Where Are We in CLT?

Your neighborhood guide to what is going on in the Queen City!



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Project 658


Address: 3646 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Get Directions

“Hope. Restored.” That’s the tagline for Project 658 and they couldn’t have picked two better words. Every time we walk through their doors our hope is restored when we see the huge impact they make in the Charlotte community every single day. The ministry focuses on providing assistance to at-risk families, especially the international and refugee communities in Charlotte, to help move them towards sustainability.

They offer a plethora of services including a culinary arts school, ESL classes, job training, childcare, afterschool programs, and soccer programs. We could sit here all day and list the awesomeness they generate in Charlotte’s eastside so just trust us when we say they do A LOT.

Inside Project 658 you can find all kinds of art made by different CLT creatives, including this mural that spans almost an entire hallway. The mural was a collaboration between Arko 83 and Brand the Moth.

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The Terrace at Cedar Hill


Address: 800 W Hill St, Charlotte, NC 28208 | Get Directions

The next time you’re attending a wedding reception at The Terrace or taking a meeting at the Cedar Hill Building just outside of Uptown, make sure to take a gander at the area to the left of the front door. There you’ll find a reminder that the building, located in the shadow of Bank of America Stadium and the Panther’s domed practice field, was once a bakery for A & P Grocery stores — a whimsical, vintage ad printed on one of the roll-up loading doors.

PRO TIP: The Cedar Hill Building is surrounded by decadent CLT goodness Community Matters Cafe and Potts Chocolate, so it’s well worth your trip.

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The Evening Muse


Address: 3227 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Get Directions

Who’s getting rowdy tonight? One of our favorite spots for a night out on the town is The Evening Muse over in NoDa. Since 2001, the Muse has been providing a space for independent artists and lovers of music to come together with a common goal … to jam out and have a good time! Artists of all genres — from alternative and country to reggae and rock to hip-hop and jazz (and everything in between) — grace the stage of this intimate venue. It’s a space for fans of any type of music to find a new group to groove out to or see a long-time favorite. Get rowdy, have fun and enjoy the tunes this evening! #charlotteiscreative

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Long Animal Hospital


Address: 2523 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203 | Get Directions

We think anywhere you can add art and a splash of color to the Queen City, you should. Charlotte artist Laurie Smithwick agrees with us. She’s the mastermind behind the “Amplify the Signal” project, which used a grant from the South End Creative Lab to transform boring utility boxes on South Boulevard into works of art.

Smithwick helped chose 8 artists from over 54 submissions to have their work printed on vinyl wraps and attached to the utility boxes. Each artist worked to make their art relate to the South End landmarks surrounding their assigned box.

Our favorite? This whimsical depiction of a dog perfectly located next to Long Animal Hospital, a veterinarian clinic that’s provided care to pets in Charlotte since 1948. This piece by artist Chase Brannock is named “Dog Walkers.”

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Skylark Social Club


Address: 2131 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Get Directions

The King is in the Queen City! We have a Burning Love for this mural and feel All Shook Up every time we see the Guitar Man himself. Put on your Blue Suede Shoes and make your Way Down to the Skylark Social Club in Plaza Midwood to see Elvis in person.

We won’t blame you if you Can’t Help Falling In Love with the mural, too. Suspicious Minds might want to know who painted this piece. We won’t keep your brains on the Mystery Train much longer, it was JEKS who brought the King of Rock and Roll to CLT. How Great Thou Art at creating murals that add a Good Luck Charm to any building, JEKS! We love the Moody Blue you chose for this one.

Jailhouse Rock. Hound Dog. Blue Christmas. Heartbreak Hotel. These are the titles that we couldn’t make work but felt needed to be included. We didn’t plan on using 15 Elvis songs in this post, but we couldn’t resist. (Who are we kidding? We planned it from the moment we took the picture.)

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The Hezekiah Alexander House Homesite


Address: 3500 Shamrock Dr, Charlotte, NC 28215 | Get Directions

Turn on Huey Lewis and the News and grab your powdered wig because we’re going back in time! The Hezekiah Alexander House is a hidden historical gems in the Queen City. Built in 1774, the stone building is the oldest house in Mecklenburg County and visiting the homesite feels like you took a 250 year trip to the past. In 1949, local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution began the preservation process and a second stage of restoration began in 1969.

