New uptown hotel opening in Feb. includes rooftop bar, restaurant with Asheville chef

Rendering of the planned AC Hotel and Residence Inn.
Rendering of the planned AC Hotel and Residence Inn.

The new, dual-branded hotel under construction atop the EpiCentre plans to open in Feb. 2018, the project’s developers said Wednesday.

The AC Hotel and Residence Inn, both in the 22-story tower, will total 300 rooms. The new hotel will also include a rooftop bar, retail space that’s available for lease, a “super suite” to rent and meeting space.

The hotel is the latest to plan an opening in Charlotte, adding to the city’s rapidly growing inventory of uptown hotel rooms. Next to Romare Bearden Park, the Kimpton is opening a 217-room hotel this fall. Already this year, an Embassy Suites, Springhill Suites and boutique hotel named Ivey’s have opened uptown, adding about 500 rooms to the market.

The rooftop bar will be independently run and open to the public. Hotel developer McKibbon Hospitality is partnering with Asheville chef Peter Pollay on the project. He owns the Posana restaurant, a farm-to-table eatery in downtown Asheville. At McKibbon’s AC Hotel in Asheville, Pollay is a consultant on a rooftop tapas bar called Capella on 9. He’ll be the consulting chef for the Charlotte rooftop restaurant, McKibbon said.

The company also named two hospitality veterans to be managers for the Charlotte hotels. Don Lockhart will serve as general manager for the AC Hotel Charlotte City Center and Maxine Elleby will be market director of sales for the AC Hotel and Residence Inn Charlotte City Center.


About 1,000 rooms will be added, including almost 200 at the SpringHill Suites Charlotte Uptown, which opened in April 2017. Springhill Suites boasts a 16th floor rooftop special events space they call the "Hornet's Nest".

“Both Don and Maxine have experience working in the Charlotte hospitality market, and we are confident they will each play a key role in the overall success of the AC Hotel and Residence Inn Charlotte City Center,” said Karl Oates, vice president of lifestyle hotels for McKibbon.

The new hotel tower will be split, with the AC Hotel’s 184 rooms on floors five to 12 and the Residence Inn’s 116 extended-stay suites on floors 14 to 21. A 1,350 square-foot, two-bedroom “super suite” will be on floor 22, adjacent to the bar. Catering to high-rollers, the suite will be available to rent directly from McKibbon.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo