Axios Charlotte

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February 04, 2024

Good morning, Charlotte. It's Katie.

  • 🌤️ Weather: 55 and partly cloudy.
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Today's newsletter is 541 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: An Asheville butcher in Charlotte

Chop Shop in Asheville. Photo: Courtesy of Chop Shop

The popular Asheville-based Chop Shop Butchery is expanding to Charlotte with a location in Myers Park set to open this spring.

  • The whole-animal butcher shop specializes in dry-aged beef and pastured pork from western North Carolina, with an emphasis on sustainable and ethical farming practices.

Why it matters: Chop Shop hopes to fill a void in a food-loving city with relatively few boutique butcher shops.

Details: Chop Shop — not to be confused with the former Charlotte music venue of the same name — will be in a 1,500-square-foot space formerly occupied by Petit Philippe at 2840 Selwyn Ave., between Clean Catch Fish Market and LittleSpoon.

  • It'll have a similar look and feel to the company's Asheville location. It'll also have a staff that's knowledgeable in basic butchery.
  • Along with regionally sourced meats, Chop Shop in Charlotte will sell a variety of retail products, including wine, soups, olive oils, pasta, hot sauces and mustards.

Of note: Proximity to Clean Catch was intentional, says Dianna Rigell, who handles marketing for the butcher. Customers will be able to pick up their fresh seafood at Clean Catch and their meats at Chop Shop.

  • Flashback: Chop Shop opened in 2011 and quickly became a favorite of restaurateurs such as Katie Button of Cúrate in Asheville. A few years ago, the company opened a USDA processing facility in Asheville to accommodate its growth.

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2. ⚡️ Biz lightning round

Photo: Andy Weber/Axios

Lowes Foods will open a new grocery store in Waxhaw, at the southwest corner of Providence Road and Prescott Glenn Parkway. An opening date is TBD, per a statement from the Winson-Salem-based grocer.

  • Lowes Foods also previously announced plans for new stores locally in Concord, Indian Land and Kannapolis.

Charlotte business owner Glynn Hubbard has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges after obtaining more than $1.2 million in COVID relief funds for himself and customers. (Observer)

Charlotte-based homebuilder Empire Communities purchased Excelsior Lodge #261, located on 5.3 acres on Litchfield Road in Cotswold, for $5.35M last week. (🔒 Charlotte Ledger)

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3. 🚗 Stat du jour: 48 seconds

Photo: Katie Peralta Soloff/Axios

Blame it on population growth or the fact that we're heading into the office more often these days: Charlotte drivers are spending more time in traffic.

By the numbers: The average 6-mile trip in Charlotte's city center took 48 seconds more last year compared to 2021, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report from new TomTom data.

  • The journey took 10 minutes and 18 seconds last year, compared to 9 minutes and 30 seconds in 2021.

Zoom out: Car commutes have largely gotten slower across the U.S. since the mid-pandemic era.

Zoom in: Traffic slowed most significantly in Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston between 2021-2023, based on the average time spent traveling 6 miles in their respective city centers — no shock to anybody who's ever driven in any of the three.

  • Traffic actually improved in a handful of cities, including Indianapolis (-39 seconds for a 6-mile trip); Grand Rapids, Michigan (-29 seconds); and Orlando, Florida (-20 seconds).
  • See TomTom's full 2023 traffic index here.
Average travel time by car, 2023

🎧 I've really been enjoying comedian Trevor Noah's podcast, "What Now?" He's interviewed a range of guests, from Mark Cuban to Charlotte native DaBaby.

  • Noah is an empathetic interviewer who's masterful in connecting with his guests to understand what drives them.