Monday, June 25, 2007

Storm damage

Sunday night's bombastic storms caused some damage at Cuisine Malaya at the corner of Independence and Elizabeth. Part of the building's facade fell off, forcing Mecklenburg County to declare the building unsafe. More thunderstorms today probably didn't help matters. (Photos by Lolo Pendergrast.)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Whole Foods roundup

Back from vacation. Time to catch up on the Whole Foods beat:
  • I hope you enjoyed the Observer article "Fighting for 1st Whole Foods" on June 9. In it, a UNCC marketing professor agreed with me that the SouthPark location makes more sense for Whole Foods's first foray into Charlotte, but was more hopeful about letter-writing campaigns than I was. A Whole Foods spokesman said the company plans to answer every email. So let's hear it: Who emailed Whole Foods? If not, why not? Did you get a reply? What did they say? Comments please!
  • Meanwhile, let's hope that when Whole Foods does come to Elizabeth, they adopt the single-line, bank-style (registration required) of check-out "queue management." "By 7 p.m. on a weeknight, the lines at each of the four Whole Foods stores in Manhattan can be 50 deep, but they zip along faster than most lines with 10 shoppers," the New York Times reports. We may be more gracious than some New Yorkers when it comes to waiting in line, but that doesn't mean we have to like it. If only our own Harris Teeter had room for such an improvement.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Movie Tavern on Elizabeth

Lost in my pitiful mewling about the Whole Foods loss was the news of the really cool Movie Tavern, part of a 70,000-square-foot entertainment complex on Elizabeth Avenue. Movie Tavern "combines first-run movies with a casual dining menu offering a wide range of choices that include half-pound burgers, homemade pizzas, chicken sandwiches, wings and fries, appetizers, fresh salads, beer, wine, and mixed beverages," according to its Web site. We're talking six screens, first-run movies, "art house films" -- and a bar. I'm there. Anyone from Texas familiar with Movie Tavern? The Observer reports a late 2008 or early 2009 theater opening.

Developer Grubb Properties says after Movie Tavern, the rest of the $300 million development "is being designed for a collection of boutiques along Elizabeth Avenue, two terrace level restaurants overlooking a central plaza and a 15,000 square foot club." Sweet.

Juneteenth of the Carolinas

The tenth annual Juneteenth of the Carolinas celebration kicks off June 14 and continues through June 16 at Independence Park. Juneteenth commemorates the freeing of the last slaves in the U.S. on June 19, 1865 -- more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Elizabethan Peter Tart, who supplied these pictures from last year's festival, writes:
"I think we are fortunate to have our neighborhood's park host such an important event and hope we display a large participation. I've attended for the last three years and have been impressed with the variety of costumes, customs, artwork and gestures of inclusion and friendliness. I'll be there this year as well and hope to see many of my neighbors. Incidentally, the festival last year had a wonderful parade along the park's sidewalk."
The parade will be back on both Saturday and Sunday. Should be an excellent event.