Two celebrated mixologists, new stirred cocktails and an expanded menu are adding to a flourishing lobby experience at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. Unveiled earlier this year, K Lounge has become a new hub of activity for the lobby, and the setting has even more news to share this month.
Newly manning the bar at K Lounge is Shane Small, a North Carolina native and celebrated area mixologist. Small learned his trade at several bars across Charlotte, most notably Soul Gastrolounge—a leading force in the city’s beverage scene. During his ten years as a Charlotte bartender, Small crossed paths with Bob Peters, now Creative Director of Bar Operations for The Ritz-Carlton and head mixologist for the hotel’s 15th-floor Punch Room. Peters became an early mentor to Small, helping to mold him into the respected mixologist he has become today. Together, the Bob-and-Shane team now design memorable cocktails for guests visiting K Lounge.
As for the cocktail offering itself, further specialties have been introduced, supplementing the bar’s existing flask and smoked drink selections and broad cocktail menu. Three of the new libations are The Signature, presented singly or in a flask for two and created with Maker’s Mark, fresh cranberry, ginger syrup and Hellfire Bitters; the Breakfast of Champions made with dark rum, Damn Fine coffee liqueur and cereal milk; and It’s Good to See You, featuring Cardinal Gin, Plymouth Sloe Gin, Hop Drop ‘n Roll IPA and mint syrup. The lobby bar has also added weekend morning alcohol service from 10 a.m., just recently unveiling its hearty Bloody Mary Beverage Buffet for Saturday and Sunday mornings/early afternoons.
The lounge food menu has expanded as well, with selections now ranging from Tuna Tartare and Smoked Brisket Flatbread to Ajillo Shrimp and Watercress/Pea Tendril Salad. This international menu is designed to serve an array of tastes and diets, ensuring that lobby guests always have irresistible dining options to enjoy during a bar visit.
Also new to the hotel lobby experience, Hidden Wine has added cheese to its retail offering of European, American and sparkling wines and champagne. Hidden Wine boutique opened last year and allows visitors to purchase and then enjoy their preferred wine with a meal or in their guest room. In its latest news, Hidden Wine sells exquisite cheeses as well, with a special Cheese Humidor housing several award-winning selections from Virginia, Georgia, Utah, and Vermont — including Barely Buzzed (hand-rubbed with espresso and lavender), Point Reyes Blue, and Alpine-inspired Mountaineer. The premium cheeses are sold by the pound or available in wine and cheese pairings presented in the Hidden Wine tasting area Saturdays from 2 to 10 p.m. Hidden Wine also recently launched a new Wine Blending Experience, and the offering has become a very popular activity among couples and small groups.