The “Rock House” is the main spectacle but the site also includes a reconstructed log kitchen, springhouse, herb garden, and the American Freedom Bell. Located behind the Charlotte Museum of History, a visit is well worth the time of any history lover. And please be sure to take time to check out the Museum of History itself, there’s an abundance of important and interesting information awaiting eager minds.

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The Thirsty Beaver Saloon


Address: 1225 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204 | Get Directions

With the launch of Disney+ this week there is an overwhelming amount of Disney content to stream online, including one of our favorites, Pixar’s Up. The film tells the tale of an old man who refuses to sell his home for decades while developers continue to build skyscrapers around his quaint little house. Did you know that Charlotte has its own Up-like story?

Over in Plaza Midwood you can find The Thirsty Beaver Saloon, a honky-tonk inspired dive bar that has been around since 2008. Just like the house in Up, the saloon is surrounded on three sides. When developers came knocking, the owners didn’t want to sell their bar. The developers didn’t want to stop their project so they built the apartment complex around the honky-tonk. The main difference between the situations is that Up had a talking dog and the Thirsty Beaver has a beaver wearing a cowboy hat.

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Park Road Books


Address: 4139 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209 | Get Directions

Located in Park Road Shopping Center, Park Road Books has been the go-to independent bookstore in the Queen City since 1977. We’ve been coming here for decades because there’s something about being surrounded by books that makes us happy. And if those books are about Charlotte, we are ECSTATIC!

The bookcase you are looking at is their Regional Section, which features books about Charlotte and North Carolina. A good majority of these were written by creative Charlotteans who wanted to share their Crown Town tales.

We know that not everyone nerds out about Charlotte as much as we do but chances are they have books on a topic you DO nerd out about. As holiday season approaches, Park Road Books is a great place to start your gift shopping (and don’t forget to get yourself something, too).

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LaCa Projects


Address: 1429 Bryant St, Charlotte, NC 28208 | Get Directions

The Panthers aren’t the only feline predators in Charlotte. Lions, tigers, and cheetahs have been known to roam around Charlotte’s Westside and if you want to go on a quick safari head over to Bryant Street. There you’ll find a stampede of colossal kitties ready to have their picture taken. This mural, painted by Argentinian artist Franco Fasoli, graces the exterior wall of LaCa Projects, an art gallery that connects contemporary Latin American artists with the art scene in Charlotte. Come visit these cool cats and then pop on in the gallery to see even more incredible work by talented Latin American artists.

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D-Day Monument at Freedom Park


Address: 2435 Cumberland Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203 | Get Directions

There are quite a few veteran memorials nestled around the Queen City that honor the men and women who fought for our county and freedom. Speaking of freedom, you can find three of these monuments in Freedom Park (perfectly named for a day like today). They are located along the main path on the Northside of the “lake.” This monument honors the 32 World War II veterans from Mecklenburg County who fought on D-Day. There is also a CBI Monument, honoring those who fought in the China-Burma-India Theater in WWII, and a Marine Corps Monument. Thank you to those who have served our country. Have a Happy Veteran’s Day.

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The Manor Theatre


Address: 609 Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207 | Get Directions

Grab your popcorn and Milk Duds cuz we’re goin’ to the movies! The Manor Theatre has been a staple of the Myers Park neighborhood since its construction in 1947. You won’t see the latest Terminator or Star Wars playing at this #OGclt theatre but you will find a diverse selection of indie, foreign and art-house films that usually don’t appear on many other screens in the Queen City. With Oscar season approaching, keep your eye on the films playing at the Manor, there’s bound to be a Best Picture nominee or two in the mix.

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Goodwill Opportunity Campus


Address: 5301 Wilkinson Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28208 | Get Directions

From skill development classes to offering dental services and affordable clothing, the Goodwill Opportunity Campus on Wilkinson Blvd. works every day to support Charlotteans and make the Queen City a better place for all.

Since 2016, the state-of-the-art Leon Levine Opportunity Center on campus has provided clients access to classrooms, computer labs and conference rooms. Clients can also receive assistance with nutrition, healthcare, education and finance.

Whether or not you’re using the direct services of Goodwill, there’s a lot for the public to enjoy at the Opportunity Center, from the GW retail store that offers fashionable picks and gifts cultivated from donations to the fantastic (and affordable) food at the Community Table Bistro.

