Restaurant Development & Design

September-October 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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big box that plunks a lobby bar/American grill into the middle of a 10,000-square- foot atrium lobby. It's hip, there's a DJ, a little retail area with local artisan goods. It's about making the check-in process feel almost like a sidebar experience to the bar and dining-room atmosphere." Creating Integrated Experiences Older properties and physical limitations of some sites can make creating that type of integrated experience challenging, but creative design solutions can help to promote flow and openness between F&B concepts and other public areas. Such was the case at the Sam Hous- ton Hotel in Houston. It's part of Hilton's new Curio sub-brand, which the company describes as "a carefully selected, global collection of distinctive four- and five-star hotels that offer travelers local discovery and authentic experiences in key markets." At the Sam Houston, the hotel's new owners brought in Candace Schiller and Craig Schuster of H3D Hospitality Design, a full-service concept development, branding, architecture and design firm in Houston, to create a concept that would break the hotel-restaurant stereotype and become a vibrant neighborhood draw. The result: The Pearl, a restaurant, oyster bar and bar helmed by noted Hous- ton chef Chris Loftis. The operation, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, has a dual focus on celebrating the city's coastal seafood-driven culinary vibe and on delighting travelers and locals alike with its sophisticated yet comfortable design. As a historical property, however, spatial issues came into play. Namely, the restaurant and bar occupy separate spaces on either side of the hotel's wide entry hallway. Both those spaces were closed off from the hotel's lobby. "The first goal from a design stand- point was to find a way to connect the restaurant both to the outside world and to the hotel," Schiller says. "We ended up removing the sheet rock walls that divided the restaurant from the hotel lobby and replaced them with industrial steel and glass storefronts. Doing so opened the view into the restaurant from the lobby, the bar and the street. We created a visual filter into the restaurant by installing a small, glass-enclosed wine room, but the whole effect creates a sense that the hotel is built around the restaurant." Within the restaurant itself, polished Southern and laid-back coastal vibes come together through design features that include tabletops and paneling made from local woods, natural rolled steel structural columns, shutter-style blinds, and large, comfortable woven chairs. Sculptures of hammerhead sharks, common in the Texas Gulf Coast, adorn one section of the wall, while brick adds texture to another. The Pearl's large, L-shaped bar area features two large vintage oyster shell chandeliers, a comfortable bar clad in painted pressed tin tiles, brass light fix- tures, a brick ceiling, and the same rolled steel and wood finishes that are used in the dining room. CHOICE is what's on tap! Provide customers the choice of beers, red and white wines, custom cocktails or even nitro cold brew coffee. The Beverage Station ™ holds up to 12 draft beverages on tap in only 6' of space in 2 temperature zones. THE MOBILE BAR SOLUTION 1 EGS, 6' OF SPACE, 2 TEMPERATURE ZONES 866.327.4159 // micromatic.com TAP INTO NEW PRODUCTS & PROFITS Hotel Restaurants Shine

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