Posts

Advisor Mary Hopper helps navigate MoRA’s success

MoRA advocates often hear from people impressed by what we’ve accomplished in such a short time, and who are excited about the community that is being created.

The credit, of course, belongs to many. But here’s where much of the credit rightfully goes:  Mary Cagle Hopper, a semi-retired PR consultant and former planning commissioner whose vast background has been to MoRA’s great benefit because of her involvement during our formative months.

Mary is smart and funny and sharp-witted and her background is crazy impressive:

A former Queens College professor with her PhD in Romance Languages, Mary turned her business focus over to PR, where her skills earned six national awards and numerous local awards.  She was a founding member of Women Business Executives, a past president of Dilworth Community Association, and the executive director of University City Partners for five years. She was in Class 2 of Leadership Charlotte back in its founding year, now approaching its 39thclass.

Mary advised MoRA’s Land Use committee as it navigated the rezoning proposal for the development approved for Idlewild and Monroe Roads.  Her expertise comes from many years working on a number of the City’s most challenging rezonings and transportation issues in Dilworth, Midtown, South End, Freedom Drive, SouthPark.  She was on the Planning Commission for eight years, two as its chair.  Over the years, she found that her language skills have enabled her to translate arcane jargon into concepts that people could understand and embrace to improve their neighborhoods.

But before, during and after her extensive career has been Mary’s passion and activism for women’s rights.  She worked hard in the ‘70’s to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed.  (“I learned that facts and logic lose to fear and hyperbole every time.”) With the recent election results, she wonders, “Did we not often enough or well enough tell the story of what it was like for women before women’s rights?”

So, as Dr. Mary Hopper turns her attention once again to women’s rights and supporting women’s voices in local elections, MoRA is deeply grateful to have been the beneficiary of her great generosity of time over these last two years. From our branding efforts to our communication platforms to our strategic planning, Mary’s influence is woven throughout our organization.  Our MoRA community has been enriched, and we thank Mary for her passion and her intellect, for her actions and her advocacy to the profound benefit of our community and the city of Charlotte.

First look inside of Monroe Road’s Common Market Oakwold

We have been waiting impatiently for Common Market to open their new and nearby Oakwold location. Southeast Charlotte desperately needs a hangout place, and the quirky and colorful local market easily fills that need.

MoRA is excited.

We reached out to Common Market for info on their upcoming opening, and got a sneak peak at the new neighborhood hangout. They have made a lot of progress since we last saw it, and promise they are opening soon.

The cool custom exterior art is good to go! Common Market plans to have their grand opening in mid-May. If everything goes according to plan, they will start serving food next week, and serve beer and wine in two weeks.

The inside space looks inviting for early morning coffee and late night drinks.

 

The new bar will look out onto Monroe Road, and offer a slew of hard-to-find brews.

 

Finally, a place to get a great cup of coffee. Our only area options are McDonalds and chancing life and limb in the Cotswold parking lot for Starbucks.

You can really get the feel for Common Market from this covered outdoor patio. We can’t wait to try out the newest neighborhood hangout.

First look inside Monroe Road’s City Barbeque, and it is awesome

We have been closely watching the construction of Monroe Road’s newest restaurant. City Barbeque, an award-winning barbeque joint, opened their first Charlotte location in Ballantyne last year. Construction on their second just finished in south MoRA. We finally got a sneak peak inside at the restaurant and their “low and slow” cooked meats.

City Barbeque smokes all their meats on-site, including pulled pork, brisket, pulled chicken, smoked turkey, St Louis cut ribs, sausage, and smoked chickens. The menu looks delicious, offering deserts like homemade warm peach cobbler, sweet corn pudding, hand-dipped hush puppies, baked beans with brisket, fresh cut fries, among many others.

Take a look for yourself.

The dedication to their craft is impressive, and the homemade sides are just what we needed in our part of town. City Barbeque opens at 1514 Galleria Blvd, Charlotte NC 28270, within walking distance of MoRA favorite Deep Sea Seafood Market and the soon-to-open Jolly Rolls gourmet rolled ice cream shop. South MoRA may be the perfect destination to pair with an evening at Charlotte’s best movie theater, Cinemark Movie Bistro.

The BBQ joint opens Monday, February 27th, but they have a grand opening celebration on Saturday, March 4th, that includes kid’s entertainment, giveaways and appearances by Sir Purr, the Top Cats and Carolina Panthers’ PurrCussionists. There will be food samples, and 10% of all sales will go to local non-profit Bright Blessings.

MoRA is very excited to welcome City Barbeque to the neighborhood. Be sure to RSVP to the grand opening celebration here.