Waxhaw April 2024

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A Virtuous Cycle Simon Kerr
April 2024
The Best Kept Secret “Steakhouse” in Charlotte Sunday Brunch Every Week 10am-2:00pm 704.847.4884 | 2945 Matthews-Weddington Rd. | Matthews, NC 28104

Cork & Ale is a place to commemorate historical Waxhaw while looking ahead to its vibrant future. Located across from Waxhaw’s historic bridge and train tracks, our interesting history does not stop at our doorstep, as we are in the first building to serve alcohol in Waxhaw.

Come see us and you’ll find an extensive collection of hand-selected fine wines by the glass and bottle, a craft beer bottle-shop and taproom, and delicious dishes, from small plates to entrées. Our best kept secret is a delicious, thoughtful menu, but our best feature is an amazing team.

We take pride in treating every guest as a valued member of our family. We offer online sales with delivery and curbside pickup with payment as well.

(704) 256-7757 | 113 E North Main St, Waxhaw | www.corkale.com
Contents APRIL 2024 IN EVERY ISSUE 4 Editor’s Note 6 Around Town NEWS AND HAPPENINGS 8 Town Update DRIVING TOWARD TOMORROW 10 Home Front GET GROWING! 24 Book Nook HOOFBEATS OF HISTORY 26 Adoptable Pets FUR-EVER FRIENDS 30 Dining Guide WHERE TO EAT OUT 32 Photo Op FAREWELL TO A BELOVED BREWERY 12 6 26 16 10 ON THE COVER Waxhaw Cycles, owned by Simon Kerr, is much more than a bike shop. PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL BOSKOVICH 20 FEATURES 12 A Virtuous Cycle A bike shop in downtown Waxhaw fosters healthy lifestyles and a strong community. 16 Gourmet Snacks With a Southern Accent How Finicky Foods became the foodie’s choice for pimento cheese and more. 20 Fun on 4 Wheels Designed by artist and Waxhaw native Tom Risser, the Waxhaw SK8 Park offers something for skaters of all levels. 2 | WAXHAW

Editor’s Note

Welcome to the first issue of Waxhaw magazine! As this issue rolls out, daffodils are blooming, redbuds are budding and birds are building their nests. Here at Waxhaw, we’re busy preparing to bring local news and interesting stories to you each month.

As I started putting this issue together, I soon realized I had inadvertently stumbled upon my first theme: wheels. Wheels have always been integral to the town of Waxhaw. After all, how many towns have their own train viewing bridge? Or were built along a trading path that has been in use since before the 1650s?

Waxhaw has both of those, which we’ll be telling you more about in future issues. This month, we explore Waxhaw Cycles and the SK8 Park along with wheels of cheese at Finicky Foods. I hope you learn something new about the wheels that help keep Waxhaw spinning.

Welcome to Waxhaw, your community magazine!

Group Publisher David Johnson Local Editor Tara Botero Art Director Sue Park Copy Editor Nancy Fass Writers Tara Botero David Johnson Photographer Paul Boskovich WAINSCOT MEDIA Chairman Carroll V. Dowden President and CEO Mark Dowden VP, Group Publisher, Regional Thomas Flannery VP, Content Strategy Maria Regan Creative Director Kijoo Kim Editor Lee Lusardi Advertising Services Director Jacquelynn Fischer Operations Director Catherine Rosario Production Designer Chris Ferrante Print Production Manager Fern Meshulam Advertising Production Associate Griff Dowden Waxhaw magazine is published by Wainscot Media. Serving residents of Waxhaw, the magazine is distributed monthly via U.S. mail. Articles and advertisements contained herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publishers. Copyright 2024 by Wainscot Media LLC. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Waxhaw MAGAZINE Director of Business Development Jenifer Shaw
Local Editor 4 | WAXHAW

WHAT’S NEW Around Town


A large (approximately four feet tall and three feet wide) brown earthenware jug sits in the grassy area south of the railroad right-of-way on West South Main Street. Originally used to hold chemicals at the Rodman-Heath Cotton Mill, the jug has a traditional bulbous shape and a narrow neck. It was used as decorative street furniture on North Main Street for years and was moved to its current location in the late 1980s.



April 28, 5 to 7 p.m.

This event will be held at Waxhaw SK8 Park at the corner of South Church Street and Caldwell Street. Participation is free, but bring money for the food and dessert trucks. Test your skateboard or scooter skills for a chance to win prizes! Helmets are required. Parent or guardian consent is required for participants aged 17 and younger.


April 13, 8 to 10 a.m.

Calling all volunteers! Step up and make a difference in our community during the Waxhaw Litter Sweep


May 3, 5 to 8 p.m.

First Fridays in Downtown Waxhaw serve as a celebration of our community, proudly showcasing its spirit, diversity and creativity through live music, delicious food, art exhibits, exciting promotional offers and featured activities.


May 27, 11 a.m.

