Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Zink. American Kitchen closing uptown

Charlotte-based Harper's Restaurant Group announced today the closing of its restaurant, Zink. American Kitchen, located in the IJL building, at 201 North Tryon Street. Open since 2004, the popular eatery is a favorite of Uptown professionals and is known for its twist on New American cuisine, its lively outdoor patio and late night ambience. The restaurant's last day of operation will be Saturday, July 31, 2010. 

Tom Sasser, owner and president of Harper's Restaurant Group, said that the location has been purchased for a non-restaurant use. "The buyer has indicated that the space will be renovated for office or possibly retail purposes. Although Zink has continued to be profitable, we had experienced multiple physical plant issues over the years and felt like this sale was a smart business move in the long run."

"We are working with two groups for another location in Uptown or Southpark to carry on the Zink tradition in a new space. We would like to thank our great associates and guests for their loyal support over the years. We hope our friends will stop by this last week to enjoy great New American food and drink from Executive Chef Jon Fortes and the team and let us say goodbye." 

"On Zink's last night, Saturday July 31, Chef Jon will offer a 'Toast to Zink' Menu with many of our guests' favorites. It will include Streetside Tacos, Zink's signature 'Not Your Mother's' Meatloaf and Lobster Roll Sliders, among others," said Sasser. 

Sasser indicated that they hope to begin serving some of Zink's signature food and drink items at other Harper's Restaurant Group locations. Mimosa Grill, located in Uptown Charlotte at 327 South Tryon, will immediately start serving Saturday lunch and a new Sunday brunch buffet.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

SYTYCD tour returning to Charlotte

The “So You Think You Can Dance Tour” will return to Time Warner Cable Arena on Saturday, Oct. 2, with a showcase of performances by current finalists Adechiké, Ashley, Billy, Jose, Kent, Lauren and Robert, as well as all-stars Ade, Allison, Courtney, Dominic, Kathryn and Russell.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through,, the Time Warner Cable Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone (800-745-3000).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cheap tix for select Live Nation concerts

From 12:01 a.m. Tuesday until 11:59 Tuesday night, $10 tickets will be available through and charge by phone (800-745-3000) for the following upcoming shows:

American Idol Live! Tour on July 25 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre; Barenaked Ladies on July 30 at Road Runner Mobile Amphitheatre; Goo Goo Dolls at RR Mobile on Aug. 10; Heart on Aug. 15 at RR Mobile; Dukes of September at RR Mobile on Aug. 25; Kottonmouth Kings on Sept. 10 at the Fillmore Charlotte; and Get The Led Out at the Fillmore on Nov. 12. (Parking, shipping, service fees and other costs may apply.)

$10 tickets will also be available at the venue box offices during regular business hours on Tuesday.

'Biggest Loser' stars to visit Charlotte

Phil and Amy Parham of "The Biggest Loser" fame will be at the SouthPark Barnes & Noble (4020 Sharon Road) from 2-4 p.m. Saturday to sign copies of their new book, "The 90 Day Fitness Challenge."

The Parhams were contestants on Season Six of NBC's reality competition, from May to December 2008. Over the seven-month period, they lost more than 256 pounds together, bringing Phil down to 180 and Amy to 124. To date, they have recorded the highest percentage weight loss of any "Biggest Loser" couple ever.

Their new book, from Harvest House Publishers, addresses "their journey to healthy weight loss and inspires readers on how to achieve similar goals. This faith-based, informative and motivational book will encourage those fighting the 'battle of the bulge' to transform their lives and fulfill their dreams of being healthier and happier."

Phil and Amy Parham live in South Carolina with their three sons.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Mooresville woman hits 'Runway'

Let the sewing, stitching and snickering begin.

The Emmy-Award nominated Lifetime Television series "Project Runway" kicks off its eighth season on July 29 with 17 talented designers -- including one from Mooresville.

April Johnston, 21, attended Lake Norman High School, recently graduated from college, and now resides in Savannah, Ga. On Lifetime's website, she lists her favorite designers as Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, and says she realized she had designer potential "in high school, when I made my prom dress and artistically painted and decorated my room."

In "Project Runway's" expanded 90-minute format, the new crop of designers will encounter host Heidi Klum, mentor Tim Gunn, judges Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, and guest designer and celebrity judges (including actress Selma Blair in the season premiere) as they face challenges, eliminations and other surprises.

This season's winner will receive $100,000 from L'Oreal Paris to start his/her own line, a fashion spread in Marie Claire magazine, a $50,000 technology suite by HP and Intel to create his/her own vision and run his/her business, and the opportunity to design and sell an exclusive collection on

In addition to Johnston, the Season Eight designers are:

A.J. Thouvenot; Andy South; Casanova; Christopher Collins; Gretchen Jones; Ivy Higa; Jason Troisi; Kristin Haskins-Simms; McKell Maddox; Michael Costello; Michael Drummond; Mondo Guerra; Nicolas D'Aurizio; Peach Carr; Sarah Trost; and Valerie Mayen.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Donate a toy, see ice show for free

"Disney On Ice presents Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story 3" will play several shows at Time Warner Cable Arena Oct. 6-10.

