Mailbag: 60 quick feedback letters on Sushi Guru, basic dates, Starbucks, millionaires, and Chief Putney

Mailbag: 60 quick feedback letters on Sushi Guru, basic dates, Starbucks, millionaires, and Chief Putney
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This is part of an ongoing series titled Mailbag featuring items readers submit via email or our feedback form. We get a ton of feedback; this is not close to everything (it’s about 2 percent), but it’s a good sample.


In response to: The No. 1 “most basic” date idea in Charlotte

“To the women who don’t want their nights ‘wasted’ with a ‘basic’ first date with dinner or drinks, then maybe you should propose the date idea and pay for it if you’re such a modern woman. Guys like to have fun too, but we also like to tease out high maintenance people without breaking the bank.” – A

“If your idea of wasting a night is talking with someone else then you’ve just exposed yourself as a horribly vapid waste of time and space. We aren’t here to entertain you, that’s what Netflix, Bravo, and the set of local ‘influencers’ you hilariously look up to are for.” – B

“I’ve always found ‘drinks’ a really awkward first date in Charlotte because there is no predetermined end time. Once we’ve been at the brewery for 3 hours, I want to go home, even if I like you and even if it’s going well. I find it really easy to be like ‘I had a great time, text me later’ at the end of a meal But Ive always found ending a date in between rounds of drinks really uncomfortable.” – A

“I’m confused I thought younger folks were sober curious.” – M

“Drinks make for an easy out if the date is bad. I learned very early on in dating not to immediately commit to a dinner or other activity where it’s hard to bail 20 minutes into it if it’s not going anywhere or is straight up creepy.” – E


In response to: Higher prices and fewer homes: A real estate agent’s race to buy and sell before Charlotte’s boom ends

“Home prices are attractive compared to an area like Chicago. I can get a $800,000 home in Charlotte that would cost me over a $1 Million in Chicago.” – B

“I bought my first home at the ‘height’ of the last bubble in 2006. Fast forward to 2013 and we were so far underwater in that house… even with the 20% I put down. Others that have been affected by the last downturn are also reluctant, like me, to buy anything right now. I’m totally fine waiting it out until things let up a little in the area.” – M

“I am consistently bombarded with calls, emails and even door to door solicitations from realtors wanting to buy my house. When I ask them where I can find a comparable home in Charlotte if I were to sell, that usually shuts them down. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel gratitude for a comfortable roof over my head and sympathy for those who cannot find safe and affordable housing. It is a disgrace (in my humble opinion) that housing in Charlotte has become unaffordable for many hard working citizens of Charlotte (ex, schoolteachers).” – A

“Just checked out those entry level rental homes… American Homes rent starts at $1,300. That’s not entry level.” – C

“I know of whole blocks American Homes own in suburbs that were new homes at good prices. With that $1,300 rent (that they’ll raise rise at the end of the 12 month), they make profits on homes in less than eight years, in most cases. It’s wild.” – V


In response to: The 13 biggest restaurant and bar openings in November — including 3 Italian restaurants

“Almost all of the restaurant openings are sadly similar. I’ve created a template for the next round of openings so that the writers at Charlotte Agenda won’t even have to speak to the owners/chef to get an overview: (noun) & (noun) will be opening in the space formerly occupied by (different noun) & (different noun). The (chef/owner)’s plan is to expand Charlotte’s palate by bringing his (grandmother’s/home country’s/used-to-be-simple/dorm room staple) food to the masses by using produce from local suppliers, sustainably sourced seafood, and farm-to-table ingredients while cooking over an open flame. The menu will be (similar to their other restaurants in Charleston/Atlanta/Nashville/Asheville) an innovative take focusing on small plates that include (Pick 3: fried chicken sandwich, octopus, charcuterie, brussels sprouts, tacos, Korean-spiced something, poke, a burger that’s $18+). The vibe will be (casual/simple/attempted hipster) yet (sophisticated/fancy), the kind of place where a (wanna-be influencer/J Crew hipster/mid-30s stay-at-home mom) can take ‘gram-worthy pictures of their food and will feel comfortable sitting beside a (real estate agent/mortgage broker/1st year analyst) that is always a little too dressed up for the situation. The space reminds me of a vintage version of a (loft/warehouse/every brewery) even though it is in a brand new (office building/”luxury” apartment building). There will be a craft cocktail (program/station/wagon/trough) that focuses on the classics with some seasonal additions. (Insert Ted’s ‘I’m bullish’ line).” – O


In response to: Does this house have the best Halloween decorations in the Charlotte area?

