Charlotte, North Carolina (AP) The animals in the city are slowly moving into the mainstream, and they’re happy to be there.
Animals are making their way from the woods, past the restaurants, to the parks and beaches and, eventually, to restaurants, bars and theaters.
It’s happening at restaurants, cafes and bars across Charlotte, the latest sign that the city is embracing its diverse and growing population.
The animals are taking over.
A recent trend has been the use of video game-like environments.
And, while the new year is still a busy time for restaurants, they are gearing up to cater to an increasingly hungry customer base.
“It’s been a really positive experience, but we still need to continue to grow,” said John Buechele, president of The Animal Crossing Club, a non-profit that helps promote animals.
“We’re always looking for ways to do better, but now we’re starting to see the restaurants that are making the most of their opportunities.”
The new year brings a host of changes, including the adoption of a new pet policy that includes more stringent rules about the behavior and ownership of pets.
But there’s another reason that restaurants are taking notice: animal sounds.
The city’s first-ever Animal Sounds Festival took place last month and featured performances by local artists, including “Dolly the Fox” and “Cinderella.”
It was the city’s largest non-commercial event in years.
Charlotte Animal Sound Festival in 2016.
Buechel said the festival was a great way to give the city a boost.
The new pet law allows for more than just a leash.
The ordinance requires dogs to be on a leash of no more than three feet, but the city doesn’t require a dog to be leashed.
Boeing said it is moving its headquarters from Charlotte to the U.S. next year, and it will be moving to Charlotte as well, moving its employees to the city and putting new restaurants in the area.
The City Council approved a new dog policy that would make it illegal to intentionally hurt, harass or otherwise threaten an animal or a person with a weapon, unless the animal or person is engaged in a game of skill, sports or entertainment, according to the Charlotte Observer.
Budweiser, which owns and operates several restaurants in Charlotte, has been making changes to its menu and its operations since the new pet ordinance took effect.
Bieber, the owner of The Dog House restaurant, said the changes were about making sure he is following the law.
“You have to be able to walk your dog on a two-legged leash, and you have to have a proper leash,” he said.
“The fact that they’re making changes and keeping the ordinance in place, I think it’s going to be very beneficial.”
Buechle, the Charlotte Animal Sounds founder, said that the ordinance will make the city more appealing to a younger, more urban population, which is often looking for an alternative to downtown.
“When I was in high school, I was looking for a job,” he recalled.
“I was just a kid trying to make a living, and I wanted to get into the restaurant business.”
The restaurant has expanded to three more locations and is opening another location in nearby Charlotte Heights.
“Our next restaurant is going to have an outdoor patio, so that’s going a long way to help our business,” Buechles said.