Mailbag: Top 30 feedback letters on Zack’s Hamburgers, schools, bars, sex, driving and Blaze

Mailbag: Top 30 feedback letters on Zack’s Hamburgers, schools, bars, sex, driving and Blaze
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“I have never written to a site before and I feel a little silly however I wanted you to know as someone who is fairly new to the city, the site has helped me immensely. I feel way more connected and less alone (dramatic I know, LOL). But seriously its hard to move to a bigger city and not know where to start with jumping in. This site provides mostly everything new people need – job updates, rentals, events, etc. and it is entertaining and easy to read. So thank you!!!” – N

Ted: I’ve been working for the internet too long as my first thought was – is this fake? Who gives nice/normal feedback?

In response to: Charlotte bars are feeling the pressure from breweries

“Local bars shouldn’t worry. I will gladly pay a $2 premium for a drink at a “regular bar” to avoid the toddlers and dogs that infest places like OMB and other taprooms. As a parent with older kids it irks me greatly to see millennial parents turning their dogs and kids loose in a bar. You have kids now. You don’t get to go to bars for a while. That’s the deal. I’m sorry your Tinder date turned into being knocked up and having an unplanned kid. Go away for a while. Play with your children and foster their development. Quit lamenting the loss of your music career and taking turns with your baby mamma to slip away from the biergarten picnic table to smoke and adjust your man-bun. Go home. And take your “rescue” dog with you who keeps peeing on everything. I miss Philosopher’s Stone and Kennedy’s.” – R

“But if you don’t carry local beers, won’t you lose more customers? I don’t understand how 30 breweries are your biggest competition when there’s 1500 bars in the area. I think the breweries are successful because they’re involved in the community, and they are family friendly, not because you can save a dollar.” – L

“Responding to competition by reducing local offerings? Sounds like a good plan in an alternate reality.” – R

The reason people would rather go to breweries is the atmosphere, the fact that most have large outside areas, and the convenience. It has nothing to do with the cost of a beer. If we have a large group of people we typically go to OMB or VBGB (which isn’t a brewery and still does incredible business). Here’s a good example of what happened a few weekends ago. I have a wife and two young daughters. My parents were in town. My brother and his family of five live in Gastonia. He had friends from Winston-Salem visiting with their two kids. We were also meeting up with some friends we hadn’t seen in 15-years with their girlfriends/wives. Three other friends were meeting us as well. That’s 22 total people age 1 to 68-years-old. Before breweries there weren’t places to meet up with 22 people of every age without renting out a space. But, we said that we would be at OMB around 2 pm. We found two open tables and by 2:30 pm we had 22 people having a blast drinking beer and hanging out. Some people left at 4 pm, some left at 5 pm. It was casual and last-minute, but felt like we planned it for weeks.” – J

In response to: You can’t call yourself a Charlotte burger lover if you haven’t crushed this double patty, old-school cheeseburger at Zack’s Hamburgers

“And by far the best value. Tired of most burgers in Charlotte being from $11 to $15 now $14 to $18 at Ted’s Montana (which the $18 burger was good but dang ) – C

“I use to work part time there, George (the owner) treated me like family, even better than family at times. The whole entire menu is great. The grilled chicken sandwich is to die for and don’t get me started on the ribeye sandwich!” – A

“If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and order a Jimmy Burger from Dive-N in Pineville. It’s at the intersection of 51 and Polk (I.e. south). Only open for breakfast and lunch, but is probably the best burger I’ve had in Charlotte. Regarding Zack’s Hamburger Stand, they shot a scene of homeland there. It’s where they captured Abu Nazir, so they also got that going for them.” – R

