Special focus: new US restaurