By Emily Farrington Smith
Southern cooking at United House of Prayer for All People
2321 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte, NC
Don’t let the name fool you; while the United House of Prayer for All People in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood is indeed a place of worship for everyone, it’s also home to one of Charlotte’s best-kept culinary secrets—a Southern kitchen and eatery dishing up irresistible down-home fare. Dine-in and carry-out options are available. Think flavorful ribs, wings and pork chops, and classic Southern sides, like macaroni and cheese, okra and succotash. Or treat your sweet tooth to any number of amazing desserts, like sweet potato pie or strawberry poundcake. An average lunch with a drink runs around $10, and you’ll likely end up with enough leftovers to last through dinner. Bonus? Beloved Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton likes to frequent the United House of Prayer. There’s probably no better way to spend time in the 28216 than breaking bread with a record breaker.
Neighborhood: Lincoln Heights
Outdoor fun at Hornet’s Nest Park
6301 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte, NC
Hornet’s Nest Park is ideal for an afternoon spent beneath the summer sunshine. The 140-acre park boasts a softball field complex, an 18-hole disc golf course, lighted tennis courts, horseshoe pits, two playgrounds, basketball and sand volleyball courts, and a unique feature in the Charlotte area—a 1,150-foot regulation BMX (Bicycle Motocross) track. The park frequently hosts BMX tournaments on Saturdays. BMX racing is currently the fastest growing youth sport in the nation and was recently added to the family of Olympic sports. Hornet’s Nest BMX offers monitored open practice sessions and even open clinics to learn the basics. View the entire teaching and competition schedule at ncbmx.com. And thanks to an abundance of catfish and a picturesque pond that beckons your bait and pole, Hornet’s Nest is also one of the city’s famed fishing holes.
Neighborhood: Beatties Ford
Campus life and history at Johnson C. Smith University
100 Beatties Ford Rd., Charlotte, NC
If you love history and academia, a visit to the historic campus of Johnson C. Smith University is in order. Located in the Biddleville neighborhood, the school was actually first called Biddle Memorial Institute upon its inception in 1867 and didn’t adopt the Johnson C. Smith name until the early 1920s. Throughout its storied history, the school’s alumni have gone on to become judges, foreign ambassadors, famous journalists and professional athletes. Among them are Frederick Clinton Branch, the first African-American officer of the United States Marine Corps, and NBA star Rasheed Wallace. The easily walkable 105-acre campus is filled with beautiful architecture, including Biddle Memorial Hall, which was built in 1884 and is the oldest surviving building on campus. In 1975, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Cap off your day in the 28216 by catching any number of campus sporting events and cheering on the JCSU Golden Bulls.
This article ran in the July 2016 issue of Happenings Magazine.