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Salvation Army


Address: 940 Marsh Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209 | Get Directions

It’s Election Day! We are at our local polling place performing our civic duty and you should be, too! The Salvation Army on Marsh Road may be our one-stop-shop for submitting our ballot but it’ll be different for every Charlottean across the Queen City. Don’t know where to go vote? Click here to find your polling place. It’ll be important for today and critical for next November. We don’t want to tell you who or what to vote for today, we just want you to GO VOTE.

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Coco and the Director


Address: 100 W Trade St, Charlotte, NC 28202 | Get Directions

We are at Chocolate and the Producer. No, wait… that not right.  We’re at Coco and the Director! This Uptown coffee shop on the corner of Trade and Tryon is a place where you can chat with friends, get some work done or draw on chalkboards, all while having a delicious drink and a scrumptious snack.

Whether you need to have a board meeting or want to play a board game or you’d like to play a board game at your board meeting, Coco and the Director is a cozy space to do whatever you need to do, however you need to do it. Also, as an added bonus, the baristas have the coolest aprons in Charlotte.

Skip the office tomorrow and bring your laptop to Coco and the Director, you won’t regret it.

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Pinky’s Westside Grill


Address: 1600 W Morehead St, Charlotte, NC 28208 | Get Directions

“Beware; for I am hungry and therefore need a seat at the bar and a basket of fried pickles.” That is our best guess to what Frankenstein’s Monster would’ve said if he made his way to Pinky’s Westside Grill. With Halloween fast approaching, we had to take a picture of the Monster lurking behind the burger joint that has graced the FreeMoreWest neighborhood since 2010. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu but we’d suggest the Corn Dog Shrimp (and Guy Fieri would, too). And be sure to watch out for that sneaky little Dracula hiding in the shadows!

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CLT250 Meter Garden


Address: 600 E 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202 | Get Directions

It’s officially Halloweek, which means that the world will be united by the fact that everyone will end up watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” at some point over the next 4 days. If the classic cartoon special leaves you wanting more Peanuty goodness, head uptown to the Government Center. ⁣⁣
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In the courtyard, just a few meters from the building (we love puns), you will see the CLT250 Meter Garden, a project created by the Charlotte Department of Transportation last year for Charlotte’s 250th birthday. Each meter in the garden is painted with a different design, our favorite being this one with Snoopy and Woodstock sharing a hug.
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Art Is Everywhere


Address: 900 Otts Street, Charlotte, NC, 28205 | Get Directions

Where are we in CLT? Nowhere major really… we just happened to stumble upon some random art on the corner of Seigle Ave and Otts Street. And that’s what we love about Charlotte. There is always something to see and there’s creativity anywhere you look. The nooks and crannies of our city are full to the brim with art of all types. Today is #NationalArtDay and we didn’t want to just feature a single artist or another popular mural (even though we love those too); rather we wanted to show you that art is everywhere, you just have to keep your eyes open.

Stay curious. Go explore. Find art. Create something of your own. Repeat.

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The Pauline Tea-Bar Apothecary


Address: 2326 Arty Ave, Charlotte, NC 28208 | Get Directions

This morning, we played a little game with our friends over at QC Life on WBTV and had Charlotteans guess where in CLT we could possibly be. Later, it was revealed that we were at the one and only Pauline Tea-Bar Apothecary over in Charlotte’s west side near the old Camp Greene.

This tea house is relaxation central. It’s a great place to destress with a cup of tea and a tasty treat. The apothecary is a cellphone-free zone to help encourage patrons to have uninterrupted conversations with others or to simply enjoy a meditative experience on their own.

And it’s on Arty Ave. How could Charlotte Is Creative and The Biscuit NOT like something on a street named Arty Ave? It’s impossible. #charlotteiscreative


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Timeline at Latta Park


Address: 818 E Park Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203 | Get Directions

You’ve truly never seen the color yellow until you’ve seen this bright behemoth in person. “Timeline,” the sculpture by Robert Winkler, is made from old trolley tracks that were discovered in 2009 during construction on East Blvd. The old trolley tracks used to take people from downtown to the city’s first suburb, Dilworth. Sometime during the 1930s, the tracks were buried and forgotten until they were unearthed decades later. The rail sculpture is named “Timeline” because Winkler wanted to create a piece that would both honor and connect our past and present. Next time you’re in Latta Park at the intersection of Dilworth Rd and Romany Rd keep an eye out for this rainbow of yellow and steel.

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The Mint Museum Randolph


Address: 2730 Randolph Rd, Charlotte, NC 28207 | Get Directions

Hobbits and wizards and Dungeons n’ Dragons, oh my! You can always count on The Mint Museum Randolph to have a magical exhibit or two for your amusement.

