DNC 2012
12:00 am
Sat August 25, 2012

The EpiCentre Will Be At DNC Epicenter

Street closures during the DNC have many Uptown businesses planning to close or operate on limited hours. But the EpiCentre will be open and it's shaping into one of the best spots for celebrity watching and a taste of convention excitement.

The EpiCentre is kitty-corner from Time Warner Cable Arena and inside the DNC security zone. So basically it's the convention's "front porch," says EpiCentre business development manager Ed Camp.

It's an obvious choice for delegates, reporters and celebrities looking for a quick bite or a drink outside the arena.

MSNBC has rented the EpiCentre's inner plaza for live broadcasts. Several restaurants in the complex have been reserved for the week by media outlets. But Camp says the majority will be open to the public and accessible from College Street, as will the parking deck underneath the EpiCentre.

Employees - like the public - will have to go through a security check point to get to work that week. Camp says the EpiCentre's 2,000 workers have been warned to give themselves extra time and be careful what they carry.

Chefs carry their own knives to and from work, for example.

"It's probably not a good idea to go through a checkpoint with a backpack full of knives," says Camp. "So we've told them to be smart about those things and leave anything that they can here (at work.)"

Camp says EpiCentre businesses are also on alert for potential vandalism from protesters. The FBI warned this week of the possibility that anarchist groups will look to cause trouble during the DNC.

EpiCentre managers have plywood and plate glass on hand, but Camp says there's no plan to board over street-level windows - yet.

"We'll learn a lot from the RNC and see what happens there," says Camp.

The Republican National Convention starts Monday in Tampa.

DNC-related protests are set to begin in Charlotte next Sunday.