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Dewberry Hotel's request for a do-over in dispute over rooftop bar denied

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An October decision by the S.C. Court of Appeals sided with the city in a dispute between Charleston and a hotel, The Dewberry, over its rooftop bar. The hotel filed a request for a re-hearing in early November. That request has been denied. File/Staff

A high-end downtown hotel has been denied a request for a rehearing from the S.C. Court of Appeals in a dispute involving its rooftop bar.

The Dewberry asked the court in early November to take another look at the case. On Oct. 20, judges had issued a decision that sided with the city of Charleston in the dispute, reversing a 2017 lower court ruling that said the hotel was in the right when it opened its Citrus Club bar. 

After "careful consideration," of the hotel's request, court was "unable to discover that any material fact or principle of law has been either overlooked or disregarded" in its decision. For that reason, the rehearing request was denied. 

The hotel could still appeal to the S.C. Supreme Court

A spokesperson for The Dewberry said the hotel didn't have any updates following the denial.

The dispute between the hotel and the city dates back to 2016, when the upscale lodging began promoting a swanky new cocktail spot on its top floor as it prepared for its debut in a former mid-century office building on Meeting Street. 

But the city said it hadn't OK'd the bar. Instead of a bar, the top floor had shown plans for a pool, spa and fitness center at the time that city zoning officials approved the plans in 2011. The hotel came before the Board of Zoning Appeals in 2017 with a request to modify the plans for a bar use. The request was denied. 

In a December 2017 ruling, Circuit Court Judge J.C. Nicholson said the city's zoning board committed an error of law with that denial. 

The city then appealed.

The Citrus Club has been open since mid-2018, when Nicholson entered into an order that allowed it to operate while the case works its way through the courts.

The Dewberry describes Citrus Club's eighth floor terrace as the "highest rooftop in Charleston." It was a co-winner in 2020 for a James Beard Award for “Outstanding Design of Alternative Eating & Drinking Places.”

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A signature downtown holiday display is back at Charleston's biggest hotel this year after a hiatus in 2020. 

The holiday train is decorating the lobby of the Charleston Place hotel again, running along 300 feet of track. 

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After a hiatus in 2020, the holiday train display is back in the lobby of the Charleston Place hotel. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

Crafted by model train designer Lou Nappi, the display is nearly a two-decades-long tradition carried on by the Nappi family. 

In addition to the train display, the hotel is also decked out with an "enchanted wonderland forest" theme, with white installations, birch forests and garlands from local floral design studio Petaloso and Sam Rueter Art of Charleston. A total of 70 trees are decorating the property.

22 in '22

Charleston has landed on a new list of places to travel in the new year.  

Divided into several categories — including food, history and sustainability — Condé Nast Traveler selected "22 Best Places to Go in 2022." The list, posted last week, included Charleston under the "arts and culture" category, along with places as varied as Alberta, Canada, and Istanbul. 

Charleston's entry references the opening of the International African American Museum which is expected in late 2022 and Spoleto Festival USA where the newly-commissioned opera "Omar," based on the autobiography of the life of Omar Ibn Said, an enslaved Muslim who was brought to Charleston from Senegal, will debut after a couple years of postponements. 

It also gives a nod to new places to stay, including The Loutrel, a boutique hotel that opened on State Street in November and The Residences at Zero George, a new offering from an existing boutique hotel where people can book long stays.

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Reach Emily Williams at 843-607-0894. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.

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