Axios Charlotte

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February 12, 2024

👋 Hi, Monday. It's Alexandria, thinking about how no one in history has ever skipped the song "Yeah!" by Usher.

🌂 Weather: Rain and possibly thunder. High of 61°.

🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Charlotte members Philip Sanford, Shannon Mouzon and Shannon Haider. Happy belated birthday to Mary Ann Ciciarelli, John Davis, Paul Kreins and Gary Maniloff!

Today's Smart Brevity™️ count is 874 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🍻 A new chapter for NoDa Brewing

NoDa's new branding (right) on a Harris Teeter shelf next to its old packaging. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

One of Charlotte's first breweries is making sure it's still cool.

Driving the news: NoDa Brewing Company is debuting a new look for its cans and packaging. The refresh swaps the old logo for a bolder, street art-esque text, on par with modern-day design trends.

Why it matters: NoDa Brewing is a renowned, pioneer brewery. What it does is a reflection of the changing craft beer industry and our growing city.

  • The brewery's strategic development director Jacob Virgil tells me they want to capture young customers who may be new to the city and don't feel an allegiance to a craft beer brand.
  • After extensive research, including customer interviews, NoDa Brewing recognized their brand was "respected," Virgil says, but felt like "your dad's beer."
NoDa Brewing box
The brewery is keeping its recognizable imagery on cans but will concentrate the art on one side, separate from the text. Photo: Courtesy of NoDa Brewing

What's next: NoDa Brewing is throwing a half-off beer party this Saturday to celebrate its new chapter. At the event, you can go all Carrie Underwood on 'em and help smash a junk car — for charity.

See more of the new design

2. 🚽 Controversial council vote tonight

Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Charlotte City Council will vote tonight to restore criminal enforcement for public masturbation, urination and defecation, and open containers, among other offenses.

Why it matters: Uptown residents and business owners say problems have worsened in recent years, especially since the main library closed, where many unhoused people used to gather.

Context: In 2021 a state law decriminalized some city ordinance violations. A handful of penalties were reestablished by city council thereafter, but not all.

  • Police indicate they have had limited authority to crack down on lewd acts ever since.

Yes, but: Opponents, including advocacy group Action NC, view the harsher penalties as criminalizing homelessness and poverty.

  • The city is setting up porta potties at North College and 11th streets to address concerns about the lack of public restrooms in center city.

The bottom line: It likely won't be a unanimous vote.

3. 🤑 Exquisite destinations

Forbes describes The Ivey's Hotel as "Paris meets Southern charm." Photo: Courtesy of The Ivey's Hotel

Looking for a lavish getaway? According to Forbes Travel Guide, you can find three suitable stays right here in Charlotte.

  • Forbes recognizes hotels and restaurants annually with its Star Awards. To make the list, hotels had to impress an anonymous inspector who showed up like any other guest.

Who made the list this year and why:

🛁 The Ivey's Hotel: There's a hidden library, plus you can get a room with a European-style tub — "wrap yourself up in a plush robe and enjoy the view of the city while sipping on an espresso," Forbes writes. Sounds relaxing enough.

🍽️ The Ballantyne: For group events, the hotel can put on a rose garden dinner or whiskey tastings. Its Gallery Restaurant also received applause for its Southern cuisine.

🐝 The Ritz-Carlton: Its rooftop garden and beehives supply ingredients to the kitchens and spa. Plus, the hotel displays work from Bank of America's gallery.

4. 🗞 Charlotte representation in Super Bowl and other speed reads

Steve Wilks at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas, Nevada, yesterday. Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

🏈 Steve Wilks, a west Charlotte native and former Carolina Panthers coach, made his third appearance in a Super Bowl Sunday as the 49ers' defensive coordinator. (WSOC)

🎬 VanVan, the five-year-old rap star from Salisbury, starred in a Super Bowl commercial for Bojangles. (Instagram)

🍺 Blue Blaze Brewing is closing after eight years in west Charlotte. (Axios)

🎤 Justin Timberlake will perform at Spectrum Center on Nov. 14. (Axios)

🩺 First lady Jill Biden was in Charlotte Friday to spread awareness about cancer. (Observer 🔒)

Sponsored job listings

New jobs to check out

💼 See who's hiring around the city.

  1. Registered Nurse, RN – Medical/Surgical at Mathews Medical Center at Novant Health.
  2. HSM Trainer at Hilliard Studio Method.
  3. Community Practice Leader at Little Diversified Architectural Consulting.
  4. Executive Assistant at Grubb Properties.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. 💌 What to do this week

BackStage Lounge has a "Cupid" pop-up with Valentine-themed cocktails. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

There are at least 20 fun things to do in Charlotte this week, including Galentine's and Valentine's Day plans. Axios' McKenzie Rankin has the deets, including:

Take your date ice skating this week at Whitewater Center's "Skate and Date." | $65 | 6:30pm | Details.

🧘‍♂️ Break up Tuesday with a mid-morning yoga sculpt at Southern Strain Brewing. | $12 | 11:30am | Details.

🛍 Shop small Wednesday at the "Bae's and Brews" pop-up market at NoDa Brewing's North End taproom. | Free | 5pm | Details.

🎮 Play arcade games from the '80s and '90s at Camp North End's retro game night on Thursday. | Free | 7:30pm | Details.

🍿 Watch "Jerry Maguire" at Camp North End's '90s movie series this Friday. | Free | 7:30pm | Details.

Full weekday planner

Sponsored messages

🌀 The loop (we're keeping you in it)

News you can use from our partners.

  • ⚡ 🚗 Got an EV or hybrid vehicle? You have a new maintenance and repair option. Meineke's first EV service center recently opened in Indian Land, offering a one-stop shop for all services. Read the full story.

6. 🖼 Black interior designers to support

Regina Reaves, of R&R Interior Design 365, has a style that ranges from playful, bold colors to chic contemporary. Photo: Courtesy of Brandon Grate Photography

Charlotte is full of talented creatives, but certain industries like interior design still lack diversity, industry experts tell Axios.

You can support Black designers by hiring them for beyond one room, telling your friends about their work and buying Black-designed products and furniture.

  • "Be OK with being intentional," says Marie Cloud, owner and principal designer of Indigo Pruitt Design Studio. "Go to Crate & Barrel and say: 'Point me to furniture by BIPOC designers.'"

Here are 11 Black Charlotte interior designers to support

7. 🍕 I want pizza the size of my head

A slice of pizza ($6) was so huge that we had to crop part of it out. If you think a slice is big, wait til you see their 28-inch pie ($42-$45). Talk about leftovers for days. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

🧀 Cheese, please. Zämbies is the newest pizza joint on the block, located where Ruby's Gift Shop used to be in NoDa, Axios' Alexis Clinton writes.

What to expect: A simple menu with five types of pizza and garlic knots.

  • You can also choose from beer, wine or champagne.

📍Order out of Zämbies takeout window or inside at 3204 N. Davidson St., next to Bar à Vins and Mac Tabby Cat Cafe.

Open Monday 4pm-12am, Tuesday and Wednesday 12pm-12am, Thursday 12pm-1am, Friday and Saturday 12pm-3am and Sunday 12pm-12am.

Read more

✋ Before City council votes tonight on recriminalization, they should ask Charlotte police why the numbers they presented recently on open container citations differ from the ones sent to Axios through a public records request.

  • I've asked but haven't received an explanation yet.

Many thanks to Laura Barrero for editing this newsletter and Lucia Maher for copy editing.