Prior to 2015, the two bars at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte – that’d be its super-originally-named Lobby Lounge and its 15th-floor wine bar Urban Sip – didn’t exactly scream HOTSPOT. Then that winter, The Ritz-Carlton pulled the trigger on arguably the best hire it’s ever made, luring “head mixologist” Bob Peters away from Pisces Sushi at The Metropolitan in midtown so he could help open The Punch Room (which would replace Urban Sip, a spot that never managed to generate any real buzz). He raised drink-making to a high form of art by using cold smokers, hand-held carbonators, and fire; he had people lining up to get in on weekend nights; and he triggered a craft cocktail craze that seems to have spread to almost every corner of Charlotte.
Will Kinship set new standard for hotel lobby bars?
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