Nov. 3--Fat City Deli is a wonderfully out-of-place kind of place in white- shirted Charlotte, with everything its fans say Charlotte sorely lacks: grit, edge, character and random lunacy. The scene of one of Charlotte's most lively late-night salons, Fat City is at the heart of a mill neighborhood best known for its Friday Gallery Crawl. All of it is an outgrowth of its lunatic owner, K.C. Terry, a guy with a lot of nerve and no fear.
Here's Terry on a recent Saturday, standing in front of his North Davidson Street building in his short-order cook's paper hat, belly hanging over his short white apron.
"This isn't one of those damn biker bars," he barks at three guys approaching on mountain bikes. Then he proudly shows them his Halloween preparations: "See all the blood I've been gushing off the top of the building?"
That's vintage Terry, a high-energy entrepreneur who's been yelling and barking in the neighborhood for years, a white gay man who says he should have been a 300-pound black woman ("Heads would roll, buddy") and believes women should control the country's banking and credit system.
Terry is the animating spirit of Fat City, whose bar and purple- tented chaotic lot are a nonstop work of performance art: the smiling Yogi Bear, the bathtub plants, the woodpiles, the blue plastic hairdresser's chair and the junk piles in the little urban amphitheater out back, where many a band has wailed late into the night and Seat of Our Pants Players finished its second theatrical season.