“Mr. Williams, I want to thank you for the excellent piece you wrote on Zack’s Hamburgers. Besides getting me hungry, it made me homesick and nostalgic for reasons that may not be as apparent to you that I wanted to share (though my first name may have given you a hint). My father who started Zack’s Hamburgers was a very simple, humble man and though he would have sincerely appreciated your piece as much as we all do, he would have been a little embarrassed by it. He would have said “Doesn’t the paper have real stuff to report on?!” (lol). Zack’s Hamburgers reflects him–traditional, basic, good quality, customer oriented, always enjoyable, and full of pride. He did what he did not solely because he had to make a living with what challenges a Greek immigrant had when he came to America, but because he loved making people happy and taking care of customers. I will never fully realize the incredible “education” I earned working under his tutelage for the 8 years I spent with him at the restaurant growing up. I was very fortunate to have spent so much time with him as a son, mentee and of course an employee! He and my mother taught us well I can humbly say and your piece reminded me of that. To this day, I practice the “Jimako” method (his real name was Jimmy or “Jimako” but he named the restaurant “Zack’s” — that’s another story for another day) in my own business which is right out of his book — customer orientation, quality of service, treat employees like family, and enjoy what you do. My brother George has followed my father’s footsteps and has taken it up a few levels but maintaining the most important footprint, the ultimate trifecta — customer service, food quality, and family values. I am very proud of my family “roots”, my parents who courageously started this business with very little (the whole family worked in there because we could not afford employees and I was only 13), and my brother and his family who have successfully continued the tradition for over 42 years….not very common nowadays. Even marriages don’t last that long sad to say! This piece made me feel very proud that my family made a small impact on the great city of Charlotte and impressed a young man like yourself enough to write about it. Living in New Jersey and being gone from Charlotte since 1984, I do miss Zack’s dearly. Though I have access to some of the best food in the country within arm’s length, nothing beats a Zack’s burger and being with family. You made me look at my calendar to figure out when is my next trip down south! Again, a sincere thank you for your piece. It means a lot to my family. My father used to always say to me after a customer would tell us how great everything was “It’s the compliment that came from nowhere, for no reason, and no one in particular that means the most to me. But don’t let it get to your head and get back to work!”. That said, I have to get back to work before Pops gets ticked off at me.” – Zack

In response to: Dilworth increases coolness. Not Just Coffee, Inizio Pizza, Yoga One and Green Brothers juice open this summer near Ed’s

“This is what’s going in those in-progress trendy buildings next to Food Lion where I saw that guy playing a saxophone with no shoes on in the middle of the night that one time…” – A

In response to: 5 best places for waterside cocktails within 30 miles of Uptown

J Peters in Mount Holly is 20 minutes and it’s amazing.” – L

In response to: At stake in school boundary decisions — Hundreds of thousands of dollars for homeowners

“I read the article and of course it got to the part where white folks don’t want their kids going to school with poor black kids…and do you think the higher income earning black,Indian,and Asian families choose the lower priced homes in the “less desirable” districts just because of their race? No. Most people want the best education for their kids,but sadly some just don’t care. And yes I was a teacher and have seen this to be true.” – J

“This is why Indian Land’s growth was over 10% last year and will continue along that trend.” – E

“It’s a big deal that CMS has this type of indirect power to negatively impact many folks biggest investment. Now it’s becomes a social issue on whether or not you support an experiment decision or protect your home value.” – C

“We’re currently building a home in Wilmore and paid a premium for the lot since it is zoned for Dilworth Elementary. We were really excited to send our son there in a few years. Now all our school conversations have turned to which Catholic or private school we should choose.” – W

In response to: We didn’t get our first female president so I did something about it

“My favorite thing about this article is that Coach Mary took her personal frustration with our nation’s politics and turned that into positive action right here in our local community, inspiring young girls to set and smash their own goals. And she did this without having to be told (by some random male commenter) to keep her political bias “in check”. Girls on the Run is not a political organization, and there is no slant toward any party, candidate, or otherwise anywhere within the curriculum used by coaches. And neither girls nor coaches need to be told to check themselves. So kudos to you, Mary.” – B

“I too was in a fetal position the day after the election. Afterwards I did 2 things: 1. joined the League of Women Voters – the organization that puts out party- neutral Election information and other support services 2. started tutoring in a Charlotte elementary school with a majority Hispanic population made up with lots of families in fear of deportation.” – A

In response to: The Ed’s Tavern name is coming back

“What are the chances Ed’s/BnB has just pulled a fast one? All of the sudden they are local heroes?” – S

Ted: 0%, but I thought the same thing.

In response to: Is it just me, or do you wish you invested in Blaze Pizza like LeBron James?