Each year, the town of Waxhaw honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country with a memorial ceremony. More event information is available at www.waxhaw.com in the Events section.


May 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Kaleidoscope Fest is Waxhaw’s spring festival. Held on the weekend of Mother’s Day, it features a wide variety of arts and cultures from around the world.


June 7, 7 to 9 p.m.

Join the community under the famous Waxhaw Water Tank for live music and food trucks. Bring a chair and some friends!


June 7, 5 to 8 p.m.

Come celebrate Downtown Waxhaw with a community event on the first Friday of the month. Featuring street artists, live music, interactive games, and much more, First Friday is a chance to find out what’s new in Downtown Waxhaw.





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Driving Toward Tomorrow

Join Waxhaw’s collaborative journey to a sustainable transportation future.

In the bustling community of Waxhaw, where traffic continues to be a topic of conversation, crafting a sustainable transportation infrastructure is paramount. At the heart of this endeavor lies the Master Transportation Plan, a comprehensive roadmap designed to address current needs and pave the way for a more efficient and interconnected future. The success of this plan hinges not only on technical expertise but also on the active involvement of the community it serves.

What Is a Master Transportation Plan?

The Master Transportation Plan for Waxhaw is a blueprint for roads and bridges but is also much more than that. It’s about building a stronger, more

connected community. It’s a collaborative effort to weave together the diverse fabric of transportation, land use, environment, community resources, urban design and economic resilience.

Recognizing the intricate interplay between these elements, the plan endeavors to create a vibrant, locally driven strategy that reflects the unique needs and priorities of Waxhaw’s residents.

All Voices Invited

Community input is vital. As Waxhaw continues to evolve, it’s essential to tap into its residents’ collective wisdom and experience.

By engaging the community in the planning process, the Master

Transportation Plan can better reflect the diverse perspectives and priorities of the community, ensuring that it truly serves the needs of the people it aims to benefit. Community engagement fosters a sense of ownership and investment in the transportation infrastructure, laying the groundwork for the long-term success of the Master Transportation Plan.

We Are Listening

Residents have been sharing their insights, ideas and concerns regarding transportation in Waxhaw in a series of drop-in workshops. These workshops serve as forums for dialogue, where stakeholders can actively participate in shaping the future of Waxhaw’s transportation infrastructure.

Now, the Waxhaw Master Transportation Plan Survey is available online. The survey solicits specific project identification and prioritization perspectives and opinions on funding.

Without statistically significant feedback from our road users, we make transportation planning decisions from a less informed position, leading to inefficiencies in how we can deliver what the public wants in a timely manner. Please take a moment to complete the survey and contribute to Waxhaw’s future transportation plans! You can find a link to the survey in the Spotlight tab on the town’s home page at www.waxhaw.com.

By embracing the principles of collaboration and inclusivity, Waxhaw can chart a course toward a more sustainable and resilient transportation future that reflects the values and aspirations of its residents.

HOME FRONT 1 2 3 5 6 4 10 | WAXHAW

Get Growing!

Local resources to give your garden a boost, plus a convenient way to enjoy the bounty others have cultivated.

Did you know that Union County has its own dedicated Master Gardeners? North Carolina Extension Master Gardener

Volunteers (EMGVs) are available to guide homeowners in making good decisions about their landscapes. Trained by North Carolina State University faculty and staff, EMGVs provide research-based information about gardening and environmental stewardship to individuals and communities. They do this through maintaining Teaching Gardens, providing community educational programs and answering questions via their Growline. Call (704) 283-3822 or email ucmgwebsite@gmail.com for help with gardening questions. Find more information at: https://bit.ly/ UnionMasterGardeners.

Cultivating Native Plants

Choose native plants when you’re designing your garden or outdoor area, experts advise. Native, or naturally occurring, plants are adapted to the local climate, do not require fertilizer and need less water and fewer pesticides than non-native plants. Native plants also provide shelter and food for butterflies, birds, insects and animals. Find a list of recommended native pollinator plants, including flowers, vines, trees, shrubs and grasses, from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation at www.ncwf.org.

For the same reason, it’s equally important to identify and remove non-native (also known as “invasive”) plants.

These tend to crowd out native plant species, to the detriment of the native insects, birds and animals that depend on them. Native plant loss due to the spread of invasive non-native plants poses a serious disruption to natural ecosystems in North Carolina and around the world.

From Local Farms to Your Table

The Waxhaw Farmers’ Market is a “producers-only” market, meaning that vendors proudly grow or make all their products locally. When you buy from Waxhaw’s market, you not only get delicious, fresh and prepared foods, but you also support local farms and businesses.

At the market, you’ll find an abundance of foods, including fruits, cheeses, gourmet coffees and teas, rice and honey. Delicious, prepared foods on offer include pierogies, breads, olive oils, vinegars, minidonuts, teas, pies, pickles, relish, conserves, waffles and much more.