Their current exhibition is “Never Abandon Imagination: The Fantastical Art of Tony DiTerlizzi,” and it is definitely a masterclass on imagination. Mr. DiTerlizzi is the artist behind many creatures from Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. He is also known for his books, most notably The Spiderwick Chronicles.

The exhibit also features pieces by four Charlotte artists who are also masters of bringing their imagination to life in their art: Jon Cain, Matt Myers, Mirelys Colón and Wolly McNair. The exhibition ends on November 3 so make sure you hurry if you want to enter this realm of imagination.

Can’t make it in time? Don’t worry, we’re sure that the Mint’s next exhibition will be just as wonderful. Keep up with their upcoming exhibits here.

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beSOCIAL


Address: 1519 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Get Directions

Talk is free and working space should be too. Hidden behind the storefront of Social Status on Central Ave is beSOCIAL, a place for creatives to create, innovate, and interact with other creatives. It’s a space where anyone can come get work done, have a meeting, grab a cup of coffee or hold a community event. In a world where expensive co-working spaces keep popping up left and right, beSOCIAL is a creative hub and community space that is free to everyone and accessible by anyone. 

Photo via Garrick McFadden (@thenatv). For more on beSOCIAL, read our article from earlier this year.

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Book Buyers


Address: 1306 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Get Directions

What’s the last thing you’d expect to see in a bookstore? We’ll give you a second to answer… if you said a single propeller airplane being piloted by two giant stuffed bears, then you are oddly specific and have likely been to Book Buyers in Plaza Midwood. The #OGclt book shop has graced the Plaza since 1999. If you’re in the market to buy or sell used books and want a store with charm, a bit of history, and a pair of bookstore cats that roam the aisles, then Book Buyers is the place for you.

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Ratcliffe’s Flowers at The Green


Address: 431 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 | Get Directions

Back in 1917, Louis Ratcliffe started a floral business, appropriately named Ratcliffe’s Flowers, at 431 South Tryon Street. The business operated until 1989 when Carpe Diem moved into that location (who has since moved to Elizabeth). 

Then in 2000, things got interesting. First Union, now Wells Fargo, wanted to build an underground parking deck but the building was in the way. Rather than demolishing the historic building, the bank decided to move it while keeping it intact. The old florist shop was moved half a block over and is still there to this day as Bernardin’s restaurant. The bank completed the underground parking deck and added a park now known as The Green

The old building may have moved but the old neon sign still stands at 431 S Tryon as a monument. So, next time you park at The Green keep your eyes peeled for this piece of Charlotte history.

For an even more in-depth look at the history of the Ratcliffe building, click here to read Maria David’s article at The Charlotte Observer.

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Space Mural by Andy Rocco


Address: 1100 Metropolitan Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204 | Get Directions

This mural by Andy Rocco is … dare we say it … out of this world! You don’t need to take a trip to the International Space Station for an ethereal view of the earth, you just need to head down to the Metropolitan in Midtown Charlotte. Take a peek on the side of West Elm to feel like an astronaut. Even more murals will be popping up in the Metropolitan (and all across the city) when the Talking Walls Mural Festival begins on October 16. For more information on the artists and where they’ll be painting, click here.

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Carriage Fine Dry Cleaning


Address: 2447 Park Road, Charlotte, NC 28203 | Get Directions

If there’s one thing we know over here, it’s how to mind our Biscuits … two of them per week, to be exact. Biscuit making is definitely a labor of love, but always worth it, especially now that we know our lives will be gravy from here on out. Find these words of wisdom for yourself at Carriage Fine Dry Cleaning located in the Historic Dilworth Community on Park Road. This #OGClt business has cranked out clean clothes and wise words since 1992. (You can pop by the Red Cross Donation Center next door to give blood and then hit #OGClt treasure, The Comet Grill, for a post-donation snack while you’re in the neighborhood. Just sayin’.)

And remember, always mind your own biscuits, but we’d appreciate it if you minded The Biscuit, too!

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Foundry at AvidXchange


Address: 1210 AvidXChange Ln, Charlotte, NC 28206 | Get Directions

You know, it really grinds our gears when people say that Charlotte doesn’t have an exceptional art scene. Now, we have the most literal evidence ever that people who say that are dead wrong. This giant gear sculpture titled Foundry by Charlotte’s own Rick Lazes. Throw your car into high gear and book it on over to AvidXchange’s headquarters to see this 3-ton, marble cogwheel with your own eyes.

