Wine, food festival to team with Rotary Club

The nonprofit Lake Norman Wine and Food Festival will partner with the North Mecklenburg Rotary Club on its second annual event scheduled for Oct. 22 at the Kenton Place retail center, off West Catawba Avenue.

"By teaming up with an organization that has such a large and active membership, I have no doubt that this year, we'll be able to do even more for our local charities," festival chairman V. Tom Gardner said in a statement to area media.

"Last year's event was good, but this year's will be even better," North Mecklenburg Rotarian Ken McGrath said in the statement . "We each bring our own unique strengths to this partnership that will strengthen the entire event. With our manpower and business connections and the festival's experience, this year's event will be an outstanding success."

The 2011 festival will again include the Wine Reservoir for wine tastings and Restaurant Galley where local restaurants serve individual portions.

Based on logistics and feedback from companies and merchants, the festival has been reduced to one day and plans to add live music and a small area for local micro brews, Gardner said.

Last year's festival had four major sponsors, six eateries, a dozen merchants and 13 wineries serving about 60 wines. The festival drew about 1,100 attendees and raised about 750 pounds of food for local charities.

Prospective attendees, as well as vendors, restaurants and sponsors can find festival updates at

Several lake area restaurants close

Three Cornelius restaurants and one in Mooresville closed recently after encountering financial problems.

The Observer's Lake Norman News section reported Aug. 10 on the closing of Latitude 36 Raw Bar and Grille after only five months in the former Midtown Sundries at Lake Norman space overlooking the lake at the end of Harborside Drive. The restaurant never built the clientele that Midtown Sundries had in its heyday years ago.

Also closing were Kylie's Sports Bar and Grill on Statesville Road (U.S. 21), which had trouble drawing patrons outside of NFL season; and Marrakesh, a Moroccan and Mediterranean cuisine restaurant that lasted less than two weeks in the Shops on the Green retail center. Efforts by the Observer to reach the owners were unsuccessful.

In Mooresville, VJ Cappa's Italian Steakhouse, beside Vinnie's Sardine Grill and Raw Bar on Williamson Road closed the weekend of Aug. 6-7. The restaurant drew decent crowds but was forced to close after a family member of the owners pulled his financial backing, a local banker familiar with the closing said. VJ Cappa's opened in April.

Lake Norman Beer Festival set for Sept. 17

The 2011 Lake Norman Beer Festival will showcase craft beers from local, national and international brewers from noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Galway Hooker Restaurant and Irish Pub, 17044 Kenton Drive.

Tickets are $25 and are available at Tickets also will be available at the door on the day of the event. Part of the proceeds will benefit the USO of North Carolina.

Staff Writer Mark Washburn and Correspondent Dave Vieser contributed.