Specialty soaps and candles may also be on offer. The market is located at 27283 Waxhaw Pkwy. Starting April 23, it will be open weekly on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Learn more and preorder products at www.waxhawfarmersmarket.org.

1 Hydrangea (hydrangea macrophylla)

2 Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)

3 Camellia (camellia japonica)

4 Azalea (rhododendron)

5 Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)

6 Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens)

7 Yellow Jasmine (Chrysojasminum fruticans)

8 Iris (iris)

7 8 APRIL 2024 | 11

A Virtuous Cycle

A bike shop in downtown Waxhaw fosters healthy lifestyles and a strong community.

When we first mount the saddle of a bicycle, we experience a singular moment of liberation as we feel the world expand beneath us. With each wobble and pedal stroke, we forge a path toward independence. It’s a moment that transcends age, geography and circumstance—one that beckons us to embrace the joy of two wheels and the endless possibilities they represent.

Amidst the traffic and pedestrian pulse of Providence Road, there stands a beacon to these possibilities: Waxhaw Cycles, housed in a quaint white building. Much more than a bike shop, it is a testament to the unwavering spirit of its proprietor, Simon Kerr.

Biking as a Calling Kerr’s path to bike shop ownership is another stop in an eclectic career. Before he embarked on his current venture, Kerr served as executive chef aboard the QE2, mastering the art of gastronomy amidst the ever-changing tides of international waters. After that, Kerr traded in his chef’s hat for a police badge, serving as a law enforcement officer in the picturesque towns of England.

Back in the U.S., Kerr’s journey

into bike shop ownership began with Fit2Ride, a mobile bicycle fitting service that he operated from his home. His mission was to revolutionize the way people experienced their rides, perfecting the fit and ensuring that every rider found their ideal balance of comfort and performance. But it was his unexpected foray into the world of Peloton—an indoor bike that allows riders to take live and ondemand spin classes—that truly set the wheels in motion for his grand adventure.

“Someone needed a Peloton fitting, and I thought, ‘Why not?’” Kerr reminisces with a twinkle in his eye. “Little did I know that decision would change the course of my life.”

After Kerr did a couple of fittings for some social media influencers, word of mouth and glowing testimonials soon solidified his status as the undisputed area authority in Peloton fitting.

“It was a whirlwind,” he admits. “But in those moments of chaos, I found my calling. I realized my passion for helping people find their perfect fit, whether it was on a Peloton or a traditional bike.”

APRIL 2024 | 13

Caring for Customers

Kerr then set out to create a bike shop that transcended the ordinary, a sanctuary for cyclists of all ages and abilities. And thus, Waxhaw Cycles was born.

“At Waxhaw Cycles, we’re more than just a bike shop—we’re a family,” Kerr declares proudly. “We believe in fostering genuine connections, providing personalized service and sharing our love of cycling with everyone who walks through our door.” From expert bike fittings to top-notch repairs and maintenance services, Waxhaw Cycles prides itself on delivering a comfortable, safe and enjoyable biking experience for all its customers.

One aspect that sets Waxhaw Cycles apart is its emphasis on personalized service. Kerr and his team take the time to understand each customer’s needs and preferences, ensuring that every bike performs optimally. Whether it’s a quick tuneup or a comprehensive fitting session, every interaction is characterized by genuine care and expertise.

The team’s dedication to providing top-notch service and fostering a sense of camaraderie has made Waxhaw Cycles a hub for all kinds of cyclists. Kerr plans to expand the shop’s offerings, including suspension fork and shock servicing, to meet the needs of Waxhaw’s growing cycling community.

Focus on Community

Kerr sees Waxhaw Cycles as an integral part of the community’s identity, contributing to its overall well-being and lifestyle. “In Waxhaw, community is everything,” he explains. “We’re committed to supporting local initiatives, volunteering at events and giving back whenever we can. Because at the end of the day, we’re not just business owners—we’re neighbors, friends and fellow cyclists.”

By advocating for bicycling as a means of transportation and

recreation, he hopes to promote a healthier, more active lifestyle among Waxhaw residents. To achieve this goal, Waxhaw Cycles hosts a variety of events and initiatives aimed at engaging the community. From bike safety workshops to group rides and demo days, there’s always something happening at the shop. Kerr also volunteers at local bike events and townsponsored activities.

Moreover, Waxhaw Cycles is committed to environmental sustainability. Kerr ensures that the shop operates in an ecofriendly manner by recycling materials, repurposing old bike parts and using biodegradable cleaning products. This

commitment to sustainability reflects his values and resonates with environmentally conscious customers.

As Waxhaw continues to evolve and grow, Waxhaw Cycles remains a steadfast pillar of authenticity and warmth—a place where strangers become friends and every ride is an adventure. Through Waxhaw Cycles, Kerr is not just pedaling dreams, he’s building a stronger, healthier and more vibrant community, one bike ride at a time. Learn more at www.waxhawcycles.com.

