Morning Minute: October 26, 2018

Photo by Norah Burke  

Photo by Norah Burke 

Some Fun Things: Looking for Halloween fun? There’s plenty of fun for everyone!

  • Today, October 26 through Tuesday, October 30, the Matthews Playhouse is ready to scare you silly on the Haunted Trail! Each day from 6 until 7 PM things are on the tame side of terrifying, but from 7 PM until closing at 10 PM there's no telling how frightful things will get. Tickets are $7 for 12 years and under and $10 for 13 years and older.  Located on the Greenway Connector Trail behind the Community Center, 100 McDowell St East.   

  • Matthews Mojo Halloween Costume Run! Let’s cut to the chase, you’re going to eat a lot of candy. A LOT OF CANDY. Why not prep for Halloween by giving your costume a dress rehearsal and run on October 27 (8 AM til about 10 AM). Think of it as preemptively neutralizing the sugar?Post-run wind down with a (few?)  pumpkin beers and hang out with like-minded people.

  • Don’t forget the Town’s Not-So-Spooky Halloween and Pumpkin Carving Contest, this Saturday, October 27, from 5 PM to 9 PM in Stumptown Park. The evening starts with festive fun and will end with the movie “Halloweentown”.

  • Mount Moriah Church, 381 Crestdale Rd, is hosting a Trunk or Treat on Halloween with food and games. It’s open to everyone and costumes should be based on book characters. The festivities start at 6:30 PM and will go to 8:30PM.

  • If you don’t have kids and want something to do, Halloween Bike Night is the season-ender on October 31 at Kristopher’s (at the Corner of Matthews-Mint Hill Road & Trade Street). The fun starts at 6 PM and you’ll want to get there in time to see bikers arrive in costume.

Kristopher’s Bike Night

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

As dusk settles, around 7 p.m. and motorcycles begin arriving, Kristopher’s Sports Bar & Grill owner Robert Stringer will most likely take the microphone, together with his Dj Kristi Swanson, and start the weekly “Bike Night/Patio Party” proceedings.

This Wednesday night staple, of more than a dozen years, will go on until 11 p.m. as the best motorcycle prize is given out, the regulars (and some new ones) will come motoring in and out, and riders and customers, alike, will gaze at the beauty of the bikes under the often waning warm sun, listening to Southern and hard rock, country music and, occasionally, a requested rap song.


“When something you love can make money and you can give to a charity, it’s a win-win situation.”

This is a chance for riders to meet, schmooze, eat and find a safe environment to even bring their families to. It has also brought in a broader spectrum of people. “Families come…kids walk around (to see all the bikes) and can (even) sit on my motorcycle,” says Robby, as he is called. Before his children went to college, they and his wife would often join him on this night.

For those customers not arriving on motorcycles, Robby sees this as a chance to allow these two communities to mingle and for some of the perceptions about motorcyclists to hopefully meld away. (Those not into the festivities can choose an inside table within easy view of the 52 TV screens including four video wall pieces – mostly focused on some aspect of sports.)

“We started this (event) when Harley Davidson took off” with their expensive bikes, says Robbie. “This brought in urban professionals and businessmen, guys who’ve been riding since they were young.” Riders range from their late 20s to 70s; in recent years, there has been an uptick in female riders, as well.

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Behind it all will be Robby’s firm hand keeping the event under check - he’s often found in the front parking lot providing gentle guidance for redirecting gang members wearing colors (they are always welcome, but not wearing their “club colors”). “Other bars allowed bike clubs and gangs, which I’m not against, but it intimidates your everyday customers and other bikers,” says Robby. “We did not want conflicts between (anyone).”

It is his determination that charitable organizations be represented often (Phoenix Inked, Hometown Heroes, American Cancer Society, to name a few) and allowed to sell items, take donations and publicize upcoming events. “When something you love can make money and you can give to a charity, it’s a win-win situation,” says Robby.


He’ll also court local businesses (often motorcycle and automobile-related) to be represented by banners and their employees’ presence.

To date, Robby has had no problems with either noise issues or riders leaving the sports bar. “Matthews is a tight-knit community,” he says, adding that he’s proud of the reputation he’s built up.

On Halloween night, which is the end of their season, riders and their bikes will come decked out in their finest costumes; the restaurant and its employees will be decked out as will Robby. And, as Bike Night ends until next April, he can reflect on this current season and his next one with pride. “It’s as good as it can be – this makes the restaurant money. Bonding (my love of) motorcycles with my business is as good as it gets.”