Weekly News Roundup: The People’s Market at Dilworth Closes
The People Go Market-less
To the dismay of Dilworthians and folks all around Charlotte, popular bottle shop/deli/bar/all-around hangout and hub The People’s Market at Dilworth announced on Instagram Thursday that it would be shutting its doors, which looked out on the corner of East Boulevard and Scott Avenue.
“With a very heavy heart I am saddened to announce our closure,” the Instagram post read. “This is not something we wanted, but unfortunately we ran out of time to fix some of our self inflicted problems. Like many small businesses the goal is always to be able to sip champagne on a beer budget. However we ended up with spiked kombucha and lime, lol. All jokes aside, we are really proud of what we accomplished here in Dilworth. We had so much fun with all of you. I can sincerely say that neighbors became friends and friends became family. We love you all for supporting us during our good and bad times. Only regret we couldn’t finish the job for you.”
The market’s sister concept, a craft cocktail bar right next door called The Queen & Glass, also closed. The People’s Market opened in November 2017, and Queen & Glass followed six months later. Cory Duran owned both. He had originally planned to open a second location in the old firehouse on West Fifth Street in Uptown this summer, and though he has reportedly said that the cost there may be too high, he does plan to open a new location in Charlotte at some point in the future.
People around Charlotte immediately took to social media to mourn the loss, with April Smith tweeting, “This is one you can’t say ‘well, if y’all liked it so much you should have gone’ EVERYONE went to People’s Market!!”
Katie Levans echoed her sentiment, tweeting, “People’s Market is my home. It’s my place. That one leaves a hole.”
Queen City Nerve Recognized with Five Awards at NCPA Banquet
Queen City Nerve is honored to announce that the publication was recognized by the North Carolina Press Association at an awards banquet on Thursday night for excellence in five stories published during our first year in operation — stories ranging from news reporting to arts to profile writing.
Among the stories recognized was a three-part series by Brenna Swanston in which she dug into the history of segregation in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools while showing how those issues tie into those that the school system still deals with today. The series was awarded second place for education reporting in the state. You can read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the series here.
Also recognized at Thursday’s banquet was Pat Moran’s story on local musician Ana Lucia Divins and the harrowing path she took to land in Charlotte, awarded second place for arts and entertainment reporting. Awarded third place in the same category was Rebecca Hourselt’s feature about the continued criminalization of graffiti in Charlotte, even as street art becomes more mainstream.
Patrick O’Boyle’s “A Prayer for the Preacher” was awarded second place for profile feature writing. In it, O’Boyle tells the story of Moses the Street Preacher, a popular figure in the community who struggled with homelessness only to be brutally attacked in his apartment shortly after securing housing. Finally, contributor Jeff Hahne was awarded third place in the same category for his profile of local musician Ashlee Hardee, documenting her return to music following the tragic death of her young daughter.
City Council Approves Large Solar Energy Project
Charlotte City Council voted Monday to participate in the Duke Energy Green Source Advantage (GSA) Program, which will enable the city of Charlotte to move forward with a 35-megawatt, utility-scale solar energy project — and make Charlotte the nation’s most populous city to acquire new renewable energy through a utility green tariff, according to a release.
The city will partner with Carolina Solar Energy, a North Carolina-based, solar energy company; and Ecoplexus, an international solar energy company with offices in Durham, to build the solar farm, which is expected to be fully operational by 2022.
The solar energy project, which is expected to help offset about 25% of carbon emissions from city-owned buildings over the next 20 years, will help advance the city’s Strategic Energy Action Plan (SEAP), adopted unanimously by the City Council in December 2018. SEAP provides the roadmap for Charlotte to become a low-carbon city by 2050, aligning with the Paris Climate Agreement. As part of its SEAP goals, the city aims to achieve 100% zero carbon municipal buildings and fleet by 2030.
“Not only does this 35-megawatt solar energy project get us 25% of the way towards our goal in a very short time, but it contributes to building the green economy and improves our citizens’ quality of life,” said Heather Bolick, the city’s Energy & Sustainability Coordinator.
The solar energy project is expected to save the city nearly $2 million in energy expenses over 20 years and will improve air quality in the region by reducing harmful pollution, the release states. In addition, it is expected to create 428 jobs in the region, produce enough electricity that equates to powering 10,000 homes annually, and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to removing 12,000 passenger vehicles from the road.
Two Charlotte-Area Chefs Earn James Beard Nods
Greg Collier, chef/owner of Uptown Yolk in the 7th Street Public Market and co-owner of the soon-to-open Leah & Louise in Camp North End, earned his second consecutive nomination for the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards, a prestigious honor among those in the American culinary scene. Collier was nominated in the Best Chef: Southeast category.
Last year, Collier became the first black chef from Charlotte to earn a James Beard nod, as he was nominated for best chef.
“It was a huge honor to be nominated last year,” Collier stated in a release on Wednesday. “Being a two-time nominee puts things in perspective. It makes me feel like the work in the community and the kitchen are important. It’s surreal being mentioned with so many chefs I admire.”
Joe Kindred of Kindred in Davidson is also nominated in the same category. Kindred and his wife Katy also run Hello, Sailor in Cornelius.
The list of semifinalists will be whittled down to five people or restaurants in each category on March 25, with winners announced at the James Beard Awards Gala on May 4.
Man Killed in North Charlotte
Police responded to Azalea Hills Drive in the Mallard Creek area of north Charlotte just before 4 p.m. on Friday and found 30-year-old Nathaniel Newberry suffering from a gunshot wound in front of a home there. Newberry was taken to the hospital, where he later died. The murder brings Charlotte’s homicide total to 12, and if no more murders were to happen today, that would put Charlotte on pace to see around 72 murders in 2020.
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