David Johnson is a Group Publisher at Wainscot Media and a seasoned journalist with more than three decades of magazine publishing experience.

APRIL 2024 | 15
“We’re committed to supporting local initiatives, volunteering at events and giving back whenever we can,” says Simon Kerr, proprietor of Waxhaw Cycles.

Gourmet Snacks WITH A Southern Accent

How Finicky Foods became the foodie’s choice for pimento cheese and more.

Pimento cheese is one of the signature foods of North Carolina cuisine, along with barbecue, Cheerwine and hush puppies. Traditionally made from shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, sweet pimento peppers and cream cheese, this savory spread is often served on crackers or vegetables, or in easily packable picnic sandwiches.

There is great debate over the correct spelling—it’s sometimes termed “pimiento” cheese, after the original Spanish word—but there’s no debate about how delicious it is, especially when made by Jessica Gaddy at Finicky Foods.

How It Began

Gaddy is a North Carolina native, having grown up in Hickory before moving to Charlotte in the early 1990s. She met her husband, Eric, a Waxhaw local, on social media and moved here in 2017.

“I enjoyed Waxhaw’s charm first and foremost, then the consistency of comforting routines of supporting the local shops and restaurants,” Gaddy recalls. “That led to my creation of Waxhaw Weekly, a social media weekly sharing my experience of food,

shops and events around town.”

Gaddy’s pimento cheese recipe first gained acclaim when she made it as an appetizer for the campout parties the couple hosts on their four-acre wooded property. “Cooking is a hobby for both of us, so we provide dinner and dessert plus coffee and breakfast the next morning,” Gaddy says. “Many friends and family members would tell me how delicious my pimento cheese was and often suggested I start selling it. I brushed that off as a wonderful compliment up until 2020 when the COVID pandemic hit. While neither of our corporate jobs was affected, the pandemic slowdown allowed time to think about what my future would look like.”

That, she realized, should include more food making. “My relationship with food began as a kid in the kitchen with my dad,” Gaddy says. “Cooking, learning and trying new food has stuck with me since. Those experiences reinforced the joy that came from making food for people at our campout parties and led to the ‘aha!’ moment.” Now Gaddy has rented local kitchen space for her company Finicky Foods and is churning out her popular pimento cheese at a record pace.

APRIL 2024 | 17


You can use pimento cheese in a variety of dishes, such as focaccia, pierogies, stuffed and grilled jalapeños, pimento mac and cheese and much more. This recipe from Finicky Foods is wonderful for breakfast, brunch or lunch.


• 1 16-oz package of thawed frozen hashbrowns

• 8 eggs

• 1/2 cup half-and-half

• 1 cup Finicky Foods pimento cheese, any flavor

• Seasonings: salt and pepper, garlic blend seasoning, hot sauce or pepper flakes, to taste


• Mix thawed hash browns with two eggs, salt and pepper, and press into a deep pie dish. Partially bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

• Mix remaining six eggs and half-and-half with seasonings and 1/4 cup of pimento cheese

• Pour mixture into the parbaked pie shell and drop 3/4 cup of pimento cheese by the dollop all over the quiche. (The goal is to have some pimento cheese blended in and some hidden bits for delicious bites.)

• Bake at 350°F for 50 to 60 minutes (use a toothpick to test for doneness at 50 minutes).

• Cool on a rack for 15 minutes.


• A frozen deep dish pie crust can be used instead of the hash browns.

• Additional toppings can be added before baking: bacon, spinach, cheddar cheese, breakfast sausage, bell peppers.

• This recipe is also delicious served cold with a tossed salad.


Expanding the Menu

“Finicky Foods is named after my online presence as ‘finickylady.’ I became well known for food photography, baking, supporting local restaurants and my modern country lifestyle,” Gaddy explains. Those values are reflected in the ingredients that make up her pimento cheese: Duke’s Mayonnaise, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and spice mixes from local spice companies. She packages the cheese in cute reusable jars or compostable plant-based storage containers, depending on the retailer’s preferences.

With seven different pimento cheese varieties in her basket, Gaddy is always on the lookout for new flavor combinations. Currently, she offers Carolina, Smoked Gouda, Dill, Spicy, Everything, Vegan Original and Vegan Jalapeño. “I am not vegan myself or dairy-free, but a few friends of mine are either vegan or have dairy dietary restrictions, so I wanted to try a vegan recipe,” Gaddy explains. “They like it!” For the vegan spreads, she uses Follow Your Heart brand ingredients that are dairy- and gluten-free.

Since there are no additives or preservatives in Gaddy’s pimento cheese spreads, they will typically last 30 to 60 days when properly stored. “Take out scoops as needed and keep the original container refrigerated at all times,” advises Gaddy.

