downtown matthews

2810 [high] 5: Things You Didn't Know About This Years Matthews Alive

  • LEGO Interactive Exhibit - Play-Well TEKnologies, an organization that offers classes for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade, presented an interactive LEGO exhibit in the Matthews Community Center. On that Saturday, festival visitors were able to partake in the building of the exhibition which was then on display for the rest of the festival.

  • Parade Length - the Matthews Alive Parade is one of the longest Labor Day Parades in the Southeast. The Parade included over 100 participants and lasted about an hour and a half.

  • Parade Start Time - the Matthews Alive Parade will be started at 9:30 this year, an hour earlier than past years. Festival organizers hoped that this change allowed parade participants and attendees to be cooler in the heat and limit train interruptions. Since the weather this year was already beautiful, the earlier start time only made the experience that much better.

  • Mission - Matthews Alive is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is "provide an opportunity for local non-profit groups to raise funds for their organization to benefit the community." Matthew's Alive has donated over 1.6 million dollars to local nonprofits and lists 34 organizations who benefitted this year. 

  • Volunteers - The festival is almost entirely volunteer operated. Over 2000 volunteers assisted during the festival, as well as the months leading up to it. Organizations who receive funds from Matthews Alive provided many of the volunteers for the festival who helped with everything from ticketing, to trash pickup, to managing the games.

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2810[high]5: Ways to Simplify Your Life

Did you know that the first week of August is National Simplify your Life week? Here are a few ways you can simplify things in your home, at work, and in your mind. 

Declutter - Did you know that there are more reasons to declutter your home than the obvious (less clutter)? According to Psychology Today, it has several psychological benefits as well. It forces you to use decision making and problem solving skills as you prioritize the stuff you have and come up with solutions on how to store it. It can also reduce anxiety, because we lack of order sometimes causes stress. Humans may have evolved to respond this way, because a lack of order in was most likely disadvantageous for early humans. Finally, decluttering might give your mind an opportunity to wander and take a break from your usual thinking.

Prep for Tomorrow - How many times a day do we feel rushed because we are doing something at the last minute? This week, make yourself a list of things you can do to get yourself ready for the next day, even if it’s just one or two activities. Pack your lunch the night before. Before you leave the office, jot down a quick list of what you want to get done tomorrow, Pick out your clothes, pack your work and gym bag, and prep your breakfast. You’ll be surprised how much more smoothly your morning goes the next day.

Embrace "No" - Sometimes, its okay to say no. Many of us are people pleasers (myself included) and we often find ourselves taking on projects or activities that are not beneficial to ours or others lives. If you’re constantly overextending yourself and it’s affecting your mental well-being, use this week as an excuse to practice saying “no” and see if it doesn’t help your outlook.

Prioritize your time - Embracing “no” leads me to the next tip, prioritize time. Now that you’ve gotten some time back by politely declining activities, be mindful of how you spend that time. How much time do you spend mindlessly checking your phone, your email, your twitter feed? Check out from your screens during set hours each day, or only allow yourself to check your phone at the top of every hour. 

Give Yourself a Break - Treat yourself to a destressing activity that you enjoy. Go for a hike. Read a book. Get a massage. Do nothing.

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2810[high]5: Free Dates in Matthews

On a budget for the summer? Here are 5 FREE dates you can and your plus one can do right here in Matthews. Bonus points if you take a selfie and tag @matthewsbeacon with the #MatthewsDateNight!


PDA in front of PDA - Did you know that the giant heart sculpture outside of Stumptown Park is called “Public Display of Affection”? (If you read this Beacon article from 2018 you do!) What better excuse to demonstrate your affection than to do so in front of iconic Matthews public art piece. (This writer strongly encourages you to keep your PDA rated G).

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Checkers at Country Place Park- You and your better half can enjoy the sunshine and decide once and for all who is the board champion. Country Place Park, near Matthews United Methodist church has 3 tables with checkerboard tops for public use, as well as a pollinator garden and bee themed art. Feel like it’s not a free date because you have to go buy your own checkers pieces? Save yourselves some bottle caps from your not-free-dates and make yourself some bottle cap checkers.

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Walking Tour - Did you know the Matthews has its own FREE self-guided walking tour you can follow? Print out the tour, put on your walking shoes, and take turns narrating the history and culture as you travel around town.

