Streetcar CityLYNX Gold Line to Open July 14

CityLYNX-Map2Charlotte will go back to the future with the opening of the CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar Phase 1 on July 14, 2015. Like many US cities, Charlotte once had a streetcar network that was removed after America’s attention turned to the automobile. As Charlotte has become more urban and development priorities have changed, a modern streetcar has been included as a part of Charlotte’s transportation plans.

From the City’s website on the streetcar:

The CityLYNX Gold Line is a 10-mile streetcar system that is an integral part of the 2030 Transit Plan and is being constructed in phases. The alignment will connect through Charlotte’s central business district and serves as a critical economic development driver that focuses on growth along key corridors. It will also connect neighborhoods to community interests such as businesses, healthcare facilities, entertainment centers, educational institutions and much more. The CityLYNX Gold Line will serve as a critical connection for the efficient and robust operation of Charlotte’s overall transit system.
Construction for the CityLYNX Gold Line – Phase 1 began construction in December 2012. This phase will provide a 1.5-mile route from the Charlotte Transportation Center on Trade Street to Novant Hospital at Hawthorne Lane and Fifth Street. The 1.5 mile alignment will have six stops, including a connection to the LYNX Blue Line…
Phase 2 of the streetcar project, while controversial, will extend service deeper into east Charlotte. This phase of the project will lengthen the line from Novant Presbyterian Hospital to Sunnyside Ave just south of Central Ave.
You can see the streetcar in action now! The line is being tested in traffic. The City is encouraging you to be safe and to LOOK, LISTEN, and LIVE!

Charlotte EAST Welcomes The Workman’s Friend to Plaza Midwood

WFCharlotte Agenda recently shared that The Workman’s Friend will open soon on Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood. According to their website, The Workman’s Friend will be a “warm and inviting place similar to what we grew up with in Ireland.” We’re looking forward to having a new business in the neighborhood and they’re hiring! Click over to their website and Facebook page to learn more about their opening!


Summertime Fun on the Cheap in East Charlotte

Summer1School is almost out and if you’re anticipating hearing those dreaded words, “I’m bored!”, I have some solutions for you. Here are a few free or cheap activities in east Charlotte for you and your children to enjoy.

1. Attend a home improvement store “kids workshop” session.

Home improvement stores Lowe’s and Home Depot have free workshops for children. Sign up online or call the local store to enroll. There’s a Home Depot on Wendover just south of Monroe Road and Lowe’s has a store down Albemarle Road before you get to Mint Hill.

2. Head to the library – a lot!

Make going to the library a regular thing this summer a read a lot! There are several libraries that serve east Charlotte including the Plaza Midwood branch, the Hickory Grove branch, and the Independence branch. You can check out more than just books because the have movies and music too! Check out their summer reading programs!


Hickory Grove Library

3. Make art from recycled materials

Use items from the recycling bin to create art! Make a fort from a big box. Make swords and lightsabers from papertowel rolls and such!

4. Head to the dollar store for coloring books or other inexpensive toys.

Who doesn’t love a rubber bouncy ball? Stop by your neighborhood Family Dollar, Dollar General, or Dollar Tree to find fun treasures. Set a budget and talk about the trip with your child before you head into the store. Tempting expensive toys and candy are lurking!

5. Thrift shopping is fun!

Check out Value Village on Central Avenue to hunt for a treasure. They have a wall of bagged toys and an assortment of books. Book Buyers on Central is another place to check out used books.

6. Go to a park!

Check out one of our local parks! Veteran’s Park, Kilborne Park, Evergreen Nature Preserve, and Independence Park are waiting for you to enjoy! Pack your sunscreen, water and bug spray! Have a picnic! Have a cook out! There’s a sprayground at Veteran’s Park but it’s scheduled to close for the season on July 6 for maintenance.

7. Turn on the sprinkler in your yard!

Put on your bathing suit and head outside. Nothing beats a lawn sprinkler for cheap summer fun!

Take some time to make memories this summer. You don’t have to spend a lot to have a fun summer in east Charlotte. Hopefully these ideas will get you starting thinking about how you can have some fun too!



East Charlotte Neighbors Keep Eastland on Charlotte’s Agenda

eastland-mall-plan1East Charlotte resident and writer Holly Blackman shares the latest on the area formerly known as Eastland in her recent article at Charlotte Agenda. She provides a neighborhood perspective on the latest proposal from the City which includes plans for transit oriented development, a public school, and a park.