While known for its pimento cheese, Finicky Foods has branched out into other products as well. “Pimento cheese was the start but in no way is it the finish line,” Gaddy says. “We also bake cakes and cookies and offer BBQ sauce, butter and Southern snack foods. And big news—you read it here first—you’ll soon be able to find Finicky Foods in Food Lion stores from Charlotte to Asheville!”

Whether you savor a classic Carolina blend or embrace the boldness of a vegan jalapeño creation, each Finicky Foods product embodies a piece of the South, handcrafted with love and destined to leave a lasting impression on the palates of those fortunate enough to experience it. As Gaddy looks towards the future, Finicky Foods is an evolving celebration of Southern culture, a journey through flavors that evoke memories and a promise of more delectable surprises to come.

A. Tara Botero is a native Carolinian who moved to Waxhaw in 2014 with her horse, Cooper. She loves learning about and sharing local news, history and happenings, so please email her if you have something to share: Tara.Botero@waxhawmagazine.com.


Jessica Gaddy loves taking pictures of her creations and sharing them online. You can find her on Instagram @finicky.foods or Facebook @finickyfoods. When the Waxhaw Parkway is completed, she plans to open her own brick-and-mortar store. Her website, https://finickyfoodsnc.com, has the latest events and more information about her products. If you have any questions or need more information, you can reach Gaddy at hello@finickyfoodsnc.com.

APRIL 2024 | 19
Jessica Gaddy started Finicky Foods in 2020 and now offers seven varieties of pimento cheese, along with BBQ sauce, Southern snack foods and more.

Fun on 4 Wheels

Why it’s gr8 to sk8 in downtown Waxhaw.

With pipes, rails, custom art, shade sails and much more, the Waxhaw SK8 Park is a gathering place for every kind of skater.

Designed by artist and Waxhaw native Tom Risser, the park offers something for skaters of all levels— and the opportunity for spills as well as thrills. “We’re delighted to be able to offer the SK8 Park to residents, and we know they love the facility,” says Andrew Abbuhl, Waxhaw’s

deputy of parks and facilities. Noting the park’s half pipes, banks, curbs, ledges, pyramids, rails and many challenging obstacles, he adds, “We always remind people to wear a helmet and pads while using the SK8 Park!”

On a typical weekday afternoon, visitors will find people of all ages companionably sharing the space. “I enjoy the park because you can learn tricks, but not too fast,” says Waxhaw

resident Scarlett. While scooting around, Scarlett rolled past Brianna and Emma of South Carolina, friends who came over the state border to encourage each other’s riding. “We love falling and laughing at each other,” Emma says. Other riders, like Tyler Butler of Waxhaw, have been riding at the park for years. “I love coming to the park to escape,” he says. “I also love seeing all of the art around the park.”

Brianna and Emma of South Carolina debate who’s turn it is next on the skateboard at the Waxhaw SK8 Park.
APRIL 2024 | 21
Colton Peterson skates down a ramp in front of the Waxhaw Water Tank at the SK8 Park.

The Artist Behind the Park

There’s a lot of art to see. Risser, an award-winning sculptor, has created sculptures from metal and skateboard decks, while other artists have added murals, benches shaped like skateboards and rails featuring “WXW” all around the park. A selfie spot made from skateboard decks has been designed to look like angel wings.

A plaque at the entrance to the park thanks Risser for his many contributions. “His construction efforts, financial contributions, maintenance and mentorship of the park’s patrons have exemplified the spirit of our community,” it reads.

“Without his passion for skating, our youth and our town, this park would not have been possible.”

A skateboard enthusiast himself, Risser has a private skate bowl at his property. He continues to construct and open skate parks around North Carolina, including The Blair Witch Ramp, Whip Snake Park and Tom’s Bowl.

As president of the U.S. Bottlers Machinery Company in Charlotte, Risser uses leftover metal from the bottling machinery and other recycled metal to make his unique sculptures. Since Risser’s heart attack and bypass surgery in 2016, his work conspicuously features heart shapes.

A. Tara Botero is a native Carolinian who moved to Waxhaw in 2014 with her horse, Cooper. She loves learning and sharing about local news, history and happenings, so please reach out to her if you have something to share: Tara.Botero@waxhawmagazine.com.
Tyler Butler, of Waxhaw, comes over a hill at the Waxhaw SK8 Park.

Serving Skaters’ Needs

In the Shoppes at Millview, about a quarter of a mile from the SK8 Park, is the Elephit Skate Shop. “Skateboarding is rooted in our family,” explains Kaleb McCrink, who owns the shop with his dad, Jesse. “My Uncle Sean created Elephit in Hawaii in 2012, and we wanted to branch it to Waxhaw.”

Elephit is very involved with the SK8 Park. “The town hosts a Waxhaw Skate Night in April and September, which we cohost in partnership with Waxhaw’s Parks and Rec Department,” McCrink explains. “Between the Town of Waxhaw, our vendors and Elephit, we pool together some pretty rad prizes and have an allaround awesome night of skating!”

