• Thirsty Beaver owner: Neighbor built fence around property to 'run us out'

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    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The inside of the Thirsty Beaver is full of vintage signs -- a classic local bar.

    On the outside, it now looks more like a prison yard.

    "I believe he's trying to run us out," said owner Mark Wilson.

    Wilson is referring to John Hatcher, who owns the land surrounding the bar.

    He said Hatcher took away his parking a few weeks ago, then had a fence put up along the property line.

    Eyewitness News took a walk along the side of the building, where the fence was so close to the rear door, it can't open.

    "What if there was a fire?" asked Eyewitness News.

    "It would be very dangerous," Wilson said.

    Wilson believes Hatcher is trying to put him out of business so the person who owns the small chunk of land will sell.

    "To buy this chunk of land he doesn't own and turn it into some sort of commercial development," Wilson said.

    Hatcher had no comment when Channel 9 called.

    The situation points to a bigger problem in areas like Plaza Midwood and NoDa, which have a charm all their own.

    "The restaurants are different," Wilson said. "They have some nice vintage stores. There is a lot of diversity here."

    Diversity some worry will be lost to big developers and chain stores.

    "It's not about us in particular. It's more about this neighborhood," Wilson said.

    Wilson said he'll fight to stay open and keep diversity there. As for the blocked door, the Charlotte Fire Department said it's not a violation of the fire code, because it's not marked as an exit.

    However, officials spoke with Hatcher, who they say agreed to put a gate there so employees can get in and out.


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