April 28, 2023

🕺Happy Friday! It's Danielle.

🌦Weather: High of 76 and rainy.

🎊 Happy birthday to Axios Charlotte members Jenni Anderson and Jinna Kim.

Today's Smart Brevity™ count is 883 words, a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🏈 Panthers pick Bryce Young

Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The Panthers selected Bryce Young, a 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, first overall in the NFL Draft Thursday night, Axios' Ashley Mahoney and Katie Peralta Soloff write.

  • Carolina traded up earlier this year for the first pick.

Why it matters: Drafting a quarterback first overall can determine the trajectory of a franchise, just like drafting Cam Newton No. 1 overall in 2011 did. He went on to become league MVP and led the team to a Super Bowl.

Yes, but: It’s been a minute since Superman showed Charlotte how to fly and gave kids footballs after touchdowns like presents on Christmas Day. The Panthers haven’t been to the playoffs since 2017.

By the numbers: Young, a California native, started two seasons for Alabama, throwing for 8,200 yards and 79 touchdowns, which were the most in any two-year span in SEC history, Axios’ Jeff Tracey writes.

The bottom line: Between a new face of the franchise in Young and a new head coach in Frank Reich, the Panthers finally have something that’s been missing for years: Hope.

Full story

2. 🤐 All quiet on the corporate front

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Seven years after North Carolina's legislature passed House Bill 2, or the "bathroom bill," Republican lawmakers are advancing several bills that would chip away at the rights of transgender people, Axios’ Lucille Sherman writes.

Why it matters: This year's proposals are a signal that GOP lawmakers no longer fear that the state could face the same consequences as HB2, which cost North Carolina billions in economic losses.

  • North Carolina's business community, which was vocal in its opposition to HB2, has stayed mostly silent as Republicans push to pass the bills.

What's happening: Republicans have introduced at least six bills related to trans rights this year, including legislation banning people assigned male at birth from playing on women’s sports teams.

Zoom in: Of eight companies Axios asked to comment on the legislation, six declined to comment and two did not respond.

  • Charlotte-based Bank of America was one of the major U.S. corporations to call for a repeal of HB2 days after it was signed into law in 2016.
  • On Tuesday, the bank, which employs just over 18,000 in Charlotte, through a spokesperson declined to comment on current anti-trans legislation under consideration.

Full story

Fresh job openings around town

💼 Take your career to the next level and see who’s hiring.

  1. Accounts Receivable at TRC Staffing.
  2. Administrator at Fisher, PA.
  3. Dental Hygienist at Pearl Dentistry Reimagined.
  4. Director of Engineering at Old Well Labs.
  5. Membership and Events Coordinator at Dispute Resolution Board Foundation.
  6. Executive Chef at Brewers at 4001 Yancey.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

3. 🎤 Concerts and sports proposed for Eastland

Photo courtesy QC East

Charlotte will consider another proposal for a chunk of the old Eastland Mall property that includes athletic fields, an eSports center and event space.

Catch up quick: The city broke ground on the development of part of the site with Crosland Southeast last August. But when Tepper Sports and Entertainment pulled out of plans to build a Charlotte FC practice facility there, it left the future of more than 20 acres in limbo.

Driving the news: Charlotte City Council member Tariq Bokhari helped spearhead the latest bid and is a minority investor in one of the three organizations behind it.

  • Bokhari says he will recuse himself from council deliberations and considerations on Eastland moving forward.

Details: The latest proposed project includes six multi-use athletic fields and a "Hub" to serve as a technology lab, eSports center and event space for up to 2,500, which opens up to the outdoors for additional capacity.

What they're saying: Bob Durkin, CEO of Southern Entertainment, which is involved with the plans, tells Axios he hopes to host two multi-genre music festivals on the site annually, and another eight to 10 smaller events.

Of note: The city is also considering proposals to build a Target, aquatics facility and tennis complex there.

Full story: New proposal for Eastland includes athletic fields and a tech lab

4. 🏠 Hot homes for sale

Photo courtesy of James Webb

This traditional home has a waterfront view of Davis Lake, plus direct lake access from the backyard, Axios' Alexis Clinton writes.

Details: The four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath house is on the market for $586,000.

  • It features a fireplace, standalone bathtub, walk-in closet, screened-in patio and deck and high ceilings.
  • Contact realtor James Webb if you're interested.

More hot homes: 5 houses for sale in Charlotte ranging from $339K to $2.2M

A hosting hack 🍽️

Photo: Mariah Ackary/Axios

The challenge: Feeding your guests at your next gathering.

The solution: Take shopping and cooking off your plate (pun intended) with delicious, chef-prepared dishes from Table & Twine.

  • From Mother’s Day brunch to game day snacks, all you need to do is heat and serve (and take all the credit).

Order now.

5. 🥍 ACC women's lacrosse and other speed reads

Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

🥍 The ACC women's lacrosse semifinals are today at American Legion Memorial Stadium starting at 1pm. The championship game is Sunday at noon. North Carolina is aiming for its seventh consecutive ACC title. (ACC)

🚍 Amid a litany of scandals at the Charlotte Area Transit System, the Metropolitan Transit Commission argued about who has authority over CATS and whether the governing board was just a rubber stamp. (WFAE)

💵 A North Carolina House bill would mandate businesses take cash as a form of payment. (North Carolina Public Radio)

🌀 The loop (we're keeping you in it)

News you can use from our partners.