Often, you’ll see a ramp positioned outside the store, with skaters enjoying a jump or testing out new equipment. “Inside, you can find a skateboard, a downhill skateboard or a scooter, as well as clothing,” McCrink says. “We like to give people the opportunity to make their own custom Elephit shirts and are here to help the beginner or expert upgrade or replace their skate gear as needed.”

Elephit also has a team of skaters, including McCrink and Levon Boyd on downhill longboards and Colton Peterson with street and freestyle skateboarding, that rides at events around the country.


The SK8 Park is adjacent to the David G. Barnes Children’s Park, named for Commissioner David G. Barnes. Barnes was a Waxhaw figure for more than 28 years, and his students from Waxhaw Elementary, where he taught fourth grade, called him “Mr. B.”

Barnes was central to reconstructing the Downtown Pedestrian Bridge, the dedication of Harvey Clay Nesbitt Park and many more projects. The park, which features two ageappropriate playgrounds, a revamped bathroom and benches, was dedicated in his honor for his commitment as an educator. He was also a devoted runner, gardener and community leader. The park, located at 215 W. South Main St., is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to dusk, and Sunday, 1 p.m. to dusk. For more information about Waxhaw parks, visit www.waxhaw.com.


201 Caldwell St.

Open from dawn to dusk Monday through Saturday; open Sunday from 1 p.m. to dusk. Closed during rain or when surfaces are wet.

Clockwise from top: Kaleb McCrink hands a skate deck to Levon Boyd at Elephit Skate Shop in Waxhaw. Left to right: Levon Boyd, Kaleb McCrink and Colton Peterson, the skate team for Elephit Skate Shop. Jesse and Kaleb McCrink, owners of Elephit Skate Shop.
APRIL 2024 | 23
Scarlett, of Waxhaw, scoots around the SK8 Park enjoying a warm winter day.

Hoofbeats of History

Recommended reads for fans of historical fiction and horses.

Two members of The Waxhaw Library Book Club share their impressions of two books connected by their common subjects.


Reviewed by:

A few chapters into Horse, a recent selection of the Waxhaw Book Club, I once again found the wonderful feeling of curling up with a good book.

There I was in the middle of a tale based on the true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington and his enslaved groom, Jarrett, in pre-Civil War Kentucky. They travel from a horse stable in Kentucky down the Mississippi in a riverboat to arrive at a racetrack in Metairie, Louisiana.

Intertwined with their story is that of present-day characters Jess and Theo, each of whom has an interest in this famous horse. Jess and Theo are separately riding their bikes around Washington, DC, researching the skeletal remains and portraits of Lexington.

Through the characters’ experiences, Brooks examines the treatment of animals, the treatment of our fellow man and how far we have—and haven’t—come as a society. You think you’re reading about a horse, but you ultimately realize the story is much bigger than that.


Reviewed by: Lisa Brady

This story about a dressmaker and an equestrian in Victorian-era London is a perfect match for readers who enjoy history and fashion or horses.

Evelyn Maltraver uses her skills as a horsewoman to make her mark in the world and to try to attract a suitable suitor. To make an impression, she partners up with halfIndian tailor Ahmed Malik, known for his skill in designing exquisite gowns for women.

Ahmad began his dressmaking career by making gowns for prostitutes while Evelyn strives for individuality and independence. They both use fashion as a means of selfexpression. Evelyn and Ahmad are both mixed-race and out of their respective societal classes.

While each must learn to navigate their own waters, they find mutual respect and admiration and help one another along the way.

The book brings to life beautiful gowns of the period and teaches readers to appreciate the countless hours of work and skill it took to design them.

The Waxhaw Library Book Club meets from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Waxhaw Branch of the Union County Library, 509 South Providence Street. For more information, contact Elaina Wolfe at (704) 283-8184, ext. 5252.



This spring, Union County Library has a host of fun events for all ages.


Thursday, April 25: 4 to 6 p.m.

Where: All Locations

Age Group: Families and children of all ages

Event Type: General Interest

Drop-in fun for families!


Thursday, April 25: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Where: Union West Regional Library, Indian Trail

Age Group: Teens and adults

Event Type: Crafting

Drop in to create a simple monthly craft!


Thursday, April 25: 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Java the Cup, 203 N Main St, Wingate

Age Group: Adults

Event Type: General interest

Poem In My Pocket Open Mic Night


Saturday, April 27: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where: Southwest Regional Library, Waxhaw

Age Group: All Ages

Event Type: Steam

Let’s collide the worlds of science and fun in the most imaginative way possible!


Saturday, May 4: 10 to 11 a.m.

Where: Southwest Regional Library

Age Group: Adults

Event Type: General interest

Introduction to the Council on Aging Services and volunteer opportunities


Tuesday, May 14: 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Main Library, Monroe

Age Group: Children

Event Type: General interest

Play games to learn about endangered animals


Thursday, May 16: 10 to 11:00 a.m.

