Business Beat: May 18

Lumber Liquidators opens in Matthews

Lumber Liquidators expects to serve its first customers in Matthews by Saturday, May 19. The store is located at 11121 E. Independence Blvd. Kara Lopp/MMHW photo

By Saturday, May 19 Matthews will be home to Lumber Liquidators.

The Virginia-based hardwood flooring company is opening a location at 11121 E. Independence Blvd. in 8,500 square feet of leased space, company spokeswoman  Ashleigh McDermott said. A store manager has already been hired and each store typically opens with two assistant managers, she said. Additional employees aren’t being hired for the Matthews location now, but any openings would be posted online at, McDermott said.
The company has more than 265 locations nationwide.  

The Matthews store is open Monday to Wednesday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to
4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call store manager Patrick Wayman at 704-749-2490.

New life coming to former Elliot’s BBQ

An Arlington, Texas-based restaurant group now owns the former Elliot’s BBQ at the corner of E. Independence Boulevard and Windsor Square Drive in Matthews. And the company, Spring Creek Restaurants, already has plans to open Genghis Grill, a Mongolian stir-fry restaurant, there.

Company representative Robert Hubbard shared tentative plans with Matthews commissioners Monday, May 14 during a public hearing. Spring Creek needs a change in zoning condition to move forward with the project. The matter goes to the town’s planning board May 22 for review and Matthews commissioners are expected to vote on the project June 11.

Hubbard told commissioners the company plans to raze the current building and rebuild, using more than 70 percent brick and stone. Draft plans call for a side addition to the building, which would require a separate variance, and splitting the building in two – about 3,900 square feet for Genghis and about 4,400 square feet for an undetermined restaurant or retail space, Hubbard said. The company operates two Genghis Grill locations in the Carolinas, including one in Ballantyne, which opened about a year ago, Hubbard said. The other restaurant is located in Greenville, S.C.
Palmetto closes bakery, to add meeting room

The Palmetto Grill & Bakery isn’t a bakery any longer.

The restaurant’s bakery at 7106 Brighton Park Drive, suite 600, has closed and construction started this week to transform the space into a community meeting room for private parties of up to about 40 people, owner Brad Bowen said. The Mint Hill resident opened the eatery in September.

What Bowen didn’t realize then, he said, was there was more demand for private meeting space than baked goods.

“From the moment I opened, I was asked about being able to host private meetings and parties,” he said. “I didn’t realize there was such a demand for meeting space. I hope to gain some additional business with this change.”

Construction will take about a month and Bowen will then start booking private parties, he said. French doors with frosted glass will separate the room from the rest of the business and a 50-inch TV on the wall will allow for business presentations, he said.

For more information, call 704-573-1444.

Matthews questions larger Circle K store

The owner of a Shell gas station and Circle K convenience store at 3424 Matthews-Mint Hill Road in Matthews wants to more than double the store’s space and add four gas pumps.

To do that, business owner Phoenix-based BNY Western Trust Company needs a change in zoning classification. No one spoke at a public hearing Monday, May 14, but Matthews town commissioners had their own concerns about the project. The matter goes to the town’s planning board May 22 for review and Matthews commissioners are expected to vote on the project June 11.

If approved, the current 1,300-square-foot convenience store and car wash at the corner of Matthews-Mint Hill and Idlewild roads would be razed and a 3,100 square-foot store would be built separate from the canopy that covers gas pumps, according to the application submitted to the town. An additional four gas pumps also would be added, increasing the shop’s total to 12 pumps.

A company representative at the Monday meeting told commissioners that the new store would be “predominantly” brick or stone and the NCDOT is requiring the company pay for road improvements on Idlewild Road to lengthen the left turn lane from Idlewild to N.C. 51 to accommodate more cars and improve the traffic flow at the intersection. The state agency also is recommending a right-in-right-out only driveway off N.C. 51.

Town commissioners expressed concern about the screening the company has proposed between the site and its residential neighbors, with Commissioner John Urban noting the landscaping proposed was “weak.” Urban also suggested a revamp of the design of the convenience store building, including using varying types of brick.

“I’m just trying to take the edge off of a very Plain Jane convenience store,” he said.

Applebee’s raises $138K for cancer research

The Apple Gold Group, a franchisee of Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bars, raised $138,495 for The V Foundation for Cancer Research during its recent sixth annual fundraising campaign, according to a news release from the company.

Since 2009, the Apple Gold Group has raised more than $700,000 for The V Foundation. Applebee’s has a location in Matthews.

From March 7 through April 2, employees of the Apple Gold Group’s 52 North Carolina Applebee’s asked guests to donate $1 or more towards The V Foundation for Cancer Research. In return for their donation, guests were given paper basketballs to personalize and hang in the restaurant. In addition to the paper basketballs, the Apple Gold Group’s employees organized other fundraising activities to supplement the basketball sales, including softball and corn hole tournaments and “Jimmy Jail,” a mock jail cell where the Apple Gold Group COO, Bob Frame, was “locked up” until he raised $2,000 in donations, according to the release.

Dine out for the library

Friends of the Library and Zink, 4310 Sharon Road, suite W01, in Charlotte, will partner June 21 and July 19 when a portion of Zink’s sales will be donated to Charlotte Mecklenburg Library to rebuild their book collection.

During 2011, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library bought approximately 50,000 fewer books than it did in 2010, according to a news release. In the past three years, there were $1.5 million cut from the collection budget which resulted in 150,000 fewer books and materials purchased.

Specials will include the “Bookworm” Cocktail and a “Bookalicious” menu, in addition to the regular menu.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit

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