What to expect: The new facility has an indoor running track, a 25-yard lap pool, a leisure pool with a lazy river, cardio and weight rooms, four fitness studios, walking trails, a demonstration kitchen, an event hall and more.

  • The facility will host festivals, job fairs, sporting events and other community gatherings.
  • Location: 3150 Eastway Park Dr.

Our thought bubble: Eastway’s new rec center is like a fancy south Charlotte YMCA on steroids. At a time when we all miss gathering so much, this facility was built for it.

Full story: See inside the long-awaited East Side rec center with a lazy river, gym and walking trails

2. Vaccines for all!

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Starting today, all individuals 16+ are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: It’s simple — the more people with access to the vaccine, the better. And the more folks that are vaccinated, the faster the pandemic will end.

Driving the news: We're turning the corner when it comes to demand, Gov. Roy Cooper said during a press conference yesterday.

  • That means it won't require as much "hunting" to find your shot.

How to get your shot:

Full guide: Everyone 16+ is now eligible for the vaccine. Here’s how to get your shot

7 new job openings to check out

💼 Time to flex your skills and experience.

  1. Assistant Vice President, Centers for Giving at Foundation For The Carolinas.
  2. Weekend Pro Shop Attendant at Myers Park Tennis Club.
  3. Jewelry Designer (Part-Time) at Fashion & Compassion.
  4. Guest Experience Ambassador (Part-Time) at Hornets Sports & Entertainment.
  5. Brand Coordinator at The Plaid Penguin.
  6. Human Resources Manager at Myers Park Country Club.
  7. Corporate Development Analyst at SnapAV.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job

3. Don't panic. Price's is staying put

Price's Chicken Coop opened on Camden Avenue in 1962. Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios

After the Ledger reported this week that soil sampling appeared to be taking place behind the iconic family-run Price’s Chicken Coop in South End, Charlotte Twitter lost its collective mind at the prospect of losing another longtime local restaurant.

Don't worry: Owner Stephen Price tells Katie he is not currently planning to sell the Price’s property.

  • But he regularly hears from developers who are interested in buying his restaurant, an unpretentious brick building surrounded by glistening new apartments, trendy retailers and new offices.
  • "Everybody’s lined up. Always have been for the last 10-15 years," Price tells Katie.

Background: Price’s, which turns 60 next year, opened as a low-price lunch option for warehouse workers who put in long hours at manufacturing plants that once filled South End.

  • Known for its fried chicken, Price’s has endured over the years despite encroaching development and soaring property values that’ve pushed out longtime businesses like Phat Burrito and Amos’ Southend.
  • "We’re just watching the world change around us," Price says.

While we're talking about fried chicken ... here's our guide to the best chicken sandwiches in Charlotte.

4. Sipping Black-owned brands

Demetra Harris, the founder of the Sipping Black Only network. Photo courtesy of J. Anthony Photography

Black entrepreneurs are underrepresented in the beverage industry, and one network of business owners is out to change that, Axios' Paige Hopkins reports.

Why it matters: Black business owners have a harder time gaining capital and getting their brands into stores, Sipping Black Only's founder Demetra Harris tells Paige:

"We want to normalize buying Black. It shouldn’t be a section in the store, it shouldn’t be a section at the bar ... it should be a part of the mainstream selection."

Full story: Drink up with these 8 local Black-owned liquor, wine, coffee and tea companies

💚 Support #NinerNationGives to help students

Photo: UNC Charlotte

#NinerNationGives kicks off today. It's UNC Charlotte's annual 49 hours of giving event. This year, it's especially important because you can support students affected by the pandemic.

You can actually choose where your donation goes. Two options are the university's Student Emergency Fund, which helps students in need of immediate financial assistance, and the Jamil Niner Student Pantry, which is a key resource for students facing food insecurity.

If social justice is your passion, a gift to the Alumni Association Scholarship for Social Justice will provide support to students dedicated to service or social action.

Want to help out? Make a donation to the program of your choice.

5. Neighborhood guide: Myers Park

Wing Haven Sanctuary. Photo: Jen Tota McGivney

The cherry trees are pink in the median of Queens Road. The statue of Hugh McManaway still directs people, sort of, at the weird intersection of Queens and Queens, Providence and Providence. And the stately homes are starting to pop with spring’s arrival.

Why it matters: Myers Park is on display this time of year.

Axios' Symphony Webber has 20 places to go in the oak-tree-lined neighborhood that was built a century ago as a suburb, just four miles outside of Uptown. A few from her itinerary:

Full story: 20 things to do, eat and drink in Myers Park

6. Charlotte's No. 2 for new transplants

Data: Zillow; Map: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More people moved to Charlotte in 2020 than almost any other U.S. metro, according to a new study from Zillow.

The big picture: The study looked at inbound and outbound moves, and Charlotte had the second-highest number of net inbound moves. Phoenix was No. 1, and our friends in the Tampa Bay area were No. 5.

  • Most new Charlotteans relocated from New York, Chicago and D.C.

Go deeper: New Yorkers flocked to Charlotte amid the pandemic

The loop (we're keeping you in it)

🌀 News you can use from our super cool, very important Axios Charlotte partners.

  • Allergy season is here and with COVID-19 still lurking, here's a refresher on how to tell the difference between symptomsIf you need to see an allergy specialist, take advantage of Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates' online appointment scheduling.
  • 🏎️ Now through April 11, kids get in free at the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a paid adult admission. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority-managed venue boasts 18 historic cars, 50+ interactives and the chance to snag a pic with Disney·Pixar’s Lightning McQueen. Buy tickets using promo code SPRING.
7. Serving up some food news

The crispy chicken poblano salad. Photo: Symphony Webber/Axios

🥗 Just Salad opens tomorrow in the Apex SouthPark development at 4435 Sharon Rd. with a healthy menu of salads, wraps and smoothies. (Axios Charlotte)

  • One cool thing: The New York-based fast-casual restaurant is environmentally conscious; every item on the menu has a number signifying its carbon footprint.

🦪 Para will soon open in the former Zepellin space in South End with The Stanley's Alex Verica as chef de cuisine. (Unpretentious Palate, subscription)

  • The farm-driven menu has a focus on seafood, Verica told UP.

👍 DYK: Axios Charlotte now has a NextDoor group called "Charlotte Food News." Subscribe to get real-time foodie updates.

Things to add to your calendar this month

📅 Stay in-the-know with things to do from our Event Board.

Want more things to do? Check out our Event Board

Hosting? Purchase an Event Listing

😷 Face masks — but make them fashion. That's what Will.i.am is doing in partnership with Charlotte-based Honeywell, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.

  • He's launching a $299 (!) high-tech mask complete with noise-canceling headphones and Bluetooth connectivity.

Thanks for reading! See y'all bright and early tomorrow.