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Lecture at the Library - The library has more to offer than just free books (though that’s still pretty awesome). They also offer opportunities to hear talks on subjects like earth friendly way to greenifying your lawn, how to relax through mindfulness and meditation, or a chance to read, write, and discuss poetry

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Volunteer - One of the best ways to strengthen the bonds of an existing relationship is to commit to a shared activity-like volunteering. Matthews has over 55 nonprofits just registered with the Chamber of Commerce, many of which would eagerly appreciate four extra hands. Help HAWK maintain their garden at Squirrel Lake Park, sort donations at the Matthews Help Center food pantry or help build a home with Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity

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2810 [high] 5: Homes Away from Home for Your Guests to Stay (That Aren’t Your House)

Summer is the perfect time for vacations. Time for your sister to load up the car with all her kids for a gathering of the cousins, time for your old college roommates to finally make that road trip to come and see you, or time for in-laws to watch the kids for a week or two while they’re out of school. While everyone loves a good reunion, we all need our space sometimes. Perhaps your home is too small for all your guests, or you can only survive a week with your mother-in-law if you have your own space. Either way, these 5 Matthews options will allow your guests to feel right at home while they’re here, even if it’s not in yours.

The Lemmond House Bed & Breakfast: Offer your guests a little sliver of historical Matthews during their stay in the 28105! The Lemmond House Bed & Breakfast is located right on Trade Street, in the heart of downtown Matthews. You may have driven or walked by it many times without ever even knowing it was there (I did!). The Lemmond Family first built the home in the early 1900s and their family remained there through the 1980s. Today it is owned, operated, and continuously renovated by Bill and Connie Clayton. The Bed & Breakfast offers two second-floor guest rooms, each with a private bath equipped with jacuzzi tub and walk-in showers. Breakfast options include french toast, bacon, eggs with cheese, fruit salad, coffee, and juice. Each of the two rooms can be rented for $149 a night and allows for children over the age of 12 (with adult supervision), but no pets. (Images via Owner’s website)

Matthews Manor Charlotte Bed and Breakfast: Beautiful Matthews Manor is located less than half a mile from Squirrel Lake Park and has four lovely rooms available to rent, with prices ranging from $150-$220 a night. The 7,000 square foot home was originally built in 1973 and used to be part of a 52-acre farm. Your out-of-town guests will be able to rent mountain bikes from the Manor for use on the greenway, have access to a kitchen exclusively for guests, a game room with purple-felted pool table, and swimming pool.(Images via Owner’s website)

The BOHOPad Airbnbnb: If your guests are looking for a unique place at a reasonable price, then the BOHOPad is the place for them. Complete with vaulted ceilings, intricate tile work, and brightly colored walls and decor, the BOHOPad is a hidden bohemian gem in Matthews. The home can accommodate up to 6 guests, with one queen bed, two single beds, a sleeper sofa, and two baths for only $84 a night. Guests will have access to the entire home, and if they need something, the Airbnb hosts are only 15 minutes away. Since you are renting the whole hoouse, children are welcome, but your furry friends will have to stay at home. (Images via Owner’s AirBnB)

Gorgeous Guest Home Airbnb: If you only have one or two guests needing a place to stay, this Gorgeous Guest Home may just what is needed. This new Scandinavian-style apartment has one queen bed and is only $85 a night. Kids are more than welcome, and the hosts even offer to provide a pack and play or toys if needed. The apartment is located next to their home, where they reside with their black lab puppy, so they do have a no pet policy. (Images via Owner’s AirBnB)

Three Bedroom House Airbnb: If you have a large group of guests coming to visit (no wonder you don’t want them staying at your place), or they have a pet, this last Airbnb is the choice for them. With three queen-sized bed and 2.5 baths,  this place is a steal for only $65 a night. Plus, the backyard is screened in, so your traveling animal companions will have a place to stretch their legs. (Images via Owner’s AirBnB)

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2810[high]5: Vacancies in Downtown Matthews

Downtown Matthews is, without a doubt, one of the hottest spots in the Charlotte area for an evening of food and drink. During several recent presentations, however, we’ve heard there are no vacancies in the Downtown area. We did some digging to see if that is, in fact true.

Good news for those of you interested in buying, renting, or leasing! There are more than a handful of vacant spaces in downtown.Below are five options in the Downtown District as defined by the Town Planning department.

