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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : news : e-news August 9, 2022

5/18/2015 12:06:00 AM
Biz News
An update on business happenings in our area
Big Lots is now open!
Big Lots is now open!

Art on Main is looking for a new location.(Lincoln Herald Staff Photos)
Art on Main is looking for a new location.

(Lincoln Herald Staff Photos)
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Pelican's SnoBalls: Don't let the name fool you--what they serve is not the traditional snoball; it's shaved ice.

Wayne Howard

Let's face it--getting into and out of the shopping center adjacent to US-321 can be a pain. If you're headed east on Main Street, you may have to wait awhile to make the left turn into the center. When you're leaving, if you want to turn left on Main Street going east, the wait for the traffic signal may seem like forever.

Perhaps that's a part of the reason why several businesses that were previously in operation there are no more. Recently, Sauza's and then Hannah's Barbecue closed down. By the way, for fans of Hannah's, their location on highway 127 in Hickory is still operating; they only closed the Lincolnton location. One reason people had for going to that shopping center was the ABC store, but now Lincolnton has a second new ABC store on Riverside Drive.

Another location that has seen businesses come and go is at the intersection of Country Club Road and Generals Boulevard (or what old-timers still call "the bypass"). It was built in the 1960s as a Burger Hut (at least, that's what I think it was has been a long time). Later it was where Joyce Sherrill moved his restaurant from Boger City. Then came Moose's. Most recently, Sweetfire was there. The reason for Sweetfire's move isn't a lack of business--it's the other way around. They had seating for only a couple of dozen people. This week, they're moving to the location on North Generals Boulevard (near Belk) where Red Fish Grille had been doing business (that, too, was a former Moose's location and before that a cafeteria). They hope to be open by Wednesday, Thursday at the latest. Sweetfire has come a long way from a food truck operation working special events to working in the parking lot at the Shell station on East Main across from CVS to the Country Club Road location and now an even bigger facility. They serve up some really good barbecue. I, personally, rate them a close second to Bar-B-Q King, a long-time favorite, but some like them better.

As for Red Fish Grille, Mike Macomson's new place (in the old 36th Street location) on the north Courtsquare at Aspen Street will be called Graffiti's. Macomson says Red Fish Grille (which started out at Lincoln Country Club) served more than just seafood--but the name was misleading. While at Red Fish, he served only dinner, Macomson plans to be open for lunch downtown except for Mondays and will serve dinner Tuesday-Saturday evenings. The name itself sounds more like a neighborhood bar to me--something that has been sadly missing since 36th Street closed. I don't drink alcohol, but I used to stop in there for a snack and a cup of coffee or glass of tea. I liked the atmosphere. I even treated friends (who do drink alcohol) to the wine tastings they had monthly. Graffiti's opening date isn't yet set, but from appearances, it will take a little longer than this week.

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As for the location vacated by Hannah's, rumor (very, very unofficial) has it that Burger King is looking at a possible return to Lincolnton. The location seems tailor-made for a Burger King; after all, that's what was originally located there.

You may have heard that the two corner locations on the south side of Main Street at Academy have a new owner. The old Lincoln Drug location has been sitting empty for years. The other side of Academy is currently home to UMAR Arts on Main. They're looking for a new home, since the scuttlebutt has it that the new owner wants to market the two locations and may already have plans for one of them. Among locations UMAR has been thinking about is the one next to Southern Bakers Boutique (next to the Marcia Cloninger Rail Trail). There are, of course, other Main Street locations available--including three in the first block on the north side of East Main.

Summer may officially still be a month away, but the warmer weather has increased business substantially for Habiti Frozen Yogurt on the west Courtsquare. As people look for summer treats, there are other choices, too. Southern Bakers Boutique sells ice cream from the Mooresville Ice Cream Company (brand name: Deluxe). While people in Lincolnton may not be as familiar, Mooresville Ice Cream Company started out in 1924 and in the Mooresville area, they have a following just as loyal as does Tony's in Gastonia.

