LKN wine & food fest, dining out for shelter animals | Food and Dining
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LKN wine & food fest, dining out for shelter animals

dining bugThe North Mecklenburg Rotary has partnered with the Lake Norman Wine and Food Festival this year to plan its 2nd annual event at Kenton Place in Cornelius. This year, three local charities have been selected as the beneficiaries. Also in this column, Alton’s Kitchen and Cocktails and Tenders restaurants in Cornelius host events to benefit the Cornelius Animal Shelter, Alton’s also plans a 5-course wine dinner, Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse unveils new lunch and dinner menus and a gourmet olive oil and vinegar shop, Isabella’s, opens in Mooresville. See details below.


The Rotary Club of North Mecklenburg this year presents the 2nd annual Lake Norman Wine and Food Festival from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 22 at Kenton Place in Cornelius.

“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,” Lake Norman Wine and Food Festival Executive Director Tom Gardner said in a statement.

This year, the festival selected three charities as beneficiaries of the event:

  • Angels and Sparrows
 – Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen, Inc. was established in July 2007 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation to help fight hunger in Huntersville, the adjacent towns of Cornelius and Davidson, as well as in the unincorporated areas of North Mecklenburg County. Serving more than 22,000 meals in its first year, Angels and Sparrows offers visitors a savory lunch Monday–Friday, all year long, to those in need.
  • Hope House Foundation – The mission of The Hope House Foundation is to nurture the well-being, independence, and faith of women and their children in the Lake Norman area by providing shelter, services and support. Situated on four acres in the town of Huntersville, this Lake Norman Area organization provides shelter for adult women and their children. Through Hope House, these women in need are provided social worker services, career support, life skills, and permanent housing alternatives once their stay at Hope House has ended.
  • The Bin
 – Established in 2008, The Bin is a volunteer organization established to provide home goods and appliances for families that need a helping hand.
Through community partnerships and collaboration, The Bin is the area’s first furniture clearinghouse was established to accept donations of gently used items, and redirect them to the needy. The Bin is affiliated with the Ada Jenkins Center (AJC) and First Baptist Church, Huntersville.

The festival will feature the “Wine Reservoir,” for wine tastings, and the “Restaurant Galley,” for individual portions from local restaurants. The event also will include: live music, an area for local micro brews, and an area for cooking demonstrations and wine lectures.

Participating wineries include: Brushy Mountain Winery, Cellar 4201 Vineyard, Davesté Vineyards, Grassy Creek Vineyard, Junius Lindsay Vineyard, Locklear Winery, Native Vines Winery, Round Peak Vineyard, Shadow Springs, Slightly Askew Winery, Southern Charm Winery, Stoney Mountain Vineyards, Thistle Meadow Winery and Woodmill Winery.

“Last year’s event was good, but this year’s will be even better,” North Mecklenburg Rotary Club’s Ken McGrath said in a 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.”

Last year’s Festival brought together four major sponsors, six eateries, 12 merchants, and 13 wineries serving more than 60 wines. More than 1,100 attended the event, which gathered more than 750 pounds of food for local charities. Admission is $22, or $20 with a canned food item.

Prospective attendees, as well as vendors, restaurants, and sponsors can get up-to-the-minute information here.

The Lake Norman Wine and Food Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded to benefit charities in the Lake Norman area.

The North Mecklenburg Rotary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the Lake Norman area charities. It has more than 100 members and is part of Rotary International; the world’s first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are business and community leaders who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto, “Service Above Self.”


Alton’s Kitchen and Cocktails, 19918 North Cove Road, in Jetton Village, hosts a Charles Smith wine dinner Oct. 27 from 7 to 10 p.m. The dinner costs $40 per person, plus tax and tip, and reservations are required. Call 704-655-2727.

The menu is as follows:

  • 1st course: Tuna Poke, Kung Fu Girl Riesling
  • 2nd course: Seattle style salmon, The Velvet Devil Merlot
  • 3rd course: Braised lamb pot, Boom Boom! Syrah
  • 4th course: Steak-n-frites, Chateau Smith Cabernet
  • 5th course: Apple cobbler, Eve Chardonnay


Ladies shop for jewelry at Alton's during a May Pawbrokers party. (Christina Ritchie Rogers /

Pawbrokers founder Roxanne Blake, of Cornelius, is planning her next jewelry party Thursday at Alton’s Kitchen and Cocktails, 19918 North Cove Road, in Jetton Village. Pawbrokers is an organization that raises money for animal rescue through the sale of donated jewelry, and the beneficiary of the next party proceeds will be Lucky Cats, a volunteer adoption/relocation organization working to reduce the number of feral cats in our area.

For the party, which will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 13, Ms. Blake will transform the top floor of Alton’s into a jewelry boutique, using every available surface – tables and even chairs – to display hundreds of necklaces, rings, bracelets, watches and brooches, most on sale for $10 or less. Because the jewelry is donated, Ms. Blake is able to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to help animals.

A May Pawbrokers party at Alton’s raised more than $2400 for Noah’s Arks Rescue, an organization based in Greenwood, S.C. – enough to spay or neuter and vaccinate about 40 animals.


Clean out your jewelry boxes of the jewelry you no longer wear.

Bring it with you the night of the party. You do not need to donate to enjoy the party.
Shop and buy the beautiful jewelry on display while you enjoy great company and Pawbrokers’ signature drink, The Pawtini.

It’s a Pay-It-Forward concept. The jewelry received Oct. 13 will be available for purchase at future parties, providing endless opportunities to raise money for the animals.

If you do not have jewelry to donate, but would like to help, you can donate dog and cat food (cans or bags) to be donated to Lucky Cats.


Tenders restaurant in Cornelius hosts a “Dine for the Animals” event Oct. 29 from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. A portion of the proceeds from lunch sales that day will be donated to the Cornelius Animal Shelter.

Also at the restaurant, patrons will have the chance to meet animals in need of homes. Click here for more information.


Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse, on Main Street in Davidson, this week introduces new lunch and dinner menu items. View them here.


Isabella’s Fine Olive Oil and Vinegars in Mooresville will hold a grand opening celebration Oct. 27 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the store, 591-H River Hwy. The store offers more than 42 flavors of olive oils and vinegars from all over the world, such as: blood orange, wild mushroom and sage, roasted walnut and alfoos mango. All are bottled to order. Visit the website.


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- who has written 35 posts on Food and Dining.

Christina Ritchie Rogers is the assistant director of digital content at Davidson College. She also is the former editor of

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