Axios Charlotte

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February 13, 2024

Hello, Tuesday. It's Ashley, who feels like Beyoncé just took her to church with this new single. More on that below.

☀️ Weather: High of 59°.

🎂 Happy birthday to Axios Charlotte members Sarah Jenest, Mary Lane Lennon, Christy Sammons and Carolyn Vanderberg.

💌 Your membership fuels our mission to bring you vital reporting. Be a part of it — become a member!

  • Plus, join before midnight tonight and you could win a $100 gift card to a local restaurant. Rules apply. Existing members are automatically entered.

Situational awareness: Charlotte City Council voted 7-3 last night to restore criminal penalties for open containers, sleeping in parks, public urination and other offenses.

Today's Smart Brevity™️ count is 812 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🍕Big ole slices

PIE.ZAA is located next to VINYL and Wooden Robot Brewery. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

PIE.ZAA, a popular Asheville pizza spot, opens this Friday, Feb. 16, in South End, Axios' Laura Barrero writes.

Why it matters: Late-night dining is hard to come by in Charlotte. And the pocket where PIE.ZAA is located is sure to satisfy South End partygoers looking to carb up after a beer at Wooden Robot, cocktails at Vinyl or before fist-pumping at Trio.

Details: Expect massive, NY-style, 14-inch pizza slices sold by the pie or slice.

  • PIE.ZAA is located at 1440 S. Tryon St.
  • It'll open Mondays 4pm-1am, Tuesday-Thursday 11am-1am, Friday-Saturday 11am-2am and Sundays 11am-1am.

Take a look around

2. 🪕 "#Banjoauntie"

Rhiannon Giddens was born in Greensboro. Photo: Douglas Mason/Getty Images

Beyoncé's new country song "TEXAS HOLD 'EM" features North Carolina native Rhiannon Giddens on banjo and viola.

Why it matters: Giddens is one of North Carolina's most influential artists over the last decade, winning a Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Awards.

  • She's helping spread the African origins of the banjo and African American influences on folk music into the popular imagination, Axios' Zachery Eanes writes.
  • The Beyoncé collaboration will likely expand her influence even more.

What she's saying: "You didn't know you needed a #banjoauntie. Now you know," Giddens tweeted Monday.

What's next: Beyoncé's next album, "Act II," comes out March 29.

Keep reading

3. ⛰ More mountains to climb

You'll be able to see the Charlotte skyline from the top on clear days. Photo: Nancy Pierce/Courtesy of Catawba Lands Conservancy/Carolina Thread Trail

The Carolina Thread Trail is expanding to the top of Spencer Mountain thanks to a trail easement agreement between Catawba Lands Conservancy and WBTV.

Catch up quick: WBTV, Charlotte's CBS affiliate station and our news partner, owns Spencer Mountain, which is Gaston County's third-highest peak.

Why it matters: The agreement allows public access to more greenspace, giving people more options to play in addition to Crowders Mountain State Park.

Details: Community Trail Design has designed three miles of trails, including a loop at the base of Spencer Mountain and a more strenuous trail leading up to the 1,250-foot summit.

  • The trails will allow for hiking and cycling. They will also be accessible to people with limited mobility.
  • Plans include an observation area at the summit as well.
  • The trails will connect to Gaston County's George Poston Park once complete, which will connect it to the Matthews-Belk South Fork River Corridor extending south 23 miles to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden.

What's next: Construction should begin by 2026, pending the $800,000-plus in funding for construction is obtained.

4. 🚶‍♀️Greenway loading

Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve. Photo: Courtesy of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation

Reedy Creek Greenway preparation is underway.

What's happening: Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation is clearing trees and brush to prepare for the construction of the new greenway through Reedy Creek Park and along Reedy Creek Nature Center and Preserve.

Details: The new 2.5-mile project, which is just shy of $8 million, will connect Plaza Road Extension to Grier Road. It's expected to be complete by summer 2025.

Related: 10 greenway projects scheduled to open this year

Sponsored job listings

Fresh job openings around town

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

  1. Registered Nurse, RN – Cardiac Telemetry at Presbyterian Medical Center at Novant Health.
  2. Venue Operations Manager - Immersive Experiences at Blumenthal Arts.
  3. Director of Information Technology at The National Board of Examiners in Optometry (NBEO).
  4. Regional Sales Manager at Skiptown.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. 🧀 Cheat's Cheesesteaks to expand to South End

Cheat's Cheesesteaks is located at 913 Pecan Ave. It's open daily from 11am-9pm. Photo: Laura Barrero/Axios

Cheat's Cheesesteaks will open a second location in South End this summer, Laura writes.

Details: The new location at 2127 Hawkins St. will be double the size of its Chantilly location and will have the same menu, pick-up window service, plus outdoor seating and bathrooms inside.

Bonus: Cheat's recently announced new menu items that you can order at its original location.

  • Guests can now choose from a small cheesesteak with a quarter pound of sliced ribeye for $9.99 or a large one for $14.99.
  • Plus, the brisket, diablo and pizza cheesesteaks as well as the Cheat's roast pork and meatball hoagie are now permanently on the menu.

6. 🏀 Basketball moves and other speed reads

Mitch Kupchak, pictured here, joined the Hornets in 2018. Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

🏀 Mitch Kupchak is stepping down as Charlotte Hornets general manager and president of basketball operations. He will move into an advisor role. (WBTV)

🐓 Rooster's will open a third location this year. The new spot will be located at the Bowl in Ballantyne. (Instagram)

🏟 Johnson C. Smith named Denisha Hendricks athletics director and visiting associate professor of sport management, effective May 1. (Axios)

🏀 Aaron Fearne has officially been named Charlotte 49ers men's basketball head coach. (Axios)

⛹️ The Charlotte Hornets beat the Indiana Pacers 111-102 Monday night, with major contributions from Charlotte natives Grant Williams and Seth Curry. (WBTV)

7. 👕 Fit check

Charlotte FC striker Enzo Copetti in the new primary kit.
Charlotte FC striker Enzo Copetti in the new kit. Photo: Courtesy of Charlotte FC

Charlotte FC just dropped its new kit (uniform).

Details: The Carolina kit: Explore is the club's new primary kit, replacing the original Carolina kit from 2022. The new fit represents a topographical map of North and South Carolina, with the shades of blue referencing the mountains to the sea.

  • Players will also wear the purple Crown Jewel community kit this season.
  • Presale is underway. You can order it online starting Feb. 17 at noon. It will be available for in-store purchase on Feb. 19.

Be smart: Kits change every two years, meaning the next community kit comes out in 2025 and the next primary kit comes out in 2026.

What's next: Charlotte FC will wear the new kit when they open their third season at Bank of America Stadium on Feb. 24 vs. New York City FC at 7:30pm.

Keep reading

🥳 It's Fat Tuesday, aka Mardi Gras and the day before many Christians observe Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. If you're in New Orleans, you may be celebrating with copious amounts of alcohol.

  • You may also be eating king cake. A plastic baby is baked inside. If you find it, you get to be king for a day.
  • Manolo's Bakery is selling king cakes to support widows and orphans impacted by the war in Ukraine. You can also donate online.

Thanks to Laura Barrero for editing and Lucia Maher for copy editing this newsletter.