Tickets go on sale July 23, but show organizers will offer a free voucher (good for one ticket to the Oct. 6 performance) to the first 200 people who donate a new toy during the Salvation Army’s holiday toy drive, which will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. that Friday at the arena. Limit one per family. (Everyone else who makes a donation during the July 23 promotion will get 50 percent off tickets to that performance.)

For more about Disney On Ice, go to

Monday, July 12, 2010

Concert news: Soul shows on the horizon

Budweiser, Live Nation and Haymon Events announced today the revival of Budweiser Superfest, a soul and R&B concert series that will visit 18 cities this summer -- including Charlotte on Sept. 2.

The 2010 tour will feature Anthony Hamilton, Kem, Jaheim, Raheem DeVaughn, Abraham McDonald and Hal Linton, with more to be announced.

During its two-decade run -- 1979 through 1999 -- the Budweiser Superfest featured headliners such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, TLC, Parliament and Luther Vandross.

The Charlotte concert will be at Road Runner Mobile Amphitheatre at the N.C. Music Factory and will go on sale Saturday. Details:

ALSO COMING TO THE N.C. MUSIC FACTORY: Corinne Bailey Rae, the British songwriter and guitarist behind blues-pop hits such as "Like a Star," will play the Fillmore Charlotte on Sept. 8.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday and are available at, the Fillmore Charlotte box office, Ticketmaster or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ticket prices add up to fewer shows

I wrote an article for the front page of Thursday’s Observer about the summer concert season and the key factors that have caused a handful of big shows to be canceled here.

Here’s some more information on that topic that I think you’ll agree tells a big part of the story:

Average price of a ticket to see one of the top 100 tours in 1996, according to Pollstar data: $25.81.

Average price of a ticket to see one of the top 100 tours in 2009, according to Pollstar: $62.57.

That’s nearly a 150 percent increase. You can chalk it up to inflation; but not all of it. I mean, I bought my first new car in 1996 for $16,000, and my third new car in 2009 for $28,000. (My current car is nicer than that first one.)

The more telling piece of this story, though, is how – duh – there’s a direct correlation between demand and price:

Price for a cheap seat to see red-hot Justin Bieber on Aug. 8 at Time Warner Cable Arena: $31.50. Ticket sales have been extremely strong.

Price for tickets to see uber-popular Adam Lambert perform last week at the Fillmore Charlotte: about $40. His concert sold out almost immediately after tickets went on sale in May.

Price for good seats to see Santana – which hasn’t had new material in five years – at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre: $81.50. The show was canceled.

Price for a premium seat/VIP package to see Lilith Fair at Verizon: $756. The show was canceled.

The lesson couldn’t be more obvious, but I’ll let Neighborhood Theatre owner Zach McNabb put it in a nutshell: “It’s a simple formula that’s gotten lost amongst the larger bands and promoters: Cheap tickets plus desired artists equals higher attendance, and higher profits.”

What else is there to say?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Top collegians to play at Knights Stadium

The 2010 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will take on the Korean Collegiate National Team at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, S.C., at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, July 16, as part of its summer exhibition schedule.

The Collegiate National Team -- which last visited Fort Mill in 2007 -- is made up of the country's top non-draft-eligible collegiate players. In the past, the team has featured several players who eventually had success in the majors, including Nomar Garciaparra, Ryan Howard, Dustin Pedroia, David Price, Huston Street, Mark Teixeira and Jason Varitek.

Tickets are on sale through the Knights' ticket office (704-357-8071) or at

Friday, July 2, 2010

Jonas Brothers cancel Charlotte show

 July 2 press release:


Jonas Brothers released today an all-new world tour schedule that now includes additional shows in both Latin America and Europe.

Due to recent changes in the Jonas Brothers schedule and the addition of several international tour markets on their upcoming Live In Concert world tour, the shows in Raleigh at Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion (Oct. 16) and Charlotte at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Oct. 17) have been removed from the current routing.

However the Jonas Brothers remain committed to their fans and will look to return to Raleigh and Charlotte as soon as possible.

Tickets for this show will be refunded at point of purchase.  Tickets purchased online or via phones will be automatically refunded.

Check and for further information.

Lilith Tour cancels Charlotte show

July 1, 2010 (New York, NY) –The 2010 Lilith Tour is announcing the cancellation of 10 upcoming shows: Salt Lake City (7/12), Montreal (7/23), Raleigh (8/4), Charlotte (8/6), West Palm Beach (8/10), Tampa (8/11), Birmingham (8/12), Austin (8/14), Houston (8/15) and Dallas (8/16). Refunds are available at point of purchase.

“We are in the midst of one of the most challenging summer concert seasons with many tours being cancelled outright,” says Lilith co-founder Terry McBride. “Everyone involved with the tour would like to apologize to the fans and artists scheduled to play in these markets, and express appreciation for all the support for the festival’s return. Lilith remains the only tour of its kind, and we are confident that fans will be amazed by what each date has to offer.”

In light of these cancellations, some artists who were set to appear later in the tour may be performing in other cities.

Please check for the most up to date information for each city.