Stoke Restaurant, Stoke Bar, Coco and the Director, it’s a sweet new thing

By Lindsay Kosma

August 18, 2016

Though they share a name, the Stoke Restaurant and Bar are held in two distinct but conjoined spaces on the bottom floor of the Center City Marriott in Charlotte, NC. The bar area, which is dressed with warm leather sofas and copper finishes, sits overlooking the dining area, which is a bit more airy with white granite tabletops. The two entities collaborate, the chef (Chris Coleman) may inspire a drink or be inspired to create a dish based on something the mixologist (Todd Bayley) concocted. The shared theme between them can be termed as ‘Southern crafted comfort’ with a twist of inspired innovation. 

Stoke Restaurant photo by Jonathan Cooper

With a sharp focus on the community, Stoke Restaurant and Bar work together with North and South Carolina farmers, breweries, and distilleries to bring local and fresh ingredients to your table. In an effort to really engage and educate the staff, Stoke actually invites these artisans out of the community and into the restaurant to showcase their offerings and transfer knowledge of their companies and practices to bartenders, servers, and even the chef. If you ask any bartender about the drinks they have on tap, they can do much more than tell you how they taste, but rather about where they came from and the philosophy behind their making. And they are excited to do so. This little extra effort really elevates the authenticity of the experience for the guest.

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Stoke Bar photo by Kurt Shackelford

The communal mentality is truly threaded throughout the experience. The growing Charlotte food-focused culture has much to be excited about with this addition.

Coco and the Director

So who is Coco? If you don’t know yet you are about to as this will be the first-of-its-kind coffee shop in Charlotte that everyone is talking about. The name ‘Coco’ is a shortened representation of the words ‘collaborate’ and ‘coffee’ and any other ‘co’ word you can think of. It is up to you, really, because you, the customer, are the ‘Director.’ If the name wasn’t already the coolest, wait until you see the space that is a lofty and expressive area housed in light wood and soft light. As you walk past the winding bar you will pass shelves of mostly local goods that are available for purchase. After you decide what to order ( I recommend a soy latte with brown sugar ) and venture to find your seat, you have the choice between traditional cafe tables or stadium-like seating covered in comfy pillows and beanbags. You read that correctly. There are a myriad of good reasons to check out Coco and the Director, from exotic coffee treats to the unique and expressive environment, so take your pick- and do it before everyone else finds out about it!

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Coco and the Director photo by Jonathan Cooper

When can I visit?

Soft opening is Thursday, August 18 but no reservations will be accepted.

(Stoke) Beginning Friday, August 19th, you may begin making reservations by calling 704-353-6005. Reservations via Opentable will be possible September 1st.

Where do I park?

Parking will be validated for Stoke guests. (For Coco and the Director best option is street parking or valet.)

More photos of Stoke Restaurant and Stoke Bar

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Stoke Restaurant photo by Jonathan Cooper
Stoke - clture
Stoke Restaurant photo by Jonathan Cooper
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Stoke Restaurant private dining room. Photo by Jonathan Cooper
Stoke- clture
NC crab over char grilled watermelon steak with benne seeds. Photo Kurt Shackelford
Stoke - Beech wood-burning oven
Beech wood-burning oven. Photo by Kurt Shackelford
Stoke bar - clture
Stoke Bar photo by Kurt Shackelford
Chef Chris Coleman photo by Kurt Shackelford
Head Bartender Todd Bayley. Photo by Kurt Shackelford
Pork Shank over Cornbread Toastada. Photo by Jonathan Cooper

More photos of Coco and the Director 

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Stadium-like seating covered in comfy pillows and beanbags at Coco and the Director. Photo by Kurt Shackelford
Photo by Jonathan Cooper
Photo by Jonathan Cooper
Photo by Kurt Shackelford

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