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BB&T: When the closure of the John St. BB&T was announced, staff cited the widening of John Street as one of the reasons the company closed this location. According to the County Polaris, Wilkinson Properties c/o BB&T owns this property. They’re tough to get a hold of, but the building has been vacant since late 2018. There have been a few breweries interested in opening in Downtown Matthews…maybe one will land here?
Built in 1973, the 4,701 square foot space is zoned B-1.

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Ames Station: Certainly the biggest vacancy in the downtown area, Ames Station is ripe for creative development. The size alone is an artist’s dream. The price of rent in downtown Matthews is not. The owner will lease subdivided areas, but the overall building is 32,635 square feet and zoned I-1.

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The Old Library: A building with an interesting history and a modern design, this spot has weathered the seasons but hasn’t weathered rezoning. Most recently a brewery approached Council to rezone for a brewery and beer garden. The idea was not well-received. Most interestingly heavy metal music was mentioned more than once. (The brewery is now in Harrisburg.) The 1957 building is 3,594 square feet, and zoned B-1.

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Griffin Square: Perhaps the most retail-friendly space available, again the rent might be prohibitive to a small business owner. Griffin Square is conveniently located across from Stumptown Park and is highly visible during festivals. With that visibility in mind, this vacancy might be filled before we get this post up.

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Traditional office spaces: Several spots around downtown are available for lease as traditional office space. These properties appear to be more affordable than spaces that would be more retail-friendly. The office available through the Nichols Company is at the corner of Trade and East Matthews and is part of the HUC zoning. The other, available through Mark Real Estate, is at the intersection of Ames and West Matthews and is zoned O.

Morning Minute: Friday, April 12, 2019

News About Town: If you haven’t seen it, the Town of Matthews created a short video summarizing the State of the Town. The video, hosted by Mayor Paul Bailey, hits on the major successes of and issues facing Matthews today. At 8 minutes long, you can watch it while you brew that second pot of coffee.

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News Around Town: Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Superintendent Clayton Wilcox, in conjunction with the CMS Board of Education, decided to close schools May 1 and make the day an optional teacher workday. There will be no make up day for students. The decision came after nearly 2,000 CMS staff members opted to use May 1 as a personal leave day in order to rally in Raleigh for greater support for public education.  Nearly 3,000 hourly employees may seek options from CMS so as not to be impacted by wage loss. For parents in need of child care assistance, Wilcox explained CMS  “will do our best in this community to collaborate and coordinate with area partners to support our families.” 

One Good Thing: Matthews' Food Truck Friday kicks off tonight at Stumptown Park (120 S Trade St; Matthews) with music from The Catalinas. Bring a chair or picnic blanket, grab some delicious food from your truck of choice, and settle in for a relaxed musical evening. The fun starts at five and goes until nine.

Morning Minute: Thursday, April 11, 2019

News About Town: On March 29, Chief Clark Pennington attended a ceremony with regional community leaders to recognize April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Mecklenburg County. Hosted by the Mecklenburg Child Abuse Prevention Team, the ceremony was well-attended by many regional community leaders. 
At Monday's Council meeting, Mayor Paul Bailey proclaimed April 2019 as Child Abuse Prevention month. Heather Johnson, the Director of Operations for Pat's Place Child Advocacy Center, was at the meeting and accepted a certificate for the proclamation.
Blue pinwheel gardens have been placed at parks, schools, and homes throughout the county, with several in Matthews. The web address on the accompanying sign has links to report abuse, and local resources for both prevention and healing. 

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News Around Town: According to the NC Public Health Inspections website, 16 restaurants and food service establishments in Matthews have had health inspections since April 1. All of those inspections resulted in Grade A results. Those inspected include: Cracker Barrel (Independence Blvd.), Domino’s Pizza (Siskey Parkway), Dorian’s Deli, East 74 Restaurant (Monroe Rd.), Food Lion (both the Deli/Bakery, and Market at Hood’s Crossroads), Fuzzy’s Taco Shop (Sycamore Commons), Genghis Grill (Windsor Square), Gourmet to Go (Mt Harmony Church Rd.), Harris Teeter (Deli at Plantation Market), Machu Picchu, Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, Publix (both the Bakery/Cafe, and Deli on Fincher Farm Rd.), Que Onda Tacos & Tequila (Plantation Market), Royal Cafe & Creperie (Matthews Station), Temple Mojo (Trade St.), and Zoe’s Kitchen (Sycamore Commons).