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Dairy Queen on Wilkinson Blvd


Address: 2732 Wilkinson Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28208 | Get Directions

While we’re still reeling from the announcement that the Dairy Queen in Plaza-Midwood is headed for the history books, we’re comforted to know that, when the urge for DQ hits, we can still stop by an #OGClt classic. The historic drive-up Dairy Queen on Wilkinson Blvd. is still crushing the frozen custard until 10pm 7 days a week.

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Blackhawk Hardware


Address: 4225 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209 | Get Directions

Huh? We would’ve guessed that the Aisle of Death would be on 13. Blackhawk Hardware has been a staple of Park Road Shopping Center since 1977. Referred to as the “World’s Coolest Hardware Shop” by many (we wonder how much that has to do with the free popcorn by the door), Blackhawk is jam-packed with everything you could ever need for your next DIY project, remodel or gift basket. With such a wide assortment of products, we always see something new… like this aisle sign that gave us a good chuckle.

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Coca-Cola Bottling Company


Address: 1401-09 West Morehead Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 | Get Directions

The last time you whizzed down Morehead on your way to Rhino Market or Town Brewing, did you notice that the incredible art deco building across the street at 1401-09 West Morehead Street? The building’s corners along Morehead are adorned with intricate stone Coke bottles and there’s a laser-perfect Coca-Cola logo above the door.

According to a 1987 report by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, the building was completed in 1930 and served as headquarters for Coca-Cola Bottling operations in Charlotte until 1974. It was designed by Marion Rossiter “Steve” Marsh, a prominent architect in the region and its whimsical ornamental details were created by Ornamental Stone Company of Charlotte.

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Eastside Pride Mural by Rosalia Torres


Address: 3124 Eastway Drive, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Get Directions

EASTSIDE PRIDE! Charlotte’s eastside is a strong, proud community with a vibrant collection of cultures and people, and this fresh mural puts that pride on full display. Painted by the uber-talented “artivist,” Rosalia Torres-Weiner. She is known for her community empowering works of art and this mural has quickly become a must-see on the East Side. Make your way over to the Eastway Crossing Shopping Center ASAP to see it in all its colorful glory.

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Sam Mills Statue


Address: 800 S Mint St, Charlotte, NC 28202 | Get Directions

Sam Mills may have passed away in 2005, but his example and legacy continue to stand taller than any building here in Charlotte. As a linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, Mills excited everyone watching from the stands. But, it was his courage and poise in the face of a cancer diagnosis that left a truly indelible mark on this city. Walking around Uptown on Sept. 1, 2019 — the morning of the inaugural Around the Crown 10K — we were drawn to his statue (sculpted by Todd Andrews), standing proudly against the skyline by Bank of America Stadium. His charge to his fellow Panthers, “Keep Pounding,” has become a rallying cry for the Queen City and a reminder to never give up on the challenges that define us as people and as a city.

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Coca-Cola Mural


Address: 223 N Graham St, Charlotte, NC 28202 | Get Directions

It’s exciting to see murals popping up all over the Queen City, but some have been around for a long time — like this Coca-Cola painted ad that’s graced this building at 6th and N. Graham Street for decades. If you’re running the Around the Crown 10K on Sept. 1, try not to get too thirsty as you breeze past it on the way to Mile 5. But, if you’re just walking around, we’ve got good news for you! You can pop over to CVS across the street for a Coke and a smile.

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The McNinch House


Address: 511 N Church St, Charlotte, NC 28202 | Get Directions

When you’re running the Around The Crown 10K on Sept. 1, you’ll take a short jaunt on Church Street just past mile four. For a little extra motivation, look right after you pass the Frederick Building. You’ll see a purple a pink house built in the 1890s — the McNinch House. It was long home to the McNinch family (four of whom served as mayors) and President Taft slept there in 1909 when he traveled to the city to celebrate Meck Deck Day. (Take THAT naysayers!) After careful restoration, it’s been one of Charlotte’s premier restaurants and a place to celebrate special occasions for decades. Which brings us back to the race. Why not get a reservation to reward yourself for a race well run. Just bring a change of clothes — sandals, flip flops and shorts are not allowed. It’s OG CLT like that.

