Axios Charlotte

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March 11, 2024

Hello, Monday! It's Alexandria.

  • Ramadan Mubarak to everyone fasting this month.

β˜€οΈ Weather: Sunny with a high of 63Β°.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Charlotte members Allyson Alonso, Thomas Phillips, Nate Sell and Marsha Stiegel!

Situational awareness: Sports betting in North Carolina launches today at noon.

Today's Smart Brevityℒ️ count is 658 words β€” a 2.5-minute read.

1 big thing: πŸ›’ ABC stores want to modernize selling liquor

An ABC store in Plaza Midwood. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Shopping for booze in Mecklenburg County can now be done through an app on your phone.

Why it matters: It's the latest attempt by the local ABC board to keep up with fast-changing consumer trends and make the shopper experience feel seamless β€” so maybe you'll forget they're government controlled.

  • Customers complain North Carolina ABC stores feel outdated and Prohibition-esque. Lawmakers have pushed to privatize the sale of liquor.
  • ABC stores generate tens of millions of dollars that are invested in alcohol education ($10.5 million in fiscal year 2023), law enforcement ($4 million) and the city, county and public libraries ($20.3 million).

Driving the news: Mecklenburg County ABC Board launched its app ABC To Go in all 30 stores last month.

Keep reading

2. πŸ₯‚ Cheers to sweet treats

The French Dreams ($15) is a mix of gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon and champagne. Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

A new dessert bar called Sprinkle, from owner Members Only Tasting Room & Social, is open in NoDa, Axios' Alexis Clinton writes.

What to expect: The drink menu has eight cocktails ranging from $7-$15, plus spikeable milkshakes, coffee and tea.

  • Sprinkle also serves pizza, popcorn, a candy charcuterie board and funnel cakes.

If you go: It's next to Happy Camper's lounge at 3100 N Davidson St.

3. 🀩 North Carolinian of the Day: VanVan

Savannah "VanVan" McConneaughey. Photo: Courtesy of Alphonso of JR Action Shots

Savannah McConneaughey, also known as "VanVan" on social media, is a five-year-old rapper from Salisbury, Alexis writes.

Catch up quick: She has engaged millions of viewers and made locals proud by rapping about the days of the week, ABCs and 123s.

What's next: Soon, VanVan will release a new song with rapper T.I.'s daughter Heiress, per a recent Instagram post from the local star.

Watch VanVan's hit videos

4. πŸ—ž Speed reads

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  • Tacos Rick-O is no longer operating at Hoppin' and is planning other projects. (CharlotteFive)
  • Taiwo Jaiyeoba, Charlotte's former planning director, resigned from his job as Greensboro city manager after violating a sexual harassment policy, sources say. (WFDD)
  • Tricia Cotham versus Nicole Sidman will be a close race. If the redrawn district had existed in previous elections, data shows, it would have been won by Republicans in most races β€” but not all, such as governor. (Ledger πŸ”’)
  • Bojangles Coliseum and Ovens Auditorium may be due for renovations. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority and Charlotte Checkers hockey team are interested in starting discussions soon. (CBJ πŸ”’)
  • McCrorey Heights and Oaklawn Park could join the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service awarded the city a $21,500 grant to help with the nomination process. (QCity Metro)
  • Mayor Vi Lyles has good music taste. (WSOC)
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5. ✨ Fancy dinners, dance class and more to do this week

L'Ostrica in Montford will host a seven-course wine dinner today. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Our weekday planner features 20 things to do in Charlotte, from music bingo to sunset yoga:

🌹Monday: Watch "The Bachelor" at Streetcar Bar + Bites. | Free | 8pm | Details

πŸ’ Tuesday: Cheer on the Charlotte Checkers at Bojangles Coliseum. | Prices vary | 7pm | Details

πŸ•Ί Wednesday: Take a 90-minute dance workout at HopFly Brewing. | $15 | 6:30pm | Details

🦞 Thursday: Indulge in a lobster and wine dinner at Supperclub South End. | $100 | 6:30pm | Details

🎀 Friday: See hip-hop trio Travis Porter perform at RSVP South End. | $10+ | 9pm | Details

Full weekday planner

6. πŸ›€ Stat du jour: 281,220 passengers

A train at Charlotte's Amtrak station on North Tryon. Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

Charlotte's train station is the third busiest in the southeast, according to Amtrak.

Why it matters: As a record number of people travel by train, there's more of a need to invest in rail expansions and projects like the Gateway Station.

By the numbers: Charlotte ridership last year reached 281,220, with services to Raleigh, Washington, D.C., New York, and New Orleans.

Zoom out: The Virginia stations in Richmond (424,617) and Alexandria (327,285) are more popular than Charlotte's.

  • Raleigh, in fourth place, carried 231,229 riders in 2023.
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πŸŒ€ The loop (we're keeping you in it)

News you can use from our partners.

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7. πŸŒ„ Patagonia opens in South End

Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

You can now stop and shop at Patagonia during your next Rail Trail walk, Axios' McKenzie Rankin writes.

The vibe: The outdoor clothing company opened its South End storefront last week in the Design Center of The Carolinas. It's the brand's first location in Charlotte.

πŸ“If you go: Patagonia is at 1930 Camden Road, steps from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.

  • It's open Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm and Sunday 11am-6pm.

🌏 Did you know Mecklenburg County has a special bond with another "Mecklenburg" across the globe?

Thanks Katie Peralta Soloff for editing and to Lucia Maher for copy editing this newsletter.