“Love this house! I had to park my car and get out to take a closer look last year.” – M

“Union Street on Halloween at times can feel like a mini time square in New York City. It was very crowded and hard to walk around people at times but still worth experiencing.” – S


In response to: A medical office developer just bought the Starbucks building on East Boulevard in Dilworth

“Imagine how much money that damn tow company is going to lose.” – C

“Oh man, this is where I met my husband. Sad to see it go.” – S

“That makes me so sad! That has been my favorite Starbucks the past 20 years!” – B

“How do folks still do Starbucks with all of this local coffee.” – K

“Go to the people’s market.” – G


In response to: 19 things to see, do and eat in Blowing Rock, 2 hours from Charlotte

“Anybody in Charlotte who doesn’t already know about Blowing Rock doesn’t deserve to know.” – S

“I ate at the Ridge Line last Sunday. Great views and a great burger.” – R


In response to: Cash Confessional: A week of spending on a 27-year-old financial advisor’s $120,000 salary

“This person is smart, if they went full on Scrooge McDuck for like 6 months to a year they could literally be debt free aside from the mortgage. I would drop the $300 in random investments and even pause the 401k contribution and go ham. That would be a temporary free flow of almost $1,300 a month not including whatever the Roth adjustment is (guessing $500 a month if they’re trying to hit max limit). Didn’t say what was in a cash savings account, to be fair that would play a big factor in how I approached this. A good tax professional could get this person at least $10,000 back which could take a chunk off debts.” – R


In response to: A look at the latest chapter in the never-ending construction at Charlotte’s airport

“The biggest problem with CLT is that the concourses are too narrow. Whenever a flight is boarding, passengers have to funnel around that gate. Heaven forbid a flight on the other side of the cramped concourse is boarding simultaneously. Then it’s one single file lane for passengers traveling in both directions, which is a total nightmare. The renovations are doing nothing to widen the concourses, and this is a massive missed opportunity. Without that, this is putting lipstick on a pig.” – J

“Concourse A is fabulous – from what I could tell as I ran to catch my 6 a.m. flight because the security line had 2 people working and arriving at 4 a.m. I was met with an alarmingly long line and it was not a holiday or busy ‘travel’ day. It’s great to have nice places to enjoy between flights (as I do on an 8 hour layover in Denver Airport), but some money must be used to improve the checkin/security process.” – A


In response to: Sushi Guru closes its doors after less than two years in Plaza Midwood

“Sushi Guru closed because they had the worst service in Plaza if not all of Charlotte. I live walking distance and have been somewhere around 8 times. Every time it took 30 minutes for our drink order to arrive and another hour plus for food.” – F

“As a resident of the neighborhood (and someone that was really excited about Sushi Guru opening) this story misses the mark on why this restaurant failed. The real issue is poor use of space in that building and poor/uninterested service. The building looks huge from the outside but once you walk inside there is not a single open space. You feel crammed into the corners of the building everywhere you go. The upstairs is 80% kitchen and the downstairs is 80% bar/host area/bathroom. The interior design of the building is awful. Combine that with the fact that every time someone has told me they’ve gone the first thing out of their mouth was how bad the service was. There are plenty of other dinner only restaurants that are doing well in the area. The owners shouldn’t be blaming this on the neighborhood they should be blaming it on themselves.” – C


In response to: 8 fall fashion trends priced $39.99 to $3,640 — and where to find them now at Charlotte boutiques

“Love the animal prints and the plaids!” – J


In response to: Inside the 24-hour race to save the birds that crashed into the NASCAR Hall of Fame

“It would be a compassionate gesture if the NASCAR helped with this occurrence by contributing something financially to Carolina Waterfowl Rescue. I am a volunteer out there and I know how dedicated the volunteers are to their feathered friends & other little critters.” – A

“Glad a bunch of them made it.” – C


In response to: Kerr Putney could not solve Charlotte’s violent crime problem. Could any police chief?

