The Lobby, a cocktail lounge and gift shop, is the newest resident at Refuge in Plaza Midwood

The Lobby, a cocktail lounge and gift shop, is the newest resident at Refuge in Plaza Midwood
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The Lobby opened at Plaza Midwood’s Hotel Refuge last week. It’s the newest business to have a residency inside the boutique hotel.

A cocktail bar and gift shop, the hybrid space is a collaboration between Camp North End retailers Black Moth Bars and Grow Charlotte. 

Why it matters: Hotel Refuge often hosts small businesses in its lobby in an effort to help pilot new concepts.

  • Cocktail bar Humbug, for example, held a residency at Refuge until this January. They’re relocating to an expanded space in Villa Heights this spring, Axios’ Emma Way previously reported.

Zoom out: The idea is similar for The Lobby. Business owners Rachel Hopkins of Black Moth and Jules Zanoni of Grow plan to use its temporary residency as research and development for their two larger ongoing projects, Stay Inn (an upscale specialty market) and Room Service (a boutique cocktail lounge).

  • They’re aiming to open both Stay Inn and Room Service in Camp North End this spring.

Go deeper: New cocktail lounge and specialty market to open in Camp North End next year

Details: The Lobby will offer handcrafted cocktails curated by Black Moth, plus retail from Grow, including plants, plant accessories, home goods and other gifts. For now, they’re only offering drink service, but the retail is set to start up within the coming weeks.

The Lobby’s interior, plus a peek at the retail you can expect to find. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

The menu: The Lobby offers a full bar, plus eight specialty cocktails curated by Hopkins.
  • We tried Final Girl (tequila, elderflower, grapefruit, honey, orange bitters, lime, hop water, $14) and Backwater (dirty vodka, brine, marinated olive, Graza oil, $14 — add blue cheese olives for $1).

The Lobby’s Final Girl cocktail ($14). Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

The Backwater cocktail is topped with the viral Graza olive oil. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

What’s next: Hopkins and Zanoni plan to add coffee, pastries and other light bites to the menu. They’re also planning to eventually open in the mornings, so visitors can use the space as a coffee shop/co-working environment.

  • The Lobby is open for drinks at 1101 Central Ave Unit B.  (inside Hotel Refuge).
  • Their current hours are Wednesday-Thursday 4-10pm, Friday-Saturday 4pm-midnight and Sunday 1-9pm.

    Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

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