Pictured above: A rare Chinese Imperial vase from the collection of Sarah Belk Gambrell fetched a whopping $2.45 million at auction — a figure far higher than its pre-sale estimate of $100,000-$300,000. At just under 5 inches tall, the rare falangcai vase adorned with a garden scene featuring two women and a child is a product of the Qianlong Emperor’s imperial workshop. Gambrell, the Belk department-store heiress and esteemed philanthropist who died last year at 102, was an avid collector of European and Asian porcelain. The auction was conducted by New York City-based Doyle.
The Ballantyne Hotel was named No. 2 Hotel in the South by Conde Nast Traveler’s 2021 Reader’s Choice awards. The 208-room hotel — the only Charlotte property on the list — earned high marks for its service, spa and dining options. “If you took a gentleman’s library and married it with a little Hollywood Regency glamour, you’d have the rooms and suites at The Ballantyne,” the report says. The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky., earned the top spot on the list of 25.
food + drink
Hi-Wire Brewing plans to open a brewery and taproom at 330 W. Tremont Ave. in South End in spring 2022, its ninth location. The space will include two separate bars and a beer garden, with seating for 300 people. Hi-Wire was founded in Asheville in 2013 — other taprooms are in Durham, Wilmington, Knoxville, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky.
The Batch House has reopened at 901 Berryhill Rd. in west Charlotte. The popular bakeshop was forced to close last year after its Wesley Heights location flooded.
The owners of Kindred in Davidson plan to open Milkbread, a counter-service cafe, at the former Dairy Queen spot in Plaza Midwood. Expect crispy chicken sandwiches, bowls and salads, and milkbread doughnuts, along with coffee, wine and beer.
Betty by Moxie Mercantile, a children’s and women’s apparel store, opened last month at 1219 Thomas Ave. in Plaza Midwood. The store name is inspired by Betty Ziegler Mims, the former owner of Bride’s House of Originals, which was housed in Moxie’s Commonwealth Avenue location and closed in 2014 after 50 years.
Menswear brand Psycho Bunny and apparel retailer Scotch & Soda are opening soon at SouthPark Mall.
USA Field Hockey chose the Queens University of Charlotte Sports Complex at Marion Diehl Park as the new temporary training facility for the U.S. women’s national team. The team is currently training for the 2022 Pan American Cup, which will take place in Santiago, Chile, Jan. 20-30.