Are you always hungry like I am? Maybe it’s because I’m always writing about food. My mouth is watering after coming up with this Friday Five, but I’m not supposed to touch my mouth.

No. 1

Countdown to Pancake Day. It’s Concord’s holiday — Pancake Day at the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County. It will be Thursday, March 19, from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. It is the 63rd annual event. Remember it’s always the third Thursday in March.

Originated by the Kiwanis Club in 1947, Pancake Day is one of Concord’s biggest social events of the year. Dedicated board members, staffers and volunteers have spent the third Thursday in March cooking pancakes and sausage for more than 5,000 hungry customers. S&D Coffee, milk, Cheerwine and Sun Drop are all included in this long-standing Concord tradition.

Thanks to generous sponsors and the community at large, Pancake Day is one of the club’s biggest fundraisers, bringing in over $95,000 each year. These much needed funds provide children and families with affordable programs and opportunities that will change their lives and shape their futures.

Tickets are $8 each and can be purchased at the Club Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m. or at the door the day of the event. One serving per ticket; no takeout orders. For more information, call 704-721-2582, ext. 125.

No. 2

New restaurant in Afton Village. It didn’t take long for a new restaurant to open in the spot vacated by Joe’s Sports Bar. Village Corner Comfort Restaurant and Bar is already open. It’s over there near the FastMed, near the West Cabarrus YMCA. The address is 360 Exchange St., Suite 102, Concord.

The Village Corner Facebook is filled with good-looking food and drinks: smoked whole chicken with savory dry rub; biscuits and gravy made with local sausage; seasonal fruit cobbler; and Cherry Lemon Sundrop, just to name a few.

You see why I’m hungry. They don’t have a menu posted yet on the restaurant’s website, but it’s said to be coming soon. The site is

Joe’s Sports Bar was around for several years, but I only ate there one time. There was so much cigarette smoke that I didn’t go back. That probably tells you how long it’s been. Steph Curry was on the TV playing for the Davidson Wildcats. Please don’t smoke.

No. 3

Wish list for vacant stores. Despite the booming economy here in Cabarrus County, there are a few empty retail buildings around. The Best Buy at Afton Ridge closed before the Christmas shopping season. The Dress Barn, in the same building, had closed several months before.

Someone posted a poll on the page asking whether people would like a grocery type store, an entertainment venue or something else in the old Best Buy. After 778 votes, 44 percent said grocery, 42 percent picked entertainment and 14 percent wanted something else.

I picked the grocery option. Trader Joe’s seemed to be the most popular grocery chain mentioned in the comments. Field of Greens was mentioned. That’s a new one on me, but apparently there’s one in Mooresville.

Several people mentioned craft and fabric stores: Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and I know of at least one person at my house who wants a Joann’s. It’s a shame we don’t have a Piece Goods.

Another opening is the vacated EarthFare at Christenbury Corners. It would seem a grocery store would be good for that location. How about a Whole Foods or maybe a Trader Joe’s there? The nearest Trader Joe’s is off Mallard Creek over near Run for Your Life.

We went into EarthFare the Saturday before it closed. It was really sad to see the empty shelves.

No. 4

Coronavirus mania continues. As I told you last week, wash your hands and stay home if you are sick. The Cabarrus Health Alliance repeats that advice in its latest press release. No cases of the virus have been reported in Cabarrus County. The only case in North Carolina is in Wake County, and that person had visited a health care facility in Washington state where people were sick with the coronavirus.

Health experts are saying don’t touch your face or mouth. That’s not easy to do. The Washington Post posted a video from the news conference where this advice was given. The officials repeatedly touched their mouth, nose and head as they gave the information.

Let’s stop shaking hands and go light on the hugs, too. The late Bob Raiford always hated shaking hands and tried to avoid it as much as possible. His gripe with it was the needless spreading of germs.

Let’s move back to a lighter topic. Dang, I just heard the circulation guy cough. I’m closing the door.

No. 5

Shameless plug — let me help you help me. Get your digital subscription for the Independent Tribune right here. Let me know if I can sign you up. BH Media is giving fabulous prizes to employees who sell the most subscriptions.

I wouldn’t mind having a 50-inch TV. Really, I would like to get you to subscribe whether I get the TV or not. But the TV would be nice.

The latest digital special we have is $3 for 13 weeks and $5.42 per month after that. Let me know if I can help you. I could be well on my way to a new TV, and you could have a seemingly endless stream of news and sports from our area.

To those of you who already subscribe (print or digital), thank you!

If you’ve got a Friday Five, story suggestion or something I can rant about, email