“Love this guy and his direct way of communicating. Charlotte is at a crossroad and I pray it chooses a good path.” – R

“Chief Putney was a very good Chief for the city of Charlotte. Worked his way up the ranks and all.” – A

“Chief Putney may have been Charlotte’s best Police Chief. He wasn’t the problem. It was judges releasing violent felons in droves and giving them house arrest with ankle bracelets. THAT is the cause of the enormous spike in murders this year, more than 2x last year’s count at this time. It’s disgraceful to lose such a great public servant in such a manner! And we wonder why moral in our police departments across the nation are so incredibly low, smh.” – G


In response to: Sycamore Brewing will move into a 16-story tower next door to its current property in South End

“Great. The Friday night frat party for juveniles posing as adults, behaving badly due to overconsumption and fighting over grilled cheese sandwiches can now get even bigger!” – B

“Not surprising, the owners knew they were sitting on a gold mine of a location and I knew they’d eventually be tempted enough to sell out.” – P

“And the ambiance is forever gone.” – N

“I love Sycamore’s Mountain Candy.” – B

“They’ve outgrown the space they are in now and during any events people are packed in like sardines. This much needed expansion will be awesome for their business!” – C


In response to: Not black and white, or Democrat vs. Republican: Why the tax hike Mecklenburg County voters are considering is so divisive

“Sales tax hike for the arts? How about addressing affordable housing, homelessness, and for God’s sake… some kind of resolution to the 88 homicides so far this year?” – J

“Do we want nice things? Then we have to pay for them.” – R

“Maybe Charlotte Agenda can connect these guys with some cash confessional all stars. Seems like we could benefit from some budget consulting.” – R

“Seriously? Because we don’t pay enough in taxes? My property taxes just skyrocketed.” – D


In response to: Three-story Charlotte Beer Garden with 375+ taps and rooftop bar coming soon to South End

“Right next to Hoppin. Love the competition.” – M

“Thank God! Finally a man will be able to find a beer in the South End!” – J

“I love the one in Raleigh and am excited to see this one when it’s complete!” – M

“Public parking garage? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?” – K


In response to: Single mom with two kids in college becomes millionaire at age 45 — here’s what she wants you to know about money

“Saving 30% of every check doesn’t sound like fun to me. I prefer to live while I can. “- N

“For those of us not making $315k It also works if you’re 25, save $800 a month with a 7% return you’ll have 1M by 55.” – P

“She would work for free but makes over $300,000 a year. Tell us more…” – J 

“I’m the same age and commend her for saving so much so early and so consistently.” – M 


In response to: The 10 best kid-friendly restaurants in Charlotte that parents will love too

“Our kids are like-minded. Other wins: Good Food on Montford’s pasta dish (parents can pound four plates and two drinks whilst pasta is getting devoured), Blaze Pizza (fast and they get to choose), Maharani to go (chicken tikka masala).” – L

“Maybe next time you cover family restaurants you will cover restaurants in areas families actually live and eat like Ballantyne, Highland Creek and Matthews.” – A

“The best kids’ menu in Charlotte is Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, no contest. So many healthy options, tremendous value, and phenomenal quality. They put the same attention to detail into the kids’ food as they do the regular menu items.” – K


In response to: 50 Charlotte Millionaires share their No. 1 piece of career advice for young people

“Glorifying wealth is wrong. We confuse wealth with happiness. It’s not what makes us happy.” – L

“TLDR: 50 different ways of rewriting ‘work hard.’ Thanks contributors, because us lazy non-millionaires have just been twiddling our thumbs waiting for our bundle of money to magically fall from the sky.” – M


In response to: How I Work: 17 quick questions with pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Erin Kiehna

“So nice to hear from a well-respected female that is changing the world. Very inspiring.” – J


In response to: The 15 best patios in Charlotte, right now

“Where is The Chamber by Wooden Robot Brewery Rooftop? Best sunset views in Charlotte!” – H

“Let me start by saying I love Hello. Sailor. However, you call their patio a ‘Lakeside Tiki Getaway’ but none of the drinks you listed have rum in them (there’s nothing ‘tiki’ about mezcal, vodka, or La Croix) and there are no tikis on the patio. It’s a lovely patio with a thatch roof and tropical cocktails, some of which are served in marginally tiki mugs and glasses. It’s a nice place to hang out, but it’s not a tiki bar.” – J

“Good Lord this post is cringe-worthy. Southbound and Mac’s? It’s a great spot to hear construction and road noise from South Boulevard. Did you really refer to Dilworth Tasting Room’s back area as ‘The European Courtyard?’ I assume none of you have ever been to Europe. And Noble Smoke? Come on, the food is good but that patio is generic at best. And RuRu’s, just say it – the food is terrible, overpriced and the service is bad, but at least they have a nice space.” – O

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