By Collin Cunningham
(CHARLOTTE, NC) Happy Friday, Charlotte! It's the last day before the weekend, and with the weather in sunny, 80-degree highs today and tomorrow before slipping into more moderate highs in the upper-60s on Sunday, you'll have plenty of reason to go out and tackle the town!
There might not be any big NASCAR races in town this weekend, but Charlotteans can still attend a session of Masterchef Live! on Sunday at the Ovens Auditorium, where contestants from the show and its junior version will whip up dishes before audiences. If cooking shows aren't your thing, the Zac Brown Band is set to make their acoustic guitars sing when the modern country band takes the stage on Saturday at the PNC Music Pavilion.
But before any of those events take place, we have the news.
1. Police brought to CMS high school due to fighting and over 60 weapons have been found at CMS schools this year
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has called upon police presence at one of its buildings for the second time this week. Huntersville authorities told WCNC that additional officers were sent to North Mecklenburg High School to deal with "fights all day at the school." No other information is available, including how many officers were at the school and how many fights had occurred.
This comes after the district added additional officers to its security detail at last Friday's Olympic High School football game. That announcement came after students staged a walkout to protest a student player who was allowed to take the field despite being convicted of a sexual assault, though authorities said at the time that the beefed-up security was not related to the protest.
In other news related to safety at CMS, WBTV reported that 18 random safety screenings have found 62 weapons on students' person's since the start of the school year on Aug. 25. Confiscated items include handguns, metallic knuckles, razors, incendiary devices, ammunition, stun guns, blackjacks and throwing stars. During the first few weeks of the semester, police responded to multiple CMS buildings for reports of fighting and weapons discovered belonging to students.
It appears that Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey is still hamstrung by his hamstring injury, which might make the team's game on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings more difficult.
This comes after Panthers Coach Matt Rhule said there would be a "50-50" chance of McCaffrey's presence at Sunday's game on Thursday. McCaffrey has been recovering from the injury since he suffered it in the Week 3 game against the Houston Texans. The three games he will have missed if he doesn't play on Sunday will pail in comparison to his absences last year, when he was out for 14 games due to various injuries.
Kick-off is set to take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
The New York TImes has selected three restaurants between North and South Carolina to appear on its list of "The 50 places in America we are excited about right now." While Charlotte doesn't have any big players up on the board, Kindred restaurant in the nearby town of Davidson did make the cut.
Kindred has found an audience in Davidson since it opened in 2015, offering a menu full of interesting takes on classic gastropub dishes, like duck fat potatoes and a conchiglie made with shrimp and squid ink. Combine that with a luxurious yet comfortable interior and the slot on the unranked list is essentially guaranteed.
Down in Charleston, Hannibal's Soul Kitchen got recognition from the TImes for serving traditional Southern food in a family way, the restaurant having been operated by multiple generations since opening in 1985. And in Asheville, Chai Pani made the list for serving fare you can't find many places in NC: Indian street food. Charlotteans can get an idea of what Chai Pani has on offer by visiting Botiwala in Optimist Hall, which is also operated by the Chai Pani Restaurant Group.
Now that we've learned of restaurants past, it's time to learn about restaurants in Charlotte's future as...
For the first time in 23 years, Phat Burrito is set to open a new Mexican roll-up restaurant in Charlotte next spring. The new Phat Burrito location will be at the Loso Village business park on Clanton Road and serve dishes that may be familiar to Charlotteans. The first location was active in the city's South End commercial neighborhood between 1998 and 2017.
New owner Michael Cox — who also owns Ptah Investments, which holds the Phat Burrito name — said he wants to keep the menu and atmosphere of the new spot as familiar as possible to the original spot as possible.