November 16, 2023

๐ŸŽ„ Hello, Thursday! It's Laura, trying to convince my partner that it's not too early to put up our Christmas tree.

โ˜๏ธ Weather: Cloudy with a high of 71ยฐ.

๐ŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Charlotte members Andrea Guzinski and Shika Raynor!

๐Ÿ† You and a "plus-one" could attend the Axios Charlotte Power Players reception on 11/29! Join us as a member by 11/20 for a chance to win a pair of tickets to this exciting event celebrating impactful Charlotte leaders.

  • Existing members are automatically entered. Rules apply.

Today's Smart Brevityโ„ข๏ธ count is 859 words โ€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Take your tastebuds to Japan

The menu will feature seafood and Wagyu beef sourced from Japan, as well as locally sourced produce. Photo: Peter Taylor

Soon you'll be able to walk into Menya in Elizabeth, past the noodle counter, through a discreet door in the back and into a dining room that'll make you feel like you've traveled to Japan.

  • Kappo En is a speakeasy-style Japanese tasting menu restaurant by Menya's owner Ted Nakato.

Why it matters: Menya, a Japanese noodle counter that opened at the beginning of 2023, quickly cemented itself as one of Charlotte's best restaurants, touted by food lovers and local chefs alike.

How it works: Kappo En is an intimate, 500-square-foot restaurant that seats 10 people at a counter that faces the chefs.

  • The seasonal menu will start with zensai dishes (small appetizers), then move to a 10-12 course Edomae sushi meal, followed by cooked and grilled items and finishing up with dessert.
  • You'll have the option to add a sakรฉ or wine pairing with six to seven selections. Or, you can order sakรฉ and wine served by the glass and bottle.

What's next: Kappo En opens Nov. 29 with one dining experience available each night. Reservations are required and can be made online.

Full story: Speakeasy-style dining room opening inside Menya with a 17-course omakase menu

2. ๐ŸŽฅ Charlotte on the big screen

From right to left: Ben Marshall, John Higgins and a stunt double portraying Martin Herlihy. Photo: Emma Way/Axios

"Please Don't Destroy: The Treasure of Foggy Mountain" is available tomorrow on Peacock, Axios' Max Millington writes.

Context: You may have spotted their film crews in NoDa last summer.

  • Produced by Judd Apatow and starring SNL comedy trio Please Don't Destroy (Martin Herlihy, John Higgins and Ben Marshall), the film follows three friends and co-workers who go on a treasure hunt.

Zoom out: Max asked director Paul Briganti why they chose Charlotte as their filming location. He gave three main reasons:

  1. Apatow enjoyed his time in Charlotte while filming "Talladega Nights."
  2. The director of photography Dontรฉ Lee is from N.C. and was familiar with the area.
  3. They wanted to film in a town near the mountains and woods.

Zoom in: Briganti says the cast hung out at Workman's Friend a lot and one of the most memorable meals they had while they were here was at Haberdish.

Full streaming guide

Is a new job in your future?

๐Ÿ’ผ Check out who's hiring around the city.

  1. Registered Nurse โ€“ Atrium Health Pineville MedSurg at Atrium Health.
  2. Staff Auditor at Lowe's Companies, Inc.
  3. Interim Operations Manager at Tosco Music.
  4. Front of House/Hospitality Manager at Skiptown.
  5. Family & Academic Success Coordinator at Wayfinders.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

3. What to do with these โ†’ ๐ŸŽƒ

Katie's pumpkins have seen better days. Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

If you still have pumpkins out and are looking to get rid of them, read on before chucking them into the trash, Axios' Katie Peralta Soloff writes.

Why it matters: Most pumpkins end up in landfills, where they decompose and eventually turn into methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, the Observer reported last year.

1. Donate your pumpkins.

  • Darby Acres Farm in Charlotte is accepting pumpkins that they'll feed to their animals. It's OK if they're carved. Check out the farm's Facebook page for drop-off instructions.
  • Cotton Bean Farms in Stanly County will take them for their goats.
  • Check out this site to see which area farms accept pumpkins for pigs.