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Rex the Lion


Address: 2229 Tyvola Rd, Charlotte, NC 28210 | Get Directions

A ginormous lion has been prowling South Park since 2007 … and his name is “Rex.” The good news is he can’t move, probably because weighs around seven tons. According to Queens Univerity, Rex, who was sculpted by Jon Hair of Cornelius, reigns as the world’s largest standing lion sculpture as he welcomes visitors atop his pedestal throne at the Queens Sports Complex at Marion Diehl Park off Tyvola Road.

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Denton Burrows Mural on Central Ave


Address: 2407 Central Ave, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Get Directions

Once upon a time, getting lost (or just wandering around) in Charlotte wasn’t that much fun. These days, thanks to the unstoppable work of gifted muralists, there’s a visual treasure to find around almost every corner — like this mural from Denton Burrows, painted on the Mecklenburg Valve building at 2407 Central Ave. (PSSST! Get ready, Talking Walls is coming back with a vengeance this October and it’s bound to be amazing.)

You cam find a map of all the 2018 Talking Walls murals and keep abreast of 2019 plans at TalkingWallsCharlotte.com

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VisArt Video


Address: 3104 Eastway Dr, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Get Directions

WHERE ARE WE IN CLT? Today (August 15) is #NationalRelaxationDay … and we can’t think of a better way to spend it than renting a movie from VisArt Video and hunkering down on the couch with a basket of popcorn. VisArt — located in the Eastway Crossing Shopping Center — is a place for movie lovers run by movie lovers. And, nothing shows that off more than their Jaws inspired return box that is covered in references to many classic films. With over 30,000 titles to rent, there is something for everyone … and no end of expert advice.

How many classic movie call-outs can you spot on the side of the box? Click here and let us know. (Our favorite is from “Brazil.”)

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Dupp & Swat


Address: 1824 Statesville Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28206 | Get Directions

From a dazzling array of new murals to Goodyear Arts, Junior Achievement and family-friendly events on Friday nights, there are a great many reasons to find your way to Camp North End. One of the best is the new Dupp & Swat, part event space, part art gallery and retails space. Everything that takes place at Dupp & Swat is creative and exciting, especially the mural by Charlotte artist & UNCC professor, John Hairston, Jr., (@jagolactus_ on Instagram). Drop by and get inspired. Oh, and make sure to visit their neighbors, Hex Espresso Bar and BLK MRKT CLT.

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Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find


Address: 417 Pecan Ave, Charlotte, NC 28204 | Get Directions

Last Friday, we featured a self-portrait of Charlotte artist, Dustin Harbin, in a mural he painted inside Free Range Brewery. So, it seems on the money to share a photo of Spider-Man & Doc Ock engaged in an epic battle inside Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find, the Charlotte comic book emporium where Dustin used to work.

Charlotte’s friendly neighborhood comic shop was first opened in 1980 by 26-year-old Shelton Drum and founded HeroesCon in 1982, one of the longest-running and most respected comic book conventions in the country. If you haven’t hit this “O.G. CLT” treasure yet, swing on by … especially on Wednesdays. That’s new comic book day.

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Free Range Brewing


Address: 2320 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Get Directions

All the great artists do it … hiding a self-portrait inside a masterwork. And, Charlotte’s no exception. If you’ve dropped by Free Range Brewing on North Davidson Street for a cold craft beer and a few laughs with friends, you’ve seen the incredibly intricate mural by Queen City artist Dustin Harbin. But, did you know that peeking out from the crowd of characters gracing the wall is none other than the artist himself? You have to hunt for it … and that’s half the fun. Kinda’ like “Where’s Waldo?” … with beer. Sounds like a perfect reason to pop by for a pint.

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Charlotte Pipe & Foundry


Address: 1335 S Clarkson St, Charlotte, NC 28208 | Get Directions

If you’re like us, you’ve driven past the entry monument in front of Charlotte Pipe & Foundry on Morehead Street a million times and wondered, “What is in that gigantic pipe?”

Well, we stopped wondering and pulled over to see. After all, Charlotte Pipe & Foundry is “O.G. CLT.” They were established here over one hundred years ago (1901, in fact) and they are the largest manufacturer of DWV pipe and fittings in the United States. So. what’s inside the pipe? Well … not much. But, this little excursion did satisfy our curiosity & afford us a view of Charlotte few have ever taken the time to see.

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The Pillar of Dreams


Address: 3205 Freedom Dr, Charlotte, NC 28208 | Get Directions

Standing there like it grew out of the earth in front of the new Mecklenburg County Social Services building off Freedom Drive, you’ll find the “Pillars of Dreams” by artist Marc Fornes.