Charlotte EAST Welcomes Gumbo to Plaza Midwood

gumboCharlotte Agenda recently reported that Gumbo, a new boutique, opened in Plaza Midwood in May. Check out the CA post for great behind-the-scenes photos. Gumbo is brought to you by the same creative team behind Okra Yoga:Tea:Massage which is right next door. Gumbo features yoga accessories, a variety of snack foods, clothing, and jewelry.

Stop by to say hello and check out Gumbo on Facebook. Welcome to east Charlotte, Gumbo!


Charlotte EAST Welcomes Hibbett Sports to Eastway Square

HibbetDemonstrating that east Charlotte is a great place to open and run a business, national sporting goods retailer Hibbett Sports recently opened a new store in Eastway Square at 3203 Eastway Drive.

Regarding the opening, Jeff Rosenthal, President and CEO of Hibbett Sporting Goods, Inc. said, “This convenient new location is a win-win for our company and the Charlotte community.  We are very excited to serve the customers in this area.”

From Hibbett Sport’s press release:

Hibbett Sports stocks a large selection of athletic footwear, athletic apparel and team athletic equipment. “With the buying power of a national company, we offer our customers the convenience of buying the best in sports, right in their own neighborhoods,” said Rosenthal, “and we extensively train our employees to make sure they can provide superior service to our customers.”

“We research the markets we enter to learn what the customers of that area want from a sporting goods store,” added Rosenthal.  “We constantly update our merchandise assortment to offer the latest in product technology, performance and fashion so that we can meet the diverse needs of our customer’s active lifestyles.”

Stop by and welcome Hibbett Sports to the neighborhood!


Fun in the Sun at the Community Carnival

Bounce House

Bounce House

The Central United Methodist Church located at 6030 Albemarle Road in east Charlotte held their 17th annual Community Carnival on May 30, 2015.

Church members, friends, and neighbors enjoyed all of the free activities including a colorful bounce house, pony rides, face painting, learning about animals, games, and fitness activities including free blood pressure checks.

Live music, yummy hot dogs and nachos, snow cones, and door prizes added to the fun!

Educational Activities

Educational Activities

Throughout the day hundreds of neighbors young and old, speaking many different languages and representing many countries were all having fun together. Be sure to mark your calendar for the annual event!

Many thanks to Reverend Susan Webster and her team of volunteers for an excellent event.







Fitness Activities


Face Painting

Face Painting


Charlotte EAST Welcomes The Chef Restaurant

TheChef3This post is brought to you by Charlotte EAST Board Member Felicity Wray.

We recently stopped by one of east Charlotte’s newest restaurants, The Chef, at 6023 Albemarle Road. The Chef is the latest enterprise of Roberto Mendoza, the award-winning executive chef from Queens University of Charlotte and formerly of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

TheChef2Open since Mother’s Day 2015, the staff were extremely friendly especially our server Mariella from Uruguay. We found the menu varied and unusual; watching with interest as plates of food came out of the kitchen. Our own meal was delicious!

Chef Roberto Mendoza was very gracious and chatted with us and allowed this photograph! He’s been able to meet and cook for so many celebrities we are certainly lucky he chose east Charlotte to open his restaurant.TheChef1


East Charlotte Roots: Abbeydale Celebrates Two Years

abbey1-397b1903East Charlotte has a long history of launching successful businesses. The histories Fortune 500 companies like Family Dollar and Harris Teeter to much smaller businesses have roots in East Charlotte. One such shop is Abbeydale, a menswear store Uptown on W 4th. Street recently voted Charlotte’s “Best Place to Buy a Suit”. While not located in East Charlotte, this local company takes its name from the street where the owner grew up in East Charlotte’s Windsor Park neighborhood. Learn more about the success of Abbeydale in this recent feature in Charlotte Magazine.


Taste of the World Sponsorship Opportunities

TOTW_LogoThe 13th Annual Taste of the World Restaurant Showcase will take place on Thursday, October 1, 2015. Taste of the World has become one of the highlights of the fall calendar in Charlotte. Tickets sell out well in advance of the event. Sponsorship of Taste of the World is an opportunity to both support your local community and promote your organization to a highly engaged audience. Click here for the Sponsorship Guide and to learn more!