Save the Penguin

Share your voice, spread the word, show your support and keep the soul of a Charlotte landmark alive.

What’s happening to the Penguin?

The Penguin Drive-In as we know it will only be a fond memory as of October 24.

Current owners Brian Rowe and Jimmy King are being forced out by Ballentine Family Investments – the owners of both the building where the Penguin resides and the iconic name – when their lease expires at the end of the month.

Why it’s wrong

The Penguin is more than a favorite neighborhood dive. It’s a Charlotte landmark. It’s the very embodiment of the eclectic Plaza Midwood community it serves.

It is rare to drive by the Penguin and not see a line extending down the sidewalk as diners wait in eager anticipation of the Full-blown Hemi, fried pickles, hand-dipped corn dogs and grilled homemade pimento cheese.

Now this faithful tribe of fans and fanatics will be left without a home, as Ballentine Family Investments looks to cash in on the popularity of a name that Brian and Jimmy worked for a decade to build. Their plans are to restructure and franchise the Penguin, hoping to replicate the success of the one-of-a-kind original.

What can be done?

Ballantine Family Investments might own the building and the name, but they don’t own the spirit of the Penguin.

We can still keep the soul of the Penguin alive!

  1. Follow Brian Rowe and Jimmy King to The Diamond, their new restaurant which will open in October just around the corner from the Penguin.

  2. Share this page with your friends on Facebook and Twitter so everyone knows the wrongs that have been done and the opportunity that exists to help make it right.

  3. Sound off below to show your support for Brian and Jimmy.

Let’s carry the torch for authentic local culture and make The Diamond a great success!


Sound Off


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