One Good Thing: This Saturday, April 13th, catch the Easter Bunny at Matthews Community Center at 10 a.m.! The famed rabbit will be available for pictures until 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Morning Minute: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

News About Town: The Mayor and Town Council recently sent a letter to the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) asking them to amend the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) to divide the Matthews portion of the NCDOT project into two portions (Trade St. to I-485 and I-485 to the Stallings line) and to delay work on the Trade to I-485 portion of John St. until after other funded and scheduled area transportation projects have been completed. Those projects include improvements to Independence Blvd., McKee Rd. Extension, Weddington Rd. I-485 ramp, among other projects. The CRTPO will vote during their April 17 meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. in Room 267 of the CharMeck Government Center (600 E 4th St, Charlotte, NC 28202).


News Around Town: Speaking of NCDOT, they're hosting state-wide litter sweeps, and you can participate in Matthews. This Saturday, April 13, meet at Stumptown Park at 8 a.m. for the Spring Litter Sweep. Volunteers will provide direction for where to pick up litter, as well as orange safety vests, trash bags, gloves, and tools for trash pick up. 

One Good Thing: The Matthews Playhouse School of Theater will have its second weekend of performances this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Catch The Music Man Jr. on Friday (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.), and Stuart Little on Saturday (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.).

Morning Minute: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

News About Town: Prior to last night's BOC meeting, the Board had a special meeting in the Jordan room to hear the results of a workload analysis for the Matthews Police Department. The Center for Public Safety Management performed the analysis. CPSM's report details 74 recommendations to improve the safety and efficiency of MPD. The full report is available here.


News Around Town: Thursday, April 11, CMS is holding a Community Engagement Session at Crown Point Elementary. The event begins at 6:30 p.m., and is an opportunity for parents, CMS employees, and community members to engage in discussion with CMS representatives about the CMS budget for the 2019-2020 school year.

One Good Thing: This Saturday Dynamic Water will host a charity golf tournament at The Divide golf club in Matthews. Dynamic Water is a nonprofit organization based in Raleigh with a mission to provide clean, safe drinking water to communities in need. To register for the event and learn more about Dynamic, click here.

Morning Minute: Monday, April 8, 2019

News About Town: Tonight the Town Council meets, first in the Jordan Room at 5:30 to review workload analysis for the Police Department, then in the Hood Room of Town Hall for a Board of Commissioners meeting (7 p.m.). Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 9) the Environmental Advisory Committee meets at 7:00 p.m. at the Public Works Facility (1600 Tank Town Road). Wednesday the Parks, Rec, and Cultural Resources Advisory Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center.


News Around Town: As the weather warms and outdoor activities pick up, so will snake sightings. Many snakes are beneficial to have around, eating mice and other snakes. If you find one in your home or garage that needs removing, Carolina Waterfowl of Indian Trail will come to Matthews and remove it. Text and send a photo of the snake to 704-684-9247 for help.

One Good Thing: Interested in learning American Sign Language or brushing up on existing skills? Head on over to the Matthews library from 3-4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9th and join professional ASL interpreter Rebecca Wilson for the ASL Conversation Group. The group is an informal gathering for signers of all levels to learn the basics and practice their skills.

Morning Minute: Friday, April 5, 2019

News About Town: It is once again time to Meet with the Mayor! Mayor Paul Bailey will be at Miki’s Restaurant (1819 Matthews Township Pkwy) tomorrow (Saturday, April 6, 8 a.m. until 9 a.m.) and he’s ready to answer your questions and chat about what’s going on in Matthews. Get there early and have breakfast or drop in to listen.

Catch up on the news over a    hot cup of Beacon   .

Catch up on the news over a hot cup of Beacon.

News Around Town: Students from the Matthews Playhouse School of Theater will perform in their first productions of the season this weekend. The productions are cast exclusively with students from the Playhouse's year long theater classes, and these performances are the result of the year's training. Friday night or Saturday afternoon catch the kid friendly 101 Dalmatians. Saturday night and Sunday afternoon the students will perform Anne Frank and Me. Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone, or at the box office:

One Good Thing: This Saturday, from 9 a.m.until 1 p.m., Butler High School (1810 Matthews Mint Hill Road) will be transformed into Hillman College (for those who have forgotten Dwayne Wayne and flip-up glasses, the college from the sitcom “A Different World.”) In its third year, The Hillman Experience is an opportunity for students to learn about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). There will be a pep rally that includes step and a marching band, a panel discussion about the HBCU Experience, and a college fair.

