The Marriott City Center has set a new standard for Uptown. Check out their new coffee, restaurant and bar spaces

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Opening today, the new bar, restaurant and coffee shop at the Marriott have absolutely changed what it means to be “in a hotel.”

After months of renovations and planning, the Marriott City Center is ready to debut its new signature concepts. There are three distinct spaces: Coco and the Director, Stoke Bar, Stoke Restaurant.

Let’s cover each space individually.

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Coco and the Director

Starting at the coffee shop, let’s walk through what a game changer this is. The recently opened Not Just Coffee at Packard Place has shown Charlotte what it means to be a truly big city coffee shop. Coco has taken it up a notch.

When you walk in, you are greeted by a gigantic space with 30+ foot ceilings, stadium seating and everything you’d need from a coffee shop. Meeting space, refreshments and they even went the extra mile to include space for local vendors to sell knickknacks and local sodas.

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Again, I am at a loss for words and Coco and the Director is just a space that needs to be seen to be believed.

Stoke Restaurant

Next let’s move over to Stoke Restaurant. As previously discussed, Chris Coleman (formerly of the Asbury and McNinch House) has crafted a menu so approachable and creative it’s hard to look past it. The space itself is quite inviting and will surely add a new layer of cuisine to the ever growing and evolving Charlotte food scene.

More than just a “hotel restaurant,” the space features an amazing open kitchen, a wood burning oven and Chris himself explaining dishes, conducting the symphony of chefs and ensuring every guest gets the top notch meal they expect.

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Stoke Bar

Last, but not least, we head to Stoke Bar, my personal favorite. Headed up by Todd Bayley, the cocktail menu is something which has not been seen in Charlotte.

Charlotte has an exploding cocktail scene right now and I could not be happier. Places like The Cellar, The Punch Room, 204 North, Cotton Room, etc., have all added a much needed layer of depth to Charlotte’s nightlife scene. Stoke Bar is taking it one step further by adding some creative new concepts. From cocktails on tap to “pressed” (just go and check these out) cocktails, the menu is not only creative but incredibly affordable.

Stoke Bar also has local beers on tap and it’s just amazing to think about the fact that the Marriott will have guests from all over the world staying there that will be able to go downstairs and try a great local beer from NoDa or Wooden Robot, among others.

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These three spaces combine to make quite an experience and the craziest thing is you never feel like you are in a hotel.

One thing I will give major props to the folks at Marriott for is the pure recognition that this space (located at the most important intersection in Uptown) deserves so much more than just another “hotel bar and restaurant.” This is absolutely a place for locals to enjoy as well as hotel guests.

This hotel will be Marriott’s “baseline” for all future hotels and it’s just amazing they chose Charlotte of all places to be the guinea pig — quite remarkable. Coco and the Director, Stoke and Stoke Bar are all open now so don’t just take my word for it, head in there and see for yourself.

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Jason Thomas
| @jasonthomasclt |
Development expert since 2015.