Morning Minute: Friday, June 14, 2019

News About Town: Mayor Pro Tem John Higdon and Commissioner Barbara Dement participated in the most recent Facebook Live event with commissioners. The commissioners briefly touched on the new City Arcade business going into the old Hooters location, assuring the police department would ensure a safe environment. They also touched on the tree loss at the Taft development, as well as advisory board opportunities. Watch on Facebook if you’d like to catch up.

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News Around Town: If you’ve driven down Independence at Matthews Festival shopping center lately, you’ll notice the buildings in front of the old movie theater have been torn down. Because of the 51-widening, the Texas Roadhouse will be too close to the future bridge site (it will shift a few feet). The restaurant is relocating to the opposite side of the parking lot. At the most recent council meeting, the council approved elevations for Bonefish Grill, which will move to the area that is currently the Roadhouse parking lot.

One Good Thing: On August 7, Novant Hospital is holding a Mental Health First Aid (Adult) class (they also host classes for first aid for children). It seems like a long way in the future to plan for August, but these classes fill up fast. You’ll learn to know risk factors and warning signs of mental illness, a 5 step action plan to help someone who is showing signs of a mental health problem or crisis, and how to connect with that person and find appropriate support for them. After the class is complete, you’ll receive certification and the ability to create a profile on the Mental First Aider portal.

Morning Minute: Tuesday, February 26, 2019

News About Town: This is your monthly reminder to stay connected and engaged with your local officials Tomorrow (Wednesday, February 27) is Coffee with a Commissioner. This time the meeting is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Brakeman’s. Hopefully some of you 9-5ers can make it.

Then Saturday, March 2, at 8 a.m. at Miki’s Restaurant is your chance to Meet the Mayor.

Take the opportunity to catch up on what was discussed at last week’s Planning Conference and Town and State Day at the Legislature.


News Around Town: Thai Tamarind (Matthews Festival) closed its doors this past Sunday after four years in Matthews. Tamarind opened as an Indian restaurant (in the same location) and, after several years, switched to a Lao/Thai street food menu. The restaurant was popular and known as a hidden Matthews gem by Charlotte-area critics.

One Fun Thing: Tomorrow (Wednesday, February 27, 2019) stop by Edible Art Cake Shop in Matthews Station between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. for a ribbon cutting with the Matthews Chamber of Commerce. Edible Art is a Myers Park mainstay and recently opened their second shop in Matthews near Town Hall. They offer cake by the slice, as well as cookies, and other beautifully decorated, edible delights.

Morning Minute: Monday, February 25, 2019

News About Town: At tonight’s Council Meeting (7 p.m., Town Hall) Former Councilman Reverend Larry Whitley will be approved to become a voting member of the Planning Board. Larry has served on the Planning Board as an alternate member since February 2018. Prior to serving, Rev. Whitley served two years on Matthews Town Council and is the only African American elected to Town Council to date.

News Around Town: If you’ve driven through downtown lately you may have seen a flurry of renovation work happening at the old Cafe 157 location. A new restaurant is moving in, Grace O’Malley’s. If the name wasn’t clue enough, the fare is a modern take on Irish pub food with many ingredients from local farms. (H/T to Kim Stuart O’Shea for the info.)

One Fun Thing: This Friday, March 1, jump online early to snag your tickets for Lunch with Easter Bunny. On Friday, April 12, bring your kids (ages 2 to 5) and camera for an afternoon of fun with the one and only Easter Bunny! Mr. Bunny will be hoppily posing for photos with the little ones. Tickets are $10 per person — available online or at the Matthews Community Center. The following day, Saturday, April 13, Mr. Bunny will be joined by his Mrs. for posing with kids (both the 4-legged and 2-legged kinds) from 10 a.m. til 1:00 p.m. For more information call 704-321-7275.

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.”