Around Town

It’s official: Google Fiber construction has begun in Charlotte

It’s coming, y’all. Slowly but surely.

Google said Tuesday that it has started construction in Charlotte for Google Fiber, the high-speed Internet and TV service.

Jess George, one of the company’s community impact managers, said construction was taking place in the northern parts of the city and county, including Highland Creek.

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– Google plans to lay approximately 3,200 miles of cable in Charlotte, which is about how far we are from Iceland.

– 19 “service huts” will dispatch the cable to different parts of the city.

– The company still hasn’t announced a timeline for construction or a completion date.

– It also hasn’t announced prices, but in Kansas City and Austin, which already have the service, the choices are: $130 a month for gigabit Internet and TV, $70 a month for just gigabit Internet, and a one-time $300 charge for basic Internet.

– Charlotte is among five areas in the second wave of the Fiber rollout, which also includes Raleigh and Durham.

– This follows AT&T’s launch of its one-gigabit Internet service in Charlotte, though it’s not available in all neighborhoods. Time Warner Cable plans to release its high-speed service later this summer.

Three companies competing with high-speed internet service = a win for Charlotte.

More beer options in South End

The Brass Tap is now open at 1440 S. Tryon St., right at the Summit Avenue intersection. 

Thank you everyone who visited us on our first official day of being open for business! See you tomorrow! #cltbeer #craftbeer #drinklocal #thebrasstap #charlotte #ncbeer #ncfood #instafood #instabeer #southendclt #thebrasstapclt

A photo posted by The Brass Tap – South End (@thebrasstapsouthend) on Jun 22, 2015 at 8:57pm PDT

The bar has 70 taps, half of which are either from Charlotte or N.C., so it’s not hard to #drinklocal.

Tampa-based franchisee Vik Patel said the concept is like an “upscale version of World of Beer” and will feature “upscale bar food,” like flat breads and sliders. Sounds fancy.

There’s also a covered patio, for all your outdoor drinking needs.

Less beer on Park Road

After more than 30 years of business, Mike’s Discount Beverages is closing.

The store, on Park Road near Woodlawn, will be replaced by a Pasta & Provisions. Mike’s plans to close by the end of June, owner Parviz Shahdad told the Charlotte Business Journal.

Shahdad told the Observer that the store could relocate, possibly to downtown Pineville.

Items from the store were being sold in an online auction, which ran through 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Fun fact: Mike Brawley opened the business in 1974 and sold it to Shahdad in 1987. Brawley’s son, Michael, opened Brawley’s Beverage right across the street in 2003.

Why’s it gotta be so complicated? 

It may be hard to believe considering all of the apartment complexes and mixed-use developments popping up all over the city, but the process to develop land in Charlotte is perceived by some to be too slow and complex.

Expect this to be an issue in the upcoming mayoral election.

One of the Republican candidates, Scott Stone, is already making it an issue with a letter he sent to Mecklenburg and Charlotte managers.

Here’s how Stone would reform the system:

– Combine city and county computer systems.

– Assign a staffer to guide large projects through the planning and permitting process.

– Combine the city and county staffs that review plans into one organization.

– Assign one senior staff member to oversee development.

Stone’s not the first to say something like this; Mayor Dan Clodfelter also supports streamlining the system.

Hey, something Democrats and Republicans can agree on!

Photo courtesy of Google

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