2. Compost your pumpkins.

  • Pumpkins are 90% water, so they'll break down once you cut into them, per the National Wildlife Foundation. Remove the seeds first.
  • This is a good option if yours are already mushy or moldy.

3. Chop up your pumpkins and scatter them for animals such as deer, birds and squirrels.

4. Keep your pumpkin seeds for local wildlife โ€“ or to grow your own pumpkins for next year.

4. ๐Ÿ—ฃ๐ŸŽ„We're yelling "timber"

Avoid a "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" situation by planning ahead. Photo: Axios Charlotte archives

Out with the pumpkins, in with the trees. Axios' McKenzie Rankin found 11 nearby tree lots, including:

  • Mrs. Ruth's Christmas Tree Lot in Mooresville already has its Fraser firs and blue spruces up. Seven- to eight-foot trees range from $75-$95.
  • Snowflake Village off South Tryon will have Fraser firs starting this Saturday from $39 for a four-foot tree to $349 for an 11-12-foot tree.
  • If you want to cut your own tree, take a trip to Cedar Lake Tree Farm in Iron Station. They have pre-cut trees there, too, for $60.

Get ready to pine after our full Christmas tree guide

Suburb lifestyle ๐Ÿค apartment amenities

Need more space?

Enter, Townhomes at Bridlestone, a rental community near Ballantyne. Choose from two- and three-bedroom townhomes with private garages, built-in pet spas, screened-in porches, fenced-in yards and more.

Take a tour.

5. ๐ŸŒฒ More Christmas trees and other speed reads

The tree will stand in the White House's Blue Room. Photo: Courtesy of WBTV

๐ŸŽ„ The official White House Christmas tree is from Ashe County, just two hours north of Charlotte. The 18-and-a-half Fraser fir was cut from a farm in Fleetwood on Wednesday morning. (WBTV)

๐Ÿฅค Smooth Monkey, a smoothie and acai bowl shop, is opening in the Foxcroft area near SouthPark next year. (CharlotteFive)

๐Ÿ’ฐ The YMCA of Greater Charlotte is selling two of its branches to the YMCA of Catawba Valley: The Lincoln County YMCA in Lincolnton and Sally's YMCA in Denver.

  • Operations and programs will run as usual at both Lincoln County branches for the foreseeable future.

๐ŸŒ€ The loop (we're keeping you in it)

News you can use from our partners.

  • ๐Ÿฆƒ Have you snagged your seats for the Novant Health Thanksgiving Eve Parade? The parade is free to attend, but VIP tickets give you reserved seats with courtside views of the action. Get tickets.
  • No matter who you're shopping for (yourself included ๐Ÿ˜‰), you'll always procure the perfect piece at Southern Lion. From decor and clothes to plants and stationery, this Carolina Place store has 100+ merchants to shop from!

6. โ›ธ Your weekend plans

Photo: Courtesy of the U.S. National Whitewater Center

If you're looking for fun stuff to do in Charlotte over the coming days, look no further than this robust roundup Axios' Alexis Clinton put together.

A few cool events for you to check out include:

  • Friday: Friendsgiving at The Bevery (formerly Summit Seltzer). Enjoy an evening of comedy bingo and Friends-themed trivia starting at 6pm.
  • Saturday: Go to the Hip Hop Museum at Norfolk Hall in South End. It's free from 11am-7pm.
  • Sunday: Enjoy ice skating at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. It's $25 to get on the rink.

Full weekender: 34 things to do in Charlotte this weekend including holiday markets and ice skating

7. ๐Ÿป Cheers to Axios Charlotte

Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Thanks to all who came to our event last night at Sycamore. And congrats to the raffle winners!

  • I hope to see you at the next one.

๐ŸŽ„ When is it too early to put up your tree?

S/O to Katie Peralta Soloff for editing this newsletter and Lucia Maher for copy editing.