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Panthers’ Charles Johnson planning uptown restaurant

Panther Charles Johnson posted this photo on Instagram Tuesday of plans for a restaurant at the Charlotte Fire Station No. 4 with the name CJ’s 4th Ward Fire House.
Panther Charles Johnson posted this photo on Instagram Tuesday of plans for a restaurant at the Charlotte Fire Station No. 4 with the name CJ’s 4th Ward Fire House.

Looks like injured Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson is kicking off a restaurant concept in a historic Fourth Ward fire station.

Johnson, who left Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints with a hamstring injury, posted a photo on Instagram Tuesday of plans for a restaurant at the Charlotte Fire Station No. 4 with the name CJ’s 4th Ward Fire House.

Property records show the property at 420 West Fifth St. was purchased in March for $1.6 million by a group called Randy Watson Holdings LLC, a corporation under which Johnson is registered. Randy Watson, a character from the movie “Coming to America,” is also Johnson’s Twitter handle.

Before that, the building was owned by Alfred Pennyworth Co. LLC, a corporation under which Panthers center Ryan Kalil is registered. Kalil bought the property in April 2014 for $1.3 million, records show. Pennyworth is a character from “Batman.”

In the caption of his Instagram photo, Johnson indicated he needed something to keep him busy during the eight weeks he’s on the injured reserve. Johnson will be eligible to practice as early as Nov. 10 and to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.

The two-story Charlotte Fire Station No. 4 was built in the mid-1920s and designed by Charles Christian Hook, who also designed homes in Dilworth and several Charlotte municipal buildings, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission.

The property gained attention last year after former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon pleaded guilty to a federal public corruption charge. During the investigation in 2012 and 2013, FBI agents pretended to be businessmen trying to open a nightclub or bar at the fire station location, according to court documents.

Staff writers Jonathan Jones and Rick Rothacker contributed.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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