Where: Southwest Regional Library, Waxhaw

Age Group: Adults

Event Type: Crafting

Spring into creativity! Registration required.


Saturday, May 18: 1 to 4:00 p.m.

Where: Southwest Regional Library, Waxhaw

Age Group: Teens and adults

Event Type: General interest

Join a fellowship of adventurers to explore a new fantastical world!

APRIL 2024 | 25

Fur-ever Friends

Your new best buddy is waiting for you at a local shelter.

Sometimes, a good pet gets a bad break. With so many animals abandoned, lost or otherwise in need, the Waxhaw area is fortunate to have two nonprofits dedicated to saving them—and placing them in the right home. On these pages are just three of the many adoptable pets available.


River, a four-year-old Shepherd/ Golden Retriever mix, is as sweet as can be and loves everyone she meets. River enjoys long walks, car rides and lots of play. After a long day of fun, she loves to snuggle and tell you everything she did in the most adorable puppy-speak. River will do best in a home with another dog, older children and a fenced-in yard where she can run and play. Find out more about her at the South Charlotte Dog Rescue website: www.southcharlottedogrescue.com.


Two-year old Kiwi is sweet and loving and is a good eater. In fact, her foster mom says she’s perfect in every way— as long as she’s the only cat getting all the love and attention. Kiwi is spayed, vaccinated and combo-tested negative. If you have any questions or would like an application to adopt Kiwi, contact Animals First Rescue of the Carolinas at 704-256-0014.


Fergo is a very loyal and loving three-year-old German Shepherd/ Australian Shepherd mix. He had a bit of a rough start in life, so he is a little shy at first—but don’t worry, it won’t be long before he’s bringing you his favorite toy for some playtime. Fergo gets along with other dogs and cats but would also be a good fit as an only dog with loving humans to hang out and play with. Find out more about him at www.southcharlottedogrescue.com.


• Animals First Rescue of the Carolinas rescues dogs and cats from area high-kill shelters and other dire circumstances. With a network of foster families, Animals First Rescue provides veterinary care, shelter and love until the pet is placed into an appropriate new home. Placement is made only after a thorough application process that includes reference and vet checks, telephone interviews and home visits. To learn more, follow Animals First Rescue on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ AnimalsFirstRescueOfTheCarolinas or contact the organization at animalsfirstrescue@gmail.com.

• South Charlotte Dog Rescue (SCDR) specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating dogs in need, providing them with a second chance at a happy life. SCDR, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2015, is fully volunteer-based with a commitment to adopting the right dog to the right home at the right time. SCDR works with each prospective adoptive family to match the personality and temperament of a pet to a new home and lifestyle, ensuring a long and happy relationship between pet and forever family. Thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers, SDRC has to date rescued more than 2,500 animals, many with extensive medical needs. Learn more at www.southcharlottedogrescue.com.


Where to Eat Out in Waxhaw


Maxwell’s Tavern

112 E. South Main St., Waxhaw (704) 843-2773

Modern American Food at the foot of the Waxhaw Pedestrian Bridge. Make sure to check out the rotating burger and the fried pickles! www.maxwellstavern.com

Mary O’Neill’s Irish Pub

116 W. North Main St., Waxhaw (704) 256-7800

Home of a great pint and hearty cuisine served in an atmosphere that feels like home. www.maryoneills.com

Emmet’s Social Table

401 E. South Main St., Waxhaw (704) 233-7813

Located in an early 19th century former Cotton Mill, Emmet’s Social Table offers small plates, or American-style tapas concept, designed for guests to share multiple rounds of food and flavor experiences. www.emmetsnc.com

Cork & Ale

113 E. North Main St., Waxhaw (704) 256-7757

A wine bar, taproom, and restaurant featuring live music on the back patio and Meet the Winemaker dinners and tastings. www.corkale.com

Capricci’s True Italian

109 W. South Main St., Waxhaw (704) 256-5521

Fresh local ingredients, classic family recipes, and Northern Italian-style delicacies www.capriccistrueitalian.com

Gréco Fresh Grille

201 W. South Main St., Suite G, Waxhaw (704) 256-5006

At Gréco Fresh Grille, the goal is to serve the best Greek and Mediterranean food with a friendly smile.


Queen’s South

1201 N. Broome St., Waxhaw (704) 256-4626

Family-friendly sports bar and grill featuring New York-style thin-crust pizza, burgers, wings and Italian specialties from Queens, New York. www.queenssouth.com

Bistro D’Antonio

3909 Providence Rd. S., Waxhaw (704) 243-0633

Italian-inspired cuisine dished up in a warm and relaxed dining room with oldworld touches.


Provisions Waxhaw

107 West S. Main St., Waxhaw (704) 256-3642

Breakfast and lunch cooked to order seven days a week. Provisions also sells personal care items, candies, fresh dairy and eggs, quality spices, local gifts and many other unique items made or grown by more than 75 local farmers and producers.


