This company is moving to uptown - and bringing a French brasserie and coffee shop

300 South Tryon at night, lit up, center.
300 South Tryon at night, lit up, center.

A food service company is moving its headquarters to the new 300 South Tryon office building in uptown Charlotte, with plans to open a French brasserie and a coffee shop with a walk-up window on the ground floor.

The unusual double relocation – corporate offices and a pair of upscale eateries from the same company – will put Elior North America on uptown’s busiest street. The company is moving from its current location off West Tyvola Road, in the Water Ridge office park.

“We saw this as an opportunity for us to really change our perspective and be right in the heart of Charlotte,” said CEO Brian Poplin. In The company is leasing 13,000 feet on the building’s fourth floor, where more than 40 corporate workers will be located. The two restaurants will both be on the ground floor.

The bigger restaurant will be a French brasserie, designed with private dining areas to make it an ideal business lunch location, Poplin said. The restaurant, an homage to Elior North America’s French parent company, will be strongly inspired by traditional French dishes, he said.

“It has to be authentic,” said Poplin. “That’s really the basis for both the bar as well as the restaurant.”

BrianPoplin1637-Credit-Patrick Gaillardin
Brian Poplin Patrick Gaillardin Patrick Gaillardin

Design for the restaurant is underway, and Poplin said it should be open in spring 2018. The company is still kicking around names for the spot.

The second concept Elior North America is bringing to 300 South Tryon: An upscale coffee shop that should be open in the fall. Poplin said it will face the linear park that’s under construction running along Third Street. The 2,000 square-foot shop will include a walk-up window for customers to order from outside.

“It is barista-focused, higher end,” said Poplin. “This is really for the coffee connoisseur.”

The restaurants are expected to employ up to 100 people, Poplin said.

Anchored by financial services firm Barings, the 25-story office building is planning to open this summer. An adjacent and connected hotel, Kimpton Tryon Park, is targeting a fall opening date.

Rendering of Kimpton Tryon Park exterior. Courtesy Kimpton.

Elior North America is a collective of 16 regional food service organizations and operates under different brand names to widely varying institutions and businesses. In Charlotte, Aladdin provides food serve to schools including Charlotte Country Day School, while Summit provides food services at the Gaston County Jail. Both fall under the Elior umbrella.

Poplin said the office building’s proximity to amenities such as the hotel and Romare Bearden Park made it attractive.

“We thought it was a great opportunity as an organization to help recruit and retain the best talent,” said Poplin. “I think of Tryon Street as the Park Avenue of Charlotte.”

Michael Smith, CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, said the restaurants will bridge an area of uptown that didn’t used to be known for a lively street life.

“Their street-level restaurant and coffee shop concepts will animate the park promenade, bridging Romare Bearden Park to Tryon Street,” said Smith.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo