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Each week, WFAE's "Morning Edition" hosts get a rundown of the biggest business and development stories from The Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter.

Iconic South End Restaurant For Sale

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Mr. K's Soft Ice Cream
Mr. K's is up for sale in South End.

It may be the end of an era. The iconic Mr. K’s on South Boulevard in the heart of Charlotte’s South End is up for sale. The restaurant known for its burgers and ice cream opened more than 50 years ago.

That neighborhood, like many others in Charlotte, has seen tremendous change and development. For more on this and other business news, we turn to Tony Mecia of the Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter.

Marshall Terry: Tony, as I said, it may be the end of an era, and that's because whoever buys the property could still operate it as Mr. K's, right?

Tony Mecia: That's right, Marshall. Mr. K's was listed on brokerage as being up for sale: $260,000 is the asking price. The owner, from what it sounds like, is just sort of maybe getting tired of running the operation. The broker told the (Chalrotte) Business Journal this week that it's up for sale. Somebody could buy it. Maybe it stays as an ice cream shop. But there's so much new going up and leases and rents are going up so much. It's harder on a lot of these older businesses.

Terry: Yeah, and as you mentioned, this is right there at the intersection of South Boulevard and Tremont Avenue, so really the heart of South End. And that is an area that has just seen an explosion of development, especially here in just the past few years.

Mecia: Yeah, I mean, it just seems like every other week you see a new rendering for a new office building, a new hot restaurant. I mean, there's so much going on over there. It has increased the pressure on some of these older businesses. But that's sort of one of the casualties of a growing city.

Terry: Sticking with development for a second, Atrium (Health) has released a rendering of its planned medical school. Tell us about it.

Atrium Wake medical school rendering February 2021.jpeg
Atrium Health
A rendering shows how the Atrium Health-Wake Forest medical school in Charlotte could look.

Mecia: Well, yes, at their board meeting this week, Atrium released some pictures of what that medical school would look like. You'll recall, Marshall, they're doing this in partnership with with Wake Forest. So they released a very nice picture of it. It's a sort of a lighter, kind of beige-colored building, a lot of glass. Renderings of people walking by walking dogs. And there's a water feature. Trees. I mean, it looks very lush and green.

They have not announced the location of it, but the Ledger reported in December that it looks like it's going to be going on Morehead Street near McDowell (Street). There was a big land sale over there, about seven acres. That looks like that's going to be where the medical school is going to be.

Terry: And what is the latest with that? When can we expect to see it?

Mecia: You know, they said that they're going to make the official announcement of its location in the next month or so. Construction usually takes several years. There are some things that Atrium and Wake Forest are already doing to kind of combine their operations. They're talking about having rotations of medical students come through the Carolinas Medical Center. So, they're working on forging that partnership.

Bored during the pandemic? Maybe you should try chess. It's all the rage lately, perhaps proving that some things never go out of style.

Terry: The Ledger this week reported that there is a chess boom happening in Charlotte and that it's due in part to a Netflix show?

Mecia: Yes, some listeners might have heard of the show "The Queen's Gambit," which is about chess from several decades ago. We talked to some local chess people — chess instructors, the Charlotte Chess Academy down in Pineville. They're saying they're seeing a huge increase in the popularity of chess in part because of that show, but also in part because of the pandemic.

You know, it's been no secret with people home more we've seen increases in sales of board games. You might recall early on there was a shortage of yeast as people were doing more baking. So, anything that people can do from home has grown in popularity. Chess you're able to play online. It's one of these effects. It's sort of a perfect storm for chess popularity, Marshall.

Terry: Finally, the state ABC Commission has rejected a beverage label from Charlotte's Sycamore Brewing. And this isn't the first time that's happened.

Mecia: No, the ABC Commission came out this week and said it had rejected a label of some hard seltzer that Charlotte's Sycamore Brewing had proposed... We can't exactly say what it said on the air, Marshall, but it basically said "'F' 2020" was on there. Certainly a sentiment probably a lot of people agree with, but this is not the first time that Sycamore had some conflict over some of the names or some of the images on its beer cans.

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Anna Frodesiak
Some words just won't fly on alcohol labels in North Carolina.

You might recall a couple of years ago, they had one they had proposed that had reindeer having sex on one of its Christmas ales. And then the following year, they followed that up, Marshall, just a few months ago with images for their holiday ale of gingerbread men engaged in some compromising positions involving whips and chains.

Terry: Is there any indication that the brewery is doing this on purpose as a marketing tactic?

Mecia: Well, I would certainly say that sort of what it looks like is that you sort of push the envelope on some of these, and you know that if you do run afoul of the ABC Commission, that their fines generally in $1,000 or $2,000 range if you do use a label that's not approved.

Terry: All right, Tony, thanks.

Mecia: Thanks, Marshall.

Terry: That's Tony Mecia of the Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter.

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