  • Key numbers: Events generated $229.4 million for Charlotte in 2022. Attendees of Charlotte’s Global Meetings Industry Day gathering celebrated this number and advocated for the value of citywide meetings, trade shows and conventions.
  • ⛏️ UNC Charlotte raised a record-breaking $3.1M for #NinerNationGives over three days in March. The annual fundraiser supports scholarships, programming and athletics.

6. 🛍 Shop for streetwear

Photo courtesy of Cordrell Colbert

Charlotte-based streetwear brand and boutique Current Nostalgia opens today at Camp North End, Axios' Laura Barrero and Alexis write.

Details: The 950-square-foot space will feature high-quality shoes, apparel and accessories along with the Current Nostalgia brand line.

Visit: It's located at 701 Keswick Ave., Suite 103 and open Wednesday and Thursday 12-6pm, Friday and Saturday 12-9pm and Sunday 12-5pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.

Full story: Local clothing brand Current Nostalgia opens Camp North End shop

Plan ahead

📅 Check out what’s happening on our Event Board.

  • Charlotte Checkers Playoff Games at Bojangles Coliseum tonight and tomorrow: See playoff hockey in person as the Charlotte Checkers begin Round 2 at Bojangles Colisieum. Game 1 against the Hershey Bears is Friday at 7 p.m., and Game 2 is Saturday at 6 p.m. $23+.
  • The Concert for the Human Family at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church tonight: Don't miss this inspiring collaborative between award-winning musicians and church leaders who believe in the power of music and storytelling to foster Beloved Community. Experience genre-bending original music that bridges classical, jazz, hip-hop and bluegrass. $30 and under.
  • TreeFest 2023 at NoDa Brewing Co. on Saturday from 1-4 p.m. - Celebrate Charlotte’s tree canopy! Join TreesCharlotte for TreeFest 2023. Free family-friendly day with live music, food trucks, crafts, free tree seedlings, great raffle prizes and more tree-focused fun.
  • Movie Screening: Big George Foreman film at Ayrsley Grand Cinemas on Sunday: The Elm is hosting a Screening of the blockbuster movie: Big George Foreman. Tickets are free with registration. Enjoy an afternoon with friends and family on them. Free.
  • Moody’s Technology Career Fair at The RailYard South End on May 2: Join Moody's as they host a Career Fair at their technology hub in Charlotte. You will have the opportunity to meet their technology leaders and learn how they are disrupting the integrated risk assessment space with cutting-edge technology. Free.
  • Stargazer: A Trek Into Outer Space at Booth Playhouse on May 4 - 6: You can experience the solar system through the eyes of a young and inquisitive girl named Stella. Caroline Calouche's 'Stargazer' show features athletic, graceful and mesmerizing dance and circus artists that will take you on an incredible adventure through they Milky Way. Click the ticket link to enjoy 15% off. $25-$40.
  • The Charlotte Singers Spring Concerts at Providence Presbyterian Church in May and Christ Lutheran Church Chapel in June on Sunday, May 7th and June 4th: Bring the whole family to enjoy one of the two free Concerts this Spring. There will be something fun for children of all ages in this eclectic mixture of American music. You will hear a song about animals, gospel tunes, and some pop favorites. Free - Tax deductible donations accepted.
  • Rooftop Derby Party at Fahrenheit on May 6: Join them for a Rooftop Derby Party. Enjoy appetizers, BBQ, 2 drink tickets, derby cocktails featuring Woodford reserve, raffle prizes, DJ, and complimentary Woodford whiskey tasting. $55.
  • Water Week 2023 Celebration at Quest Center at Latta Nature Preserve on May 6: There’s something for everyone with snack vendors, activities for all ages, incredible exhibits, and the chance to learn about your community’s water. They can’t wait to see you there. Free.
  • Carolina BBQ Festival at Camp North End on May 7: Fourteen pit masters will be located at 10 different tasting stations throughout the event area. Plan to enjoy a mix of whole hog, brisket, chicken, hash and rice, and more. Beer, wine, cocktails and nonalcoholic beverages will be available. Live music will be played by some of the best local musicians. Prices vary.
  • Under the Sea Mother’s Day Tea at Marriott South Park on May 14: Make Mom's Day Magical with a Mermaid-Inspired Tea Party. Our party will feature ocean-inspired decorations, tasty teas and delicious pastries, and plenty of photo opportunities. Don't miss out on the fun. Use code "mom" for $10 off until May 1st. $50.

Want more things to do? Check out our Event Board.

Hosting? Purchase an Event Listing.

7. 🥨 Don't sleep on this pretzel

Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

National Pretzel Day was Wednesday, and one of our followers on TikTok said we had to try the pretzel and beer cheese from VBGB. So Axios' McKenzie Rankin did.

  • The verdict? A massive pretzel that glistens in a butter bath with a "hefty amount" of beer cheese.
  • Sounds like heaven to me.

Check out the full review here

🐈‍⬛ With football on our minds, I can't stop thinking about the fact that black panthers don't actually make that screaming noise we're so familiar with.

  • That's a fact that Jeremy Markovich of NC Rabbit Hole discovered as he was digging into the origins of the sound played at games.
  • Of the two kinds of cats, roaring ones and purring ones, black panthers actually fall into the roaring category.
  • My two cats can do either, depending on how hungry they are.

This newsletter was edited by Katie Peralta Soloff and copy edited by Lucia Maher.