Afternoon Observer: March 4

Kristen Kornbluth
·3 min read

Good afternoon, Charlotteans. Kristen here. Friday is just around the corner, and if all goes as projected, we’ll have some solidly nice weather all weekend. I hope you all can get out and soak up some sunshine in the next few days!

Now, let’s get into today’s news. This first story is an essential read:

1. Black residents of Jeff Davis Street say it’s time for change

A car passes through the intersection of Moretz Avenue and Jefferson Davis Drive in Charlotte on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. The street name is shortened on the sign, but in full it’s Jefferson Davis.
A car passes through the intersection of Moretz Avenue and Jefferson Davis Drive in Charlotte on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. The street name is shortened on the sign, but in full it’s Jefferson Davis.

In the wake of racial protests all over the country, especially following the police killing of George Floyd, there’s a movement toward reckoning in Charlotte. In that vein, the Charlotte City Council unanimously decided in February that Jefferson Davis Street would be renamed, along with eight other local streets named after white supremacists and Confederate leaders.

For folks who grew up in the neighborhood, like Iris Wallace and Johnnie Walker Jr., it’s high time for that change. Walker said actions like naming streets after such figures “glorify persons like him without a real understanding of what they did to hurt us ... It is time that this particular error is corrected.”

And as Wallace puts it, “The streets should be renamed. The time has come for us to be free.”

City Council member Larken Egleston, whose district includes Jefferson Davis Street, says the move is important, but will not alone address the history of racism. “Part of writing wrongs is undoing some of the symbols of that legacy of racism, and legacy of injustice,” he said.

Read more about Charlotte’s racial reckoning and how these efforts will move forward with the Observer’s Devna Bose.

2. Some Harris Teeters have COVID vaccines now

There’s another way to secure your COVID vaccine in NC. Some Harris Teeter pharmacies in the state — including at least one in Charlotte — are now offering COVID-19 vaccines, the Observer’s Hannah Smoot reports.

The shots are available to people in Groups 1, 2 and 3. That includes:

  • Health care workers

  • Anyone age 65 and up

  • Residents and staff at long-term care facilities

  • Many other front-line essential workers

Appointments can be scheduled online with Harris Teeter’s online scheduling tool.

For extra COVID vaccine information, click here to view our current roundup of where you can get the vaccine in Mecklenburg. This article was last updated today, March 4.

3. Greg Olsen is officially retiring

Tight end Greg Olsen will sign a one-day contract to rejoin the Carolina Panthers on March 11 before officially retiring — a move he originally announced in January.

Olsen spent nine years with the Panthers after being traded by Chicago in 2011. He spent his final season with the Seattle Seahawks but dealt with injuries during the second half of the year. He’ll bring it all full circle for a final game with the Panthers.

What’s next for Olsen? As the Observer’s Alaina Getzenberg reports, he’ll move on as a FOX sports broadcaster, a deal he signed last year.

Game on: Arcade bar Abari scores an extra life

Abari owner Zach Pulliam.
Abari owner Zach Pulliam.

A new, larger Abari location is coming to the Belmont neighborhood. The original location of the popular NoDa arcade bar closed down last March when the first COVID-19 stay-at-home order was issued. After announcing in August that the location wouldn’t reopen, owner Zach Pulliam began looking for a new location. The search is now over.

Super Abari Game Bar, as the new spot will be called, will offer beer on tap and a selection of wine, cocktails and liquor, CharlotteFive’s Daniel Hartis reports. There will also be a small food menu — including a collab with Duke’s Bread on homemade Hot Pockets. Pulliam hopes to open the bar by the end of the summer.

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