Installed earlier this year, this is Fornes’ second sculpture in Charlotte. His 18,000 square-foot “Wonderwall” adorns NOVEL Stonewall Station on the edge of Uptown.

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Sedgefield Totem


Address: 700 Marsh Rd, Charlotte, NC 28209 | Get Directions

WHERE ARE WE IN CLT? The “Sedgefield Totem” cheerfully greets guests to the Sedgefield Campus of Dilworth Elementary on Hartford Avenue. It was created by artist Paula Smith and erected in 2016 as part of the “Neighborhoods in Creative pARTnership” initiative between the City of Charlotte and the ASC. Read more here.

It’s a delightful suburban surprise. No photo can capture its whimsy and detail … thankfully, someone put a groovy little video showcasing the totem on YouTube.

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Smokey Contraband


Address: 110 Matheson Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28206 | Get Directions

At the SE corner of Matheson Ave. and N. Tryon St. (not far from NoDa Brewing), there’s an abandoned lot that used to be a gas station. On a large blue pole, Smokey Contraband has put up a kick-a** installation of Smokey holding, let’s just say, a filtration device generally used for smoking herbal substances. Either that, or it’s an intricate vase — but if that’s the case we don’t understand why. You may have noticed stickers of Smokey slapped up around the Queen City before, but this one’s next level. Next time you’re headed out for a pint of Hop Drop, keep your eyes peeled.

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Le’s Sandwiches & Cafe


Address: 4520 N Tryon St # 41, Charlotte, NC 28213 | Get Directions

Le’s Sandwiches & Cafe has been serving up mouth-watering Banh Mi to Charlotte since 2004. As you can see from the photo above, Beard Award-winning baker Chef Peter Reinhart is enjoying Le’s creation. And you can, too — if you’re up for the culinary adventure. Le’s is located at 4520 North Tryon Street # 41, Charlotte, NC 28213, inside an unassuming shopping center. Look for the “International Market,” then look for the double doors that take you into the mall. They are located inside the Asian Corner Mall, to the right. Then get ready for something special. As The Le Family puts it: “We feel very honored, humbled and blessed that we have an amazing group of followers in the Charlotte region and the surrounding areas. We are committed to keeping up the expectations, quality, and service in providing amazing Vietnamese Banh Mi to you all.”

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Community Matters Cafe


Address: 821 W 1st St, Charlotte, NC 28202 | Get Directions

If you happen to pop into Community Matters Café during the workweek, don’t be surprised if you find Matt, Tim or other members of The Biscuit team hunkered down for some great grub, rich coffee, and prolific creative output. We love working here, meeting here and chilling here. It’s kinda become our Charlotte Is Creative’s office annex. Stop by and see for yourself — we can’t promise scintillating conversation, but we can promise a gorgeous environment back by a great cause. Photo credit: Garrick McFadden aka @thenatv

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JCSU’s Biddle Hall


Address: 100 Beatties Ford Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216 | Get Directions

Last Friday, CreativeMornings/Charlotte had the privilege of holding the event in historic Biddle Memorial Hall on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte’s only HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). Built in 1884, Biddle Hall has served the university as classroom space, a theater, a library and staff offices in its 135-year history. It earned the honor of placement on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

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Standing on the Sun


Address: 2000 South Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28203 | Get Directions

Where are we in CLT? we’ll give you a hint … it’s a stone’s throw from a Not Just Coffee-Atherton.

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EastSide Local


Address: 3102 Eastway Dr, Charlotte, NC 28205 | Get Directions

WHERE ARE WE IN CLT? We love hitting up EastSide Local Eatery off Eastway Drive for a  cup of coffee and a smorgasbord of vegan temptations. The courtyard is a great place for live music, an intimate meetup or an outside work session. It’s also a groovy trip through CLT history with artifacts like this — the sign from The Last Word bookstore, which closed last year.

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Secret TARDIS


Address: 325 Grandin Road, Charlotte, NC 28208 | Get Directions

Where are we in CLT? Well, perhaps we should add, WHEN are we in CLT, too? We love finding small, community library boxes all over the Queen City, but this loving tribute to Doctor Who’s TARDIS just warms our nerdy souls. If you’re visiting Rhino Market on Morehead or Town Brewing, spend a little time exploring the Wesley Heights community with an open eye and a curious heart and you may just find it. (If you see the Daleks … run.)

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