Agenda for Thursday July 9: Hotels to Inexpensive Art

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Hello Thursday.

I love hotel bars. I know, weird. Maybe it’s the people watching or the travel vibe or maybe I’m just weird. I recently drank a gin and tonic at the Ballantyne Hotel lobby bar with Gi Hallmark. She order a Prosecco which I thought was very fancy for 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon, but she’s more refined and civilized than I am, so I didn’t say anything. We then explored this AAA Four-Diamond rated resort (208 rooms, a 35-room lodge, and a 4 bedroom cottage). 

Spa? Yes. Whiskey room? Yes. 1,200 sqft Presidential Suite? 2 of them (here’s the view). Local art? Yes. Indoor and outdoor pool? Yes. Golf? Yes, it’s public. Afternoon tea? Duh. Fun fact: The Gallery Restaurant boasts the largest single malt scotch collection in the Carolinas. Overall: if it’s good enough for Obama, it’s good enough for your staycation – view full story with 24 photos


Today’s Weather: 95. Sunny. 10% chance of rain. 
Today’s Stat: 42. DWIs issued by the State Highway Patrol from July 3-5.
Today’s Job: Senior Financial Analyst at ScentAir. Apply.
Today’s Charlottean: Jeremy Lin, NBA player known as “Lindsanity,” for announcing via Instagram that he’ll become a hornet (43,700 likes). Source: 2 years $4.3 million. 


30 things I learned in my 20s
It’s Katie’s birthday today and she’s reflecting on her old age. My favorite 3: “Quality over quantity when it comes to friends, alcohol and cats”; “The higher the pants, the harder the party” and “Family is your constant.” Must read. 

A different city after only 6 years away
Fascinating to hear Ben describe Charlotte 6 years ago. The Duke Energy building wasn’t even complete then. Read Ben’s reaction to living here, moving away and now living here again.

Free Range Brewing impresses with taproom, beer offerings
Deeper dive into NoDa’s newest brewery by Jonathan. Find out why Free Range chose to go small: each brew session generates a batch size of 3.5 barrels (108.5 gallons), with two batches of the same brew sharing a 7-barrel fermenter.

Is this the best Cuban restaurant in Charlotte?
A Piece of Havana may be the only Cuban restaurant in our city. I ate there and enjoyed the Mariquitas and the photo of a shirtless Cuban farmer milking a cow in the men’s restroom. View 10 reactions to this authentic Cuban restaurant on South Tryon and 7 photos.

How a bread-loving vegetarian and her meat-eating, gluten-avoiding friend dined peacefully at one restaurant
Katie decided to order the brussels sprouts and Tuscan kale salad from Vivace – that’s crazy healthy. View 8 photos including Vivace’s calamari, caprese salad, cheese plate and the refreshing Blueberry Caipirinha cocktail.

The Weekender: July 10 – 12
16 things to do this weekend. Sycamore Brewing Beer Garden Concerts to Dave Matthews Band to Open Studio at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation to Improv Vikings to Off-Road Championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway to Mixology Lab with Bob Peters at Earl’s.


PBR’s pop-up gallery Art Hole is now open in NoDa [Levans/Agenda]. Take alook inside and all featured art will have low price points so that you can walk in and buy.

Phyrefly, a Charlotte startup looking to become the “Hotwire for restaurants,” launched into public beta yesterday. Phyrefly currently has 15 restaurants committed and 5 live on their site (Dilworth & Plaza Midwood). Deals are 15% to 20% off (can’t include alcohol). I’m very bullish on this concept, now it comes down to execution.

Texas based investment firm, Dimensional Fund Advisors, opening east coast headquarters in Charlotte, hiring over 300 people [Thomas/Agenda]. Average salary of these new jobs will be around $150,000.

Harris Teeter is expanding its 52,000 sqft Cotswold location (wine bar, outdoor seating, fancier restrooms, Starbucks) in preparation for the 49,000 sqft Publix set to open across the street in 2017 [Thomas/CBJ]. This Charlotte grocery store arms race will translate to better deals and better service for you. Enjoy the grocery store war.

Old apartment building on 3 acres of land near the intersection of Woodlawn and Park Road to be demolished and replaced with fancy, new 265 unit complex with a pool [Portillo/Observer]. Sedgefield and all areas around Park Road Shopping Center are blowing up, get in now.

Hosting the NBA All-Star Game will cost Charlotte about $6 million [Spanberg /CBJ]. Keep in mind that supporters say this will general $60 – $100 million in spending gains for our city. It’s a good thing, so don’t freak out. 

Have a tasty Thursday and happy birthday Katie – I hope your cats Ralphie and Weasel do cool cat tricks for you today.

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