Stacks Kitchen

1315 N. Broome St., Waxhaw (704) 243-2024

Homey restaurant supplying heaping plates of American comfort food for breakfast & lunch.


Blue Door Deli

202 West N. Main St., Waxhaw (704) 256-1159

Breakfast, lunch and dinner with New York-style bagels, soft serve, and more.


Maxwell’s Tavern
Mary O’Neill’s Fish & Chips

Cork and Ale Wine Tasting

Vera’s Kitchen

203 N. Broome St., Suite D, Waxhaw (704) 627-4001

Family-style restaurant serving American and Mexican cuisine, with breakfast all day. www.veraskitchenwaxhaw.com


Mingfu Chinese & Sushi

8139 Kensington Dr., Waxhaw (704) 843-1006

Chinese food, sushi, sashimi and more, including take-out party trays. www.facebook.com/ mingfuwaxhaw

Asian Grill

3913 Providence Rd. S., Waxhaw (704) 843-5888

Fresh food with a visually striking and mouthwatering presentation.



El Vallarta Mexican Restaurant

1201 N. Broome St., Waxhaw (704) 243-3929

Family-owned and communityfocused restaurant offering an array of Mexican specialties. www.waxhaw.


Capricci’s True Italian Roasted Chicken Pizza

Hacienda El Rey

3901 Providence Rd. S., Ste A, Waxhaw (704) 256-9024

Mexican dishes assembled from the freshest ingredients, with bold and inspiring flavors. www.haciendaelrey.com

Adela’s Mexican Kitchen

701 W. South Main St., Waxhaw (704) 256-1203

Unforgettable dishes from different regions of Mexico plus Adela’s own distinctive recipes.



Mario’s Italian Restaurant & John’s Place

2945 Matthews Weddington Rd, Matthews (704)-847-4884



Virtuoso Breadworks

205 Salem St., Waxhaw (704) 256-3753

Artisan bread and pastry with a twist of Virtuoso Breadworks’ signature flavor, along with espresso, drip coffee, iced chai and naturally sugared soda. www.virtuosobreadworks.com

Crossroads Coffee

112 N. Broome St., Waxhaw (704) 843-5667

Freshly roasted coffee and baked treats.


Sospreso Coffee

107 W. South Main St., Waxhaw (828) 329-2396

Located inside Provisions Waxhaw, Sospreso sources outstanding single-origin and estate-grown specialty coffees from all over the world.


Waxhaw Creamery

109 E. North Main St., Waxhaw (704) 843-7927

Homemade ice cream and Italian ices made daily. www.facebook.com/ waxhawcreamery

Holy Cannoli

201 W. South Main St., # A, Waxhaw (704) 256-1818

Coffee, cannoli, tiramisu and more.

www.facebook.com/ holycannoliwaxhaw

Burney’s Sweets & More

116 E. South Main St., Ste C, Waxhaw (980) 224-3537

Full-service bakery specializing in glazed croissants with up to 12 different fillings.


APRIL 2024 | 31
Mario’s Italian Restaurant & John’s Place Patio

Farewell to a Beloved Brewery

In May 2016, Neil and Anita Gimon launched The DreamChaser’s Brewery on East North Main Street. At the time, it held the distinction of being not only the pioneer brewery in Waxhaw but also the sole brewery in all of Union County.

The DreamChaser’s Brewery swiftly became the quintessential gathering spot for friends, groups and beer enthusiasts, and was a catalyst for remarkable growth in Waxhaw’s nightlife.

Fast-forward to March 2, 2024, when The DreamChaser’s Brewery bid adieu with a final Saturday night extravaganza featuring live music, food trucks and a bustling crowd of both new and longtime patrons, all raising their glasses for one last heartfelt toast.

In the world of The DreamChaser’s, parting isn’t a goodbye but a simple declaration of “See you soon.” The brewery’s legacy, marked by memorable nights, shared laughter and the clinking of glasses, lives on as a testament to the enduring spirit of the camaraderie fostered within its walls.

Have a great image for Photo Op? Submit your high-resolution shot to tara.botero@waxhawmagazine.com.
Top: A packed tap room is a fitting send-off for Waxhaw’s first brewery. Bottom: Crowds gathered inside and out at the brewery for one last beer.
“ My heart was in the right place.”

I was nearing the end of a race when I collapsed. I was rushed to Novant Health, where the trauma team brought me back. Then my cardiologist fi ed me with a heart monitor, which detected times my heart just stopped. They put in a pacemaker … and helped me regain my strength. Now I’m running marathons and stronger than ever. I owe it to the best doctors and amazing nurses who cared for me.

Thank you Novant Health, for truly life-saving care.

Best physicians. Amazing nurses. Remarkable care.
Learn more at NovantHealth.org/Heart © Novant Health, Inc. 2024 2/24 • NH1610190m
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