Why a Charlotte ‘cereal bar’ is crushing it (free version)

Plus: Atrium enlists Charlotte A-listers for $500M fundraising campaign; Myers Park Country Club creates women's committee; something new is cooking in LoSo; what will the new Silver Line look like?

Good morning! Today is Friday, April 30, 2021. You’re reading The Charlotte Ledger, an e-newsletter with local business-y news and insights for Charlotte, N.C.

Editor’s note: This is a shorter, free version of The Charlotte Ledger sent to people on our free sign-up list. The complete version for paying subscribers went out 15 minutes ago. It included:

  • An in-depth look at the growing trend of “micro-retail,” which gives aspiring retailers and restauranteurs a place to launch that’s affordable and accessible. From restaurants that sell bowls of cereal to shops that stock cactus plants and roller skates, they’re springing up all over Charlotte.

  • You might be surprised to read which big names in Charlotte are behind a massive $500M fundraising campaign at healthcare giant Atrium.

  • An update to a story we’ve been following closely: we’ve got insider information into what Myers Park Country Club is doing to address a rift that happened because of plans to transform a co-ed dining area into a men’s only area.

  • News on a land sale in LoSo to restauranteurs who may be bringing a new kind of cuisine to the neighborhood.

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As big retailers struggle, a shift toward smaller shops is allowing experimentation by new entrepreneurs; ‘a platform to explore their dreams’

Greg Robinson opened Day & Night Cereal Bar in a 900 s.f. space this month uptown and says he doesn’t listen to the haters. Business is double what he projected, and he signed a deal for a concession stand at Charlotte Knights games.

by Tony Mecia

Greg Robinson knows that his new business, selling $7 bowls of cereal uptown, has its critics. He’s read the comments on social media that call Day & Night Cereal Bar “ridiculous,” “dumb as hell” and the “worst idea ever.”

But three weeks after opening Charlotte’s only cereal bar, Robinson says business is booming. He signed a deal with the Charlotte Knights to open a cereal stand at baseball games starting next week. He’s drawing about 100 customers a day, double his projections. Lines are frequently out the door.

Of course, there’s nowhere else for lines to go besides out the door, spilling into Latta Arcade. With just 900 square feet, there’s barely room for a few people to stand inside. Day & Night Cereal Bar is an example of a retailing trend that’s slowly gaining steam in Charlotte and elsewhere toward smaller spaces, which are less expensive and easier for new entrepreneurs to open.

While other parts of retailing, such as malls and department stores, are in turmoil, the move

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Related Ledger article:

Atrium is planning a huge fundraising campaign

Atrium Health is planning a massive, $500M fundraising campaign that lists many prominent Charlotte figures as its backers.

The campaign, scheduled to be launched late next month, is called

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Myers Park Country Club prez: We are listening to our females

In a new email to members of Myers Park Country Club, the club’s president says that it has taken a number of steps — including appointing a committee and bringing in an outside consultant — to ensure “that our females’ voices and concerns are being heard.”

The communication from board president Tom Jordak, sent late last week, comes as the club is working to navigate a rift that has developed among members over a planned $27M renovation of its clubhouse, as The Ledger disclosed earlier this month. Some club members and their spouses are upset that plans call for an expansion of a men’s-only area into what’s now a popular coed dining room, and one member filed a lawsuit seeking financial information from the club’s leadership.

Myers Park is one of the oldest and most prestigious country clubs in Charlotte, with an initiation fee of $95,000. It has about 1,000 members — many of whom are well-known civic, political and business leaders. It had a waiting list of 110 as of January.

In the email, Jordak said the club’s leadership had

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New look at proposed Silver Line

The Metropolitan Transit Commission released new renderings Thursday of the proposed Silver Line light rail project that will run from the Gaston County city of Belmont to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, into uptown Charlotte and end in Union County. These renderings include: 1. the proposed LYNX Silver Line station near 11th Street and the LYNX Blue Line; 2. the proposed LYNX Silver Line station and Rail Trail at Graham and 10th Streets looking south from the I-277 bridge; 3. The latest corridor map; 4. An illustration of the proposed LYNX Silver Line connecting to the LYNX Blue Line on the 11th Street corridor, as seen from above I-277. (Images courtesy of Charlotte-Area Transit System)

More lowdown on LoSo: Another international theme headed across from German brewery?

Another week, another sale of a parcel in LoSo to an owner with a background in international food and drink.

Last week, we told you about the 500-year-old German beer company that bought a half-acre not far from the “LoSo Station” development and the Scaleybark light rail stop.

This week, there was another land sale, just

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In brief

  • BofA seeks vaccination info: Bank of America is asking employees to voluntarily disclose if they have been vaccinated against Covid, Insider reported, citing unnamed sources. “Some 7,000 employees within the bank’s sprawling Merrill Lynch Wealth Management business, including financial advisors and other staffers, have already disclosed,” the publication said. Asked this month about the return to the office, BofA CEO Brian Moynihan said that he expects “a more normal operating posture” after Labor Day. (Insider, subscription-only)

  • Mobility plan goes silent: A major mobility plan to improve transportation across the Charlotte region seems to have fallen by the wayside, according to a WBTV investigation. Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones hasn’t issued updates on the proposed cost or efforts to get a 1-cent sales tax to pay for the plan on a referendum before voters. (WBTV)

  • Mixing it up: Charlotte-based SPX Flow announced that it agreed to acquire Philadelphia Mixing Solutions for $65M, a move that “will combine two of the top mixing equipment brands in North America,” the company said.

  • Mass gathering limit increased: Gov. Roy Cooper is raising the cap on mass gatherings to 100 inside and 200 outside, effective today. He also eased a requirement on outdoor face coverings, which previously were supposed to be worn if social distancing of six feet apart could not be maintained. (WFAE)

  • BofA stadium switching to turf: Bank of America Stadium will rip out its natural grass field and replace it with artificial turf before the Carolina Panthers preseason starts in August. It’s a move that comes as the stadium gets ready to host Major League Soccer and other big entertainment events. (ESPN)

  • Coalition backs 2040 plan: A coalition of neighborhood and civic groups came out in support of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan on Thursday. Signatories included officials from Discovery Place, DreamKey Partners, Crisis Assistance Ministry, United Way of Central Carolinas, Urban League of Central Carolinas and the Plaza-Midwood Neighborhood Association. (Neighbors for More Neighbors CLT)

  • UNCC remembers: Today is the second anniversary of the campus shooting at UNC Charlotte that claimed the lives of two students, Reed Parlier and Riley Howell. The university has canceled classes and will hold events throughout the day, ending with a virtual remembrance program at 5:15 p.m. (UNCC)

  • Panthers’ #1 pick: The Carolina Panthers selected South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn with their first-round pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday. He’s expected to help the team’s pass defense because of his size — 6’1”, 205 pounds — since the Panthers “face so many big receivers in the NFC South,” ESPN reported.

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Executive editorTony MeciaManaging editorCristina BollingContributing editor: Tim Whitmire, CXN Advisory