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Charlotte’s Only Black-Owned Brewery Announces Closing in Weekly News Roundup

The sun was shining while we all sat in our offices, now the rain comes down as we look to enjoy the weekend. Ain’t that just how it works sometimes? Anyway, here’s five stories we’ve been watching this week that we think you should know about. 

Management at Charlotte’s only black-owned brewery confirmed on Twitter on Tuesday that they will be shutting their doors this weekend. The award-winning Three Spirits Brewery was opened in 2015 by Tabu Terrell, who left his high-paying job as an emergency medical physician to pursue his passion. He began homebrewing in 1999. Terrell called Three Spirits a “bridge brewery” and tried to get Charlotte’s black community more involved in the brewery scene, hosting organizations like Black Business Owners of Charlotte, Charlotte Black Professionals and an all-black cigar club called Cigars & Stilettos. Saturday will be the business’ final day of operation, and will be open until 10 p.m. 

In 2017, Terrell commented on the lack of diversity in Charlotte’s brewery scene, where he served as the only black brewery owner. “If you’re successful, you’re probably not paying much attention. You’re making your money, so it’s not that big of an issue. Even African-Americans don’t realize how much spending power we have as a community. So I don’t think other people really look at it either.”

Tabu Terrell (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

Charlotte City Council approved seven of eight potential affordable housing projects at its meeting on Monday, with seven of nine present members voting against the Parkside at Hickory Grove project proposed for Shamrock Drive and Hickory Grove Road by SCG Development Partners. Community members spoke out against the proposed development at Monday’s meeting, stating that there was already enough low-income housing in the area and that the project would hinder the revitalization of east Charlotte, especially in the area near the old Eastland Mall site. 

“I’m the queen of affordable housing … but this doesn’t smell right for me,” Mayor Vi Lyles said of the Parkside at Hickory Grove proposal. 

The seven projects that were approved on Monday include The Park Seniors on Beatties Ford Road near Hornets Nest Park, Sugar Creek Greene on Bisaner Street, Abbington Westside on Township Road, Brookwood Apartments at Newell-Hickory Grove and Grier roads, Rosewood Commons II on West Sugar Creek Road near Harris Boulevard, Connelly Creek Apartments on Connelly Circle and Mayfield at Sugaree on West Sugar Creek Road near Sugaw Creek Road. None of the developments are anywhere near what would be considered affluent neighborhoods. Only three to four of the projects are expected to receive state funding and actually come to fruition. 

A prime piece of real estate is up for sale in the middle of Plaza Midwood, as Charlotte Business Journal reported this month that owner Rob Nixon has placed his Peculiar Rabbit restaurant up for sale. The reported asking price is $850,000. The 8,025-square-foot establishment features a third-floor rooftop patio with great views of Uptown, and bars inside on the first and second floors. Nixon gained all the wrong kinds of attention in February for his comments to Charlotte Magazine reporter Allison Braden stating that he doesn’t like to book hip-hop shows at his concert venue The Rabbit Hole because “some genres are more conducive to violence,” then using the term “thuggishness” to describe them. Nixon will reportedly continue to run The Rabbit Hole, Jackalope Jack’s and Smoothie Monkey, all of which are establishments he owns on the same property as Peculiar Rabbit. 

Rob Nixon (left) discusses the design of a mural going on the side of Peculiar Rabbit with local artist Mike Wirth in 2018. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

Charlotte-based Atrium Health signed a memorandum of understanding along with Wake Forest Baptist and Wake Forest University expressing the three non-for-profit organizations intent to merge, they announced on Wednesday. The organizations will enter into a period of negotiations and expect to reach an agreement later this year. The merger would bring a four-year Wake Forest medical school campus to Charlotte. 

“Just imagine the powerful possibilities to advance modern medicine by linking breakthrough science directly with our patients in a way that significantly enhances their cognitive and physical functioning — and allows them to live independently for longer,” said Eugene Woods, president and CEO of Atrium Health, in a prepared statement.

One homicide occurred in Charlotte this week, bringing the 2019 total to 37. Police responded to an assault-with-a-deadly-weapon call at the Delta Crossing Apartments in the early morning hours on Sunday and found 29-year-old Teaun Bates suffering from a gunshot wound outside of an apartment. He was transported to the hospital, where he later died. Bates’ family has set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral costs. 

Teaun Bates (Courtesy GoFundMe)

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