Axios Charlotte

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February 16, 2024

👋🏽 TGIF! It's Laura.

☁️ Weather: Cloudy with a high of 63°.

🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Charlotte member Matt Magnasco!

🍕 Situational awareness: Pie.Zaa, an Asheville-based pizza shop with large slices, opens today in South End, but the internet's attention is focused on another local pizza shop. More on that below.

Today's Smart Brevity™️ count is 767 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🍕 What constitutes NY-style pizza?!

Pizza Baby West rosemary pizza with pistachio pesto, shaved red onion, hot honey and pecorino ($27). Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

A Charlotte food writer's scathing review of Pizza Baby is going viral among local foodies who criticize his harsh takes.

Why it matters: Timothy DePeugh's Queen City Nerve article titled "Pizza Baby Flops in Attempt at NY-Style Pizza in Charlotte" has reopened a conversation around the state of food coverage in Charlotte.

Driving the news: Hundreds of comments across Queen City Nerve's Instagram and Facebook are responding to the story and defending the Wesley Heights pizza shop, which landed on our best new restaurants list in 2023.

  • Yes, food is subjective, but many commenters contended that you don't have to be so cruel when you write about it. Especially when it comes to local businesses.

What they're saying: "We stand behind Tim's writing," Queen City Nerve editor-in-chief Ryan Pitkin tells me, adding that his opinions don't reflect those of everyone at QCN.

Keep reading for Pizza Baby's response

2. 🛋 Mini IKEA coming to south Charlotte

At 15,000 square feet, the store will be much smaller than your typical IKEA. For perspective, the other Charlotte IKEA is 356,000 square feet. Photo: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Swedish furniture maker IKEA will open a small format store in south Charlotte this summer, Axios' Katie Peralta Soloff writes.

Why it matters: Although it's a fraction of the size, this store will be IKEA's second location here. The first opened in University City in 2009 and has become a go-to destination for easy-to-assemble furniture.

Details: The new IKEA will open at Promenade on Providence, the shopping center at 10844 Providence Road that's also home to Home Depot and Total Wine.

  • At this new store, customers can work with experts for design assistance in their kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Yes, but: Sorry, no Swedish meatballs at this new Charlotte store — it won't have a restaurant like large-format IKEA stores do, per a spokesperson.

Read more: IKEA to open a mini store in Charlotte

3. 🏘 Exclusive: Typical home values by race, mapped

Difference in the typical value of homes owned by Black and white people, by metro area
Data: Zillow; Map: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

The typical home value of Charlotte-area homes with Black owners is 18.2% less than homes with white owners, per data Zillow shared exclusively with Axios.

Why it matters: Homeownership remains the biggest driver of the wealth gap, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Zoom in: The typical value of Charlotte homes with Black owners is $312.6K, while that with white owners is $382K, Axios' Brianna Crane writes.

  • This mirrors a national trend, per the Zillow data.

Read the full story

4. 🗳 Guide to voting in the March 5 primary

Don't forget: You now need a photo ID to vote. Check this list for what types of IDs are acceptable. Photo: Axios archives

2024 will be a big year for politics and the future of North Carolina, Axios' Alex Sands writes.

  • On top of a potential presidential rematch, state legislative and congressional races could shift power.

Driving the news: Early voting is happening now through March 2. The primary is March 5.

  • Find an early voting polling place here and your sample ballot here.

Not registered yet? You can register during the early voting period the same day you cast your ballot. You'll need to provide proof of where you live. More on that here.

2024 voter guide: Who's running in Charlotte and beyond

Sponsored job listings

Is a new job in your future?

💼 Check out who's hiring around the city.