Morning Minute: Thursday, April 4, 2019

News About Town: The agenda is online for the Monday (April 8) Town Council Meeting. There are dogs on the agenda! At the beginning of the agenda is an introduction of retired Police K9 Castor, and later, under the Consent Agenda, the Town Council may approve the retirement of Police K9 Willow and sale to his/her handler. Also, the Entertainment District Small Area Plan Overlay is once again on the agenda. 

The Virginia Frazier  Celebration Tree on Sadie Drive is blooming.

The Virginia Frazier Celebration Tree on Sadie Drive is blooming.

News Around Town:, a website dedicated to giving insight on places to live, recently unveiled their ratings of suburbs around Charlotte. Matthews received #5 in most desirable Charlotte suburb, #23 for most diverse suburb, and #10 in best suburb to raise a family in the Charlotte area.

One Good Thing: Picked through a blind audio audition, thirteen ensembles (over 600 students) will participate in Charlotte Concerts’ A Musical Showcase Competition on Monday, April 8. From Matthews, Crestdale Middle School’s 7th Grade Band has been chosen to participate. The showcase will be held at Belk Theater in Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Charlotte.

Morning Minute: Wednesday, April 3, 2019

News About Town: Matthews Police Department's own Captian Roy Sisk recently completed the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (Class # 275). The course is a 10-week intensive at the FBI training facility in Quantico, Virginia. Captain Sisk started in January and finished in mid-March. Content included law, behavioral science, forensic science, understanding terrorism and terrorists’ mindsets, leadership development, communication, and wellness. Less than one percent of US law enforcement officers complete this training and Captain Sisk brought what he learned back to Matthews to share with the department.  

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News Around Town: Windstream Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for financial reorganization under Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. Operations are expected to continue as normal, and employees will continue to receive their usual pay and benefits. Windstream is one primary internet service provider for Matthews.

One Good Thing: This Sunday support local artists at the McDowell Arts Center (123 East McDowell St.). Students from Eileen Schwartz's art groups, Art for Veterans and The McDowell Group, a special group with talent, will have their work on display and some items will be for sale. 

Morning Minute: Tuesday, April 2, 2019

News About Town: Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church was the victim of property damage once again last Friday. Matthews Police Department is looking for assistance in identifying two suspects, who were caught on video cameras at the church ( Anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to contact Detective Chris Duryee (

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News Around Town: According to the NC Constitution Article IX, Section 7, “the clear proceeds of all penalties and forfeitures...for any breach of the penal laws of the State, shall belong to and remain in the several counties, and shall be...used exclusively for maintaining free public schools." In relation to recent news, the Article dedicates the fines incurred by Taft Family Ventures along Monroe Road to Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, rather than for replanting trees cut down within the dedicated tree save area. The voluntary fee provided by the developer (in the amount of $100,000) may be used for replanting or as the Town deems appropriate.  

One Good Thing: Gather a little vitamin D, breathe some fresh air, then soak up the post-exercise endorphins with yoga in the park. This Friday, join Elinor Edvi-Miller at Stumptown Park for a free session of vinyasa flow and deep stretch yoga from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. The program will continue for five more Fridays throughout April and May for the cost of $25 for the series.

Morning Minute: Monday, April 1, 2019

News About Town: The Great Easter Egg Expedition begins this Friday, April 5, and runs through Sunday, April 21. In the past the Town has hosted an egg hunt at Stumptown Park, but this year they’re going bigger and better by hiding several thousand eggs throughout town parks (Stumptown, Squirrel Lake, Windsor, and Sardis Parks) and Four-Mile Creek Greenway (between John Street and Chesney Glen). The eggs will contain toys and the chance to win bigger prizes if you find a Golden Egg. Consider it a town-wide game of Gamete-mon Go!

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News Around Town: Angelica Figueroa, a certified financial coach with Sharonview Credit Union, will be on hand this Wednesday at the Matthews Library to talk about planning your financial future. The class, Money Smart Week: Steps to Financial Freedom, will be from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room.

One Good Thing: Even though the weather has been nice, we’re not out of the woods with frost yet. There are a couple of days calling for low 30s in the evenings (like last night). If you’ve already caved and started your summer annual crops…let’s be honest, tomatoes are super tempting to plant right now…make sure you have a method to protect them from the kiss of cold.