Friday, July 25, 2014

New Charlotte outlet stores announced

With its grand opening less than a week away, Charlotte Premium Outlets is rounding out its roster of retailers with a few late additions.

Here are the three latest stores announced, and their descriptions from the mall:

  • Clarks Bostonian: "Offers a wide-ranging selection of fashionable footwear and accessories for men and women, as well as the superior comfort for which the Clarks brand is known."
  • Travelpro: Prides "itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for the experienced traveler."
  • Maurices: "Inspires young women to find their style with adorable, affordable fashions in sizes 1-24."
You can view a complete list of stores here. Charlotte Premium Outlets has about 100 total retailers, and opens July 31.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Discount goods and hot peppers at Concord Mills

Two new stores, Pepper Palace and Five Below, are opening at Concord Mills, offering new options for hot peppers and cheap goods.

Pepper Palace sells hot sauces, oils, vinegar, dips and other pepper-related goods. The store is now open. Here's how the malls describes the new store: "Shoppers looking to add a little kick to their favorite meals will enjoy the wide variety of hot sauces, BBQ sauces, salsas, jellies, jams, pickled items and more available at Pepper Palace, which is now located in Neighborhood 4 near Best Buy."


Pepper Palace's Concord Mills store
Five Below is a store selling goods from $1 to $5, and the store plans to open in the coming weeks. This is the company's only store in the Charlotte area. Per the mall: "Five Below, located in Neighborhood 5 near Burlington Coat Factory, is a popular value retailer featuring a dynamic assortment of merchandise ranging in price from $1 to $5. Young shoppers on a budget will find bargains on games, fashion accessories, candy and snacks, as well as school supplies, books and DVDs."



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

2nd & Charles coming to Charlotte

A new store offering trade-in and used options for books, videogames, CDs, DVDs and more is coming to South Boulevard.

It's called 2nd & Charles, and the first Charlotte location is under construction at Tyvola Road and South Boulevard, next to the Ross Dress for Less. The company has a July 31 opening planned for the 20,100-square-foot store.

Here's how 2nd & Charles describes itself: "2nd & Charles offers cash or store credit for gently used items that they buy and sell based on the product’s condition, current inventory and popularity. The store specializes in buying and selling used books, audio books, CDs, DVDs and Blu-Ray, video games, game systems, vinyl records, comic books, iPods and iPads, eReaders, and more."

A detailed description of how it works is available online here (basically, you can bring in books, movies or other media and trade them for store credit and cash).

The company, a division of Books-A-Million, has 19 stores listed online. The only locations in North Carolina are Fayetteville and Jacksonville.

"North Carolina will have more 2nd & Charles locations than any other state," said Eric Bishop, vice president of 2nd & Charles, in a statement. "Our loyal customers share 2nd & Charles’ passion for reading, writing, listening, playing and watching. Together we take the idea of recycling to a whole new level."

Building permits show the company spent almost $200,000 on construction at the new store.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Bakersfield OTR making progress on East Blvd.

Bakersfield, a taco joint and bar that's replacing the former Longboards Tap & Taco on East Boulevard, is building out its new space quickly.

Gone are the gaudy yellow walls and wall-size mural of Buddha and a shark that marked the building at East Boulevard and Kenilworth Avenue. Instead, the building is now painted a dark gray. Crews have completely demolished the interior and are rebuilding extensively.

Bakersfield has other locations, in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Columbus Ohio, and is planning a Nashville spot too. Here's their menu.

Over recent years, this location has been Sullivan's, Picasso's and Longboards. A lack of parking has been a challenge for previous incarnations. As a neighbor to this site, I hope Bakersfield figures out the winning formula.

Building permits show the project has cost more than $250,000 so far. Charlotte Restaurant Traffic, which reported the new restaurant first back in March, has some more details here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Fresh Market opening south Charlotte store

Specialty grocer The Fresh Market said Friday that it has signed a lease for a new store in south Charlotte, to be located in the Promenade on Providence shopping center.