“I agree with you about Blaze. However, when you listed the “TopTier” pizza places, you lost me again. Most of those places are horrible. Disgusting. When I tell people that I love Blaze I always follow it up with the phrase “but it isn’t “real’ pizza”. It isn’t “real” to a foodie but it is damn good. The Meat Eater (with both roasted and minced garlic and bacon added) is almost magical. Food of the gods. Incredibly delicious and I’m not sure why. But, not “real” pizza. 500 Degree Pizza on South Blvd is “real” and their plain cheese slice at $2.50 is da bomb.” – S

In response to: Dot Dot Dot targets a June 1 open date. Peek in at what will be an intimate, upscale, screen-free space

“I really wish the Agenda wouldn’t ruin all the good secrets…” – E

“I hope this means they have focused on acoustics!” – R

“I love the no TVs!”- S

In response to: 50 must-try Charlotte Cheap Eats under $10

“Finally, a shoutout to Lupie’s! Nothing heartier than Chili Mac!” – M

“50 ways to die!” – N

In response to: Are you doing the right thing when you drive past a Charlotte funeral procession?

“Charlotte drivers are terrible. You could do a whole series… how about ambulance driving rules? In my experience more people stop for funerals than they do for ambulances. These people still have a chance to not become a funeral. Give them the same respect. And don’t even get me started on left lane loafers, shoulder drivers and cell phone talkers. Frustrated commuter who will be old and grey before the 74 corridor light rail system ever becomes a reality.”

In response to: How a former funeral pro is applying her human end-of-life expertise to the final care of Charlotte pets

“Henry of PWW made one of the darkest days a bit easier when he just reached out and hugged me as I dropped off the remains of my beloved labrador.” – L

In response to: Charlotte is too shy to talk about sex, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t doing it

“Regarding the scrutiny of the Health Department: I am a nurse and have worked with the low income population in Charlotte for a few years. Although I am sure the HD is not perfect, it is also easy to point fingers and place all the blame on he doctors/nurses/health care organization. One issue I ran into a lot when working with the low income population is that many of them have to use pay-as-you-go phones and so their phones numbers change frequently. We may get a result showing that a patient as chlamydia and attempt to call them several times but the phone number is no longer in service. On the flip side, patients know what they are being tested for and I cannot fathom why they so often do not follow up on these results.” – N

In response to: These are the three best off-beat Moscow Mules in the city (plus one classic)

“Royal Apple Mule at Imperial should be on this list!” – M

You missed the Yuzu Mule at O-Ku. My favorite cocktail in the city.” – R

In response to: Selwyn Avenue Pub is unapologetically old-school, and that’s cool with owner Jim Foster

“My wife and I are Empty Nester Boomers living on Selwyn Ave and frequent The Pub which we he love. However, there are two disgusting things one will encounter at the Pub. (1) The never can get away from constant puff clouds and aroma of cigarette smoke. (2) 50+ year old men leering at and talking up Queens University Coeds. Yuk.” – T

In response to: Why more millennials don’t run for political office

“Here’s what I want to know: What term limits are they putting on themselves? I agree our Mayor and City Council should look like our population and just because you are 60+ doesn’t mean you actually know better. I want to know how long they intend to hold their seats or will they repeat the system of getting elected and sitting there forever. We are currently a city with no term limits for City Council or the Mayor. Any politician that gets into it to make it a career is dangerous.” – S

In response to: Cash Confessional — A week of spending in Charlotte on a $48,000 salary

“Dude, you could afford those nice things and pay cash for them if you would just halt your lifestyle for a year or two and clean up the debt. You’re sending $900 of your income per month to some other jokers. We’d all be in such a better place if we kept our incomes instead of working to send it elsewhere. Clean up the debt and then live it large! All Cash! This article stressed me out.” – A

“I’m just going to save y’all some trouble. If you ask someone to do one of these cash confessionals and it comes back with anything about “my parents still pay for my phone” or “I steal light rail rides but make six figures”…. just please do me a favor and don’t run that s***. It is pathetic but we have also heard all the comments about how mommy and daddy need to stop paying for your shit, so let’s just move on to a different demographic. I liked the guy who drove a piece of shit car and made $68k from airbnb.” – K

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