  1. Customer Service Specialist at Insurance Options of the Carolinas.
  2. Supply Planning Analyst at Feetures.
  3. Police Corporal at Town of Matthews.
  4. Member Success Coordinator at Carolinas Natural Health Center.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. 🛫 Speed reads: More money for CLT

United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg talking to Charlotte's transportation committee chair Ed Driggs. Photo: Alex Sands/Axios

🤑 U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was at Charlotte Douglas International Airport yesterday to boast a $27 million federal grant for new boarding bridges. (Axios)

🎤 JLo will perform at Raleigh's PNC Arena on Aug. 24. (Today)

💊 NC lawmakers are trying to ban a drug called tianeptine, which officials say mimics the effects of opioids and can be found at gas stations and vape shops. (WBTV)

🐾 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care & Control says it's in crucial need of fosters because it's renovating more kennels today. (WSOC)

🥯 Bagel Bin & Deli, a popular bagel shop in Huntersville, will open a second location in the Lake Norman area this summer. (CharlotteFive)

Sponsored event listings

Future events

📆 Start planning your days ahead.

  • Family Day at the Bechtler at Bechtler Museum of Modern Art tomorrow: Join the Bechtler and artist Hildur Jónsson for a free day of art, creativity, and all-ages family fun as we celebrate the opening of "Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson: Infinite Space, Sublime Horizons."
  • Charlotte Checkers Home Games at Bojangles Coliseum: tomorrow and Sunday at 4pm. Cheer on the team as they take on the Springfield Thunderbirds. Bring a canned food item to the game on Saturday and get a free ticket to their game on Friday, March 8. Tickets start at $25 each.
  • Blackberry Smoke: Be Right Here Tour at Ovens Auditorium on Sunday: Just announced - Blackberry Smoke is bringing their Be Right Here Tour 2024 to Ovens Auditorium Charlotte. $29.50.
  • An Evening with Gladys Knight at Ovens Auditorium on Feb. 21: Get ready for a sensational night of soulful music and timeless hits as the legendary Gladys Knight lights up the stage. $29.50.
  • Christian McBride at Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center on Feb. 23: Christian McBride is an eight-time GRAMMY Award-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader, known for his work in jazz and other genres. McBride's talent and influence span across various musical styles, making him a significant figure in the music industry. $24.50+.
  • The String Queens at Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center on Feb. 24: Immerse yourself in this unforgettable performance by The String Queens under the beautiful glow of candlelight. $39.50+.
  • Fossil Fair at The Schiele Museum of Natural History on Feb. 24: Travel back in time. Don't miss prehistoric fun for all ages at Fossil Fair. Take a Dino Safari, meet paleontologists, mine for gemstones and mini fossils, and see a dino-themed planetarium show. $18 at the door (Discounted advance tickets available online).

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

Hosting? Purchase an Event Listing.

6. 🏡 Hot homes on the market

The house is located at 3345 Autumn Ridge Dr. Photo: Courtesy of Christina Rainford

This house in the Derita/Statesville area has a renovated kitchen that adds character to the home, Axios' Alexis Clinton writes.

Details: At 1,059 square feet, it has three bedrooms and one-and-a-half bathrooms.

  • Notable features include its quartz countertops, farmhouse sink, bench seating and stainless steel appliances.
  • It's listed for $325K.

More hot homes: 5 houses for sale in Charlotte starting at $325K

7. 🧠 Trivia championship starts this weekend

Last year's Mindless Minutia championship participants at HopFly Brewing. Photo: Courtesy of Jacob Gresham

Mindless Minutia, Charlotte's most popular trivia company, is hosting its second "Amazing Colossal Big-A$$ Trivia Championship" starting this weekend.

How it works: A total of 125 teams will compete for $5,000 in prize money and other prizes.

  • There will be five preliminary competitions at Lenny Boy Brewing — the first one is this Sunday, Feb. 18.
  • The top five teams from each preliminary round will advance to the finals on April 14 at a secret location in Charlotte. Those 25 teams will compete for the $5,000 prize pool.
  • It costs $160 per team to enter the competition.
  • Each team can have a maximum of eight people.
  • Sign up here.

Keep reading: Prove your friend group is the smartest in Charlotte at Mindless Minutia's trivia championship

📺 I'm looking forward to binge watching "Love is Blind" this long weekend.

  • By the way, we're off Sunday and Monday for Presidents Day, but look out for a special edition newsletter on Monday morning from the larger Axios newsroom. Excited to hear what you think!

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