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Charlottesville's Quirk Hotel sells in $24M deal

The Quirk Hotel in Charlottesville is under new ownership after trading hands in a $24 million deal announced this week.

New York-based Blue Suede Hospitality Group acquired the boutique hotel, one of only two Quirks in existence, from Quirk Hotel LLC. It plans to change the name of the 80-key Charlottesville property sometime this fall.

Ted Ukrop, of the same family that founded the Ukrop’s supermarket chain, opened the doors of the original Quirk in Richmond in 2015 alongside his wife Katie. They expanded the brand to Charlottesville in 2020.

In a statement issued by CBRE Group, which helped broker the sale, Ted Ukrop said the Quirk Gallery, the art exhibition space that is the cornerstone of both hotels, will remain.

“Katie and I want to thank our guests, artists, and investors for supporting Quirk Charlottesville over the past four years. We are especially grateful to our wonderful team for their hard work and dedication,” Ukrop is quoted saying. “We intend to refocus our energy and efforts on our flagship Quirk Richmond location.”

The Charlottesville Quirk is not the first piece of the Ukrop hospitality group to be sold off. New York City firm Mercer Street Partners purchased a minority ownership stake of Richmond’s Quirk in January for an undisclosed amount.

Both Quirks are operated by Richmond-based hospitality firm Retro Hospitality, which also oversees operations at the Blackburn Inn in Staunton and, previously, the Dairy Market food hall in Charlottesville.

In his prepared statement, Ted Ukrop said he and his wife “are pleased that our management company, Retro Hospitality, will continue offering management services to Blue Suede for a seamless guest and employee experience.”

But Retro said that its time at the Quirk is actually coming to a close.

Katie Campbell, Retro’s vice president of marketing and head of partnerships, told The Daily Progress that the hospitality group will manage the property until June 30. Come July, she said, Blue Suede will take over management.

Kenny Lipschutz of Blue Suede told The Daily Progress that the hotel’s operations will not be interrupted, and all existing and future reservations and events will be honored.

“We are very excited to continue the great legacy of this remarkable hotel, and further enhance its connection to downtown Charlottesville,” Lipschutz wrote in an email. “We look forward to doing our small part to contribute to the dynamic and growing momentum downtown, and are inspired by the opportunity to further support the unique and vibrant Charlottesville community.”

Blue Suede owns four other hotels across the country: two in Miami, Florida; one in Memphis, Tennessee; and another in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Charlottesville’s Quirk opened just two weeks before the pandemic, and has since become a landmark in the city, home to a rooftop bar with panoramic views of the city and the neighboring Blue Ridge Mountains, the Pink Grouse restaurant serving French-inspired dishes from the kitchen of chef Chuck Adcock and the cozy Bobboo whiskey bar tucked away on the second floor of the Quirk Café.

CBRE Vice President Carter Gradwell referred to the deal as a “highly distinguishable transaction.”

“It is increasingly rare for a hotel of the Quirk’s pedigree to transact; by acquiring, Blue Suede has invested in an asset and market that is poised for continued long-term success,” Gradwell said in the company’s statement.


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