By Hayley Phillips
The last few years have been good for Lobby Bar and Bistro. Their recent remodeling job has garnered considerable attention for its sleek, contemporary design, and in November of 2012 they brought on Chef Russell Hays as their executive chef. But it’s been the restaurants creative enthusiasm for tastings, demonstrations and specials that have brought many patrons strolling in through the Lobby’s doors.
“Lobby has always had a nice high-energy atmosphere and with the trends in restaurants I just thought about doing something different, recreating the space without recreating the space,” explains General Manager DePhon Robinson, whose bi-weekly spirits tastings have become a popular way for hotel guests and locals alike to start an evening out on the town. “I’ll go in and put in a different type of table, we’ll do a different set up for the tastings, so when you come in it’s a different experience, it’s almost like a new restaurant…we get the same people that come time and time again because they like that unique renewal of the atmosphere.
Other popular events include the Lobby’s ongoing dinner and a movie special, which includes a complimentary movie ticket with a two-course prix fixe menu, and their beer and champagne tastings. “It was one of those things where I had all men at the beer tasting and predominately women at the bubbles tasting, so for my next one I’m going to do a “bubbles and brew” tasting,” says Robinson, laughing. “You know that saying ‘champagne taste on a beer budget’? Well, we’re just going to put them together.”
And if you chance to visit the Lobby on the rare day where there isn’t some kind of event happening, don’t fret. Just sit down at the floating bar, order a Rosemary Gimlet, and relax to an evening of great dining. After all, despite its busy calendar, the Lobby is first and foremost a place to dine and drink.