The store is set to open in early 2015 at Ballantyne Commons Parkway and Providence Road. The Fresh Market currently has two stores in Charlotte, one on Pineville-Matthews Road and one on Providence Road.

If you feel like you've been reading a lot about The Fresh Market lately, that's probably because Charlotte Hornets rookie P.J. Hairston said he had an interesting encounter at one lately that led to a fellow athlete's DWI arrest in Hairston's car. From an Observer story:

"Charlotte Hornets rookie P.J. Hairston said he met Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon at a Chapel Hill grocery store, which eventually led to Gordon driving Hairston’s Cadillac when he was arrested on a DWI charge in Raleigh.

According to Hairston, he switched cars with Gordon sometime Friday night, taking Gordon’s Mercedes. Gordon was arrested early Saturday morning.

'Me and Josh Gordon met at the Fresh Market in Chapel Hill,' Hairston said Thursday after a Hornets summer-league practice. “I walked there to get food and happened to run into him in there.'

'I am a football fan so I knew who he was. Right away, we started talking about football, basketball and we walked outside. He saw my car and asked me ‘What are you doing?’ He asked if I minded if we switched cars and we exchanged numbers and he was going to drive my car that night and bring it back to me.

'I said OK, and we switched cars. The rest of that is history.'"

So, welcome to Charlotte.


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/07/10/5035880/hornets-pj-hairston-chance-meeting.html#.U8kxe_ldXE0#storylink=cpy


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Microsoft opening permanent store in SouthPark

A full-scale Microsoft store is coming soon to SouthPark, where it will compete with the mall's Apple store and hope to lure customers to buy products such as Surface tablets and Xbox One gaming consoles.

The new store will be 2,260 square feet, with 40-50 employees, and will be located in the Nordstrom wing of the mall. Mecklenburg building permits show the company is spending a good chunk of change to build the store, with contracts worth more than $3.3 million

Details from Microsoft were sketchy, but here's what the company has to say on its website about the new SouthPark store:

Look out, Charlotte

We're headed to SouthPark soon

Get ready to experience the Microsoft Store near you. Although we can't reveal too much now, we can promise a lot of fun – and dancing – during our Grand Opening.

The software, gaming and computer company has previously operated a kiosk in the mall. Microsoft is also opening a Durham store, in the Streets at Southpoint in August.

Microsoft has been gradually expanding its retail presence since 2009, when it opened its first store. The company now has about 100 full-line stores and smaller kiosks nationwide (full list here). Similar to Apple stores, they feature the company's latest tech products for customers to try out and feature an Answer Desk (the counterpart to the Genius Bar) for tech support.

Microsoft store opening in Aventura, Florida

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Uncle Maddio's opening second pizza location

Uncle Maddio's, a "fast casual" pizza chain, is opening its second Charlotte-area franchise with a pizza giveaway on Saturday, July 12 in Huntersville.

The restaurant is in Huntersville's NorthCross Shopping Center. The grand opening on Saturday will feature free nine-inch pizzas from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Here's how Atlanta-based Uncle Maddio's describes itself (think Chipotle, but with pizza): "Uncle Maddio’s is a build your own kind of pizza place that appeals to all customer types. Pick your size from six inch, nine inch, medium or large; select your crust (all made fresh daily in house) regular, whole wheat or gluten free; select a chef driven pizza such as Steak and Blue and Big Max or select your own toppings from almost 50 different fresh vegetables, cheeses and meats with many of them locally sourced, some organic and all chopped daily in the restaurant."

 The company is growing rapidly, with plans to expand from 21 to more than 200 units over the coming years. In Charlotte, franchisee Jerry Licari recently opened the city's first Uncle Maddio's in Overstreet Mall uptown, and plans to open a total of eight stores.

"Our loyal customers in our downtown Charlotte Overstreet Mall location continue to encourage us to expand our presence throughout the metro area,” said Licari, in a statement.