The CNN Grills will be open for the duration of both the Republican National Convention in Tampa from Monday, Aug. 27 through Thursday Aug. 30 and the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte from Monday, Sept. 3 through Thursday, Sept. 6. In Tampa, the Grill will be located across the plaza from the Tampa Bay Times Forum; in Charlotte, the Grill will be open at the EpiCentre on the corner of E. Trade and College Streets, in close proximity to the Time Warner Cable Arena. Each convention day the CNN Grills will be open to invited guests for CNN hospitality and events beginning at 5 p.m. ET.
“The CNN Grill allows us to provide an inside and intimate view of multiple aspects of our presence at the conventions,” said Janet Rollé, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for CNN Worldwide. “The combination of live production, engaging interactions and conversation, and great hospitality mirrors the overall experience of convention goers. We’re thrilled to provide a compelling, can’t-miss stop along their way.”
Each CNN Grill location will feature:
• A fully outfitted live broadcast studio integrated into the Grill space.
• Customized menus designed for the Grill that will reflect the local fare in Tampa and Charlotte.
• A dynamic visualization of convention conversation happening across social media networks including, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare.
• An eight-foot touch-screen wall that allows CNN Grill visitors to sample CNN Digital’s must-have elections tools for convention attendees, including: the latest election stories; data and maps; CNN iReports from the RNC and DNC and more.
• Photo booths for guests to capture their convention experience. In addition to producing souvenirs, photo booths will be outfitted with the capability to easily share images across users’ social networks with an auto-generated animated GIF.
CNN pioneered the concept behind the CNN Grills during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City with the creation of the CNN Diner, which was located at the Tick Tock Diner. In 2008, the network created CNN Grills at the Democratic National Convention in Denver at Brooklyn’s and at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul at the Eagle Street Grill. For the latest convention eateries, Civic Entertainment Group developed and produced the “CNN Grill” concept, while Union Square Hospitality Group, headed by restaurateur Danny Meyer and his team, developed the menu.