Tony's, by the way, is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. It started out on the east side of North Morehead Street at Ratchford in Gastonia and the old location stayed in operation until the 1970s (I had ice cream there on several occasions). At one time, Tony's had three locations: the original, their current location at 604 E. Franklin Blvd. (corner of Avon Street), and on the west side of town at the intersection of Weldon Street and Franklin Boulevard (now a tattoo shop). Tony's began providing ice cream to other stores many years ago, and you can enjoy Tony's ice cream at many locations these days. (I've had Tony's ice cream at a convenience stop just off Highway 74 near Interstate 26 at Columbus, NC.) Tony's ice cream is also available in many supermarkets around the area.

Those who live in eastern Lincoln County can enjoy frozen yogurt at CherryBerry Yogurt near the intersection of Highways 16 and 73. Just up the road on NC-73 toward Huntersville is Cookies N Cream, where they sell Hershey's ice cream. On Highway 16 North (just a bit north of Westport and on the other side of the road), Lighthouse Ice Cream is open for the summer.

Hershey's ice cream is also the brand they sell at Morgan's Calf-A & Dairy Bar off East Main Street near Lowe's in Lincolnton and off Highway 27 on the far east end of Dallas Road (near Bi-Lo) in Stanley. While most people may not know it, the Marathon convenience store at 1627 E. Main St. is also a Dairy Queen location. Other DQ's in our area include the one near Gaston College in Dallas (down the dead end street near Jack in the Box), three in Gastonia (East Franklin, Eastridge Mall and Union Road), Belmont (Wilkinson Boulevard), Shelby (Dekalb Street), and two in Hickory (Valley Hills Mall and 1st Avenue).

Of course, many fast food restaurants serve milk shakes and some have ice cream. As for a variety of shakes, there's Cook Out and Sonic, both on East Main in Lincolnton. Sonic runs their shakes half price later in the evening. They also have the best selection of slushes we've found anywhere.

Of course, you can buy slush type drinks at most convenience stores, but for that kind of summer treat, we would suggest Pelican's SnoBalls. They just opened this year on Hartman Street (off Salem Church Road parallel to East Main). When I first saw them, I wasn't excited. Snowballs, the kind you often buy at the fair that are just some finely crushed ice with flavor squirted in, don't excite me. My wife and I used to enjoy SnoBiz shaved ice treats at a location on Franklin Blvd. (near where Panera Bread is now located) back in the 1990s. The closest SnoBiz location now is in Albemarle (I searched online hoping to find one several times over the years). I was excited to find that Pelican's SnoBalls sells shaved ice treats. They have a huge variety including the best snow cream I've tasted since I used to buy snow cream ice cream at an ice cream shop in downtown Shelby. Pelicans, by the way, is a franchised operation. There are other Pelican's locations in Gastonia (Union Road), Kings Mountain (Shelby Road), Shelby (South Post Road) and Mooresville (North Main Street).

Enough about food and beverage--the other big news in retail this week is that Big Lots has completed its move. They had told us earlier that they'd be open by this week in their new store next to Tractor Supply Company on North Generals Boulevard. They actually got open on Thursday (May 14th). They'll start their Grand Opening in that location on the 22nd (Friday), we're told. They'll be giving away some tickets to the race in Charlotte among other prizes. What many are asking now is when the new Ross store will open. Our latest info (unofficial, the folks at the Gastonia store told us but that's not company headquarters) says it will be July 16th.

The Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce has a couple of events this week. Their second quarter networking luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday (May 20th) at 11:30 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall on King Wilkinson Road and the annual multi-chamber Business After Hours at the Energy Explorium at McGuire Nuclear Station on Highway 73 is set for Thursday (May 21st) from 5 - 7 PM.

The Montcross Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon-cutting Thursday at 11:30 AM for Landmark MD, a new kind of medical practice, located in the Stowe Building at 100 N. Main Street in downtown Belmont. Landmark MD is a Direct Primary Care practice in which patients pay a set monthly amount for their medical care. Dr. David Layne founded and ran a large traditional family practice in Gastonia for many years, before building his new office inside the former R.L. Stowe Mills headquarters, now known as the Stowe Building.

Finally in business news, many people have asked again and again what's going to be built next to People's Bank on East Main Street just beyond US-321. We reported months ago that it would be an Urgent Care Center being built for Carolinas HealthCare System (the same folks who operate CMC-Lincoln). After a long delay, work recently resumed and we confirmed from CHS that the urgent care facility is still planned for that location.


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