by Brian Clarey
It came to me in Miami, at a party in South Beach. Me and a couple hundred alt-weekly journalists filled the back lot of the Raleigh Hotel, one of a string of high-end boutique hotels on this stretch of the island. Ours had a small parlor off the lobby, a bar the size of a double walk-in cooler and a tiny, chi-chi, small-plates café inside. But the best part was the pool, which looked like something out of 1940s Hollywood (check it out for yourself at raleighhotel.com). And people were digging it. This is happening all over the country. In New York City they’re partying at the Jane and the Gansevoort. New Orleans has the Columns. In Laguna Beach, Calif., locals hang on the rooftop lounge of la Casa del Camino. Then it struck me. We have at least one downtown boutique hotel in the Triad: the Biltmore, near the corner of Greene and Washington streets. I think there’s room for a small, high-quality nightspot like this in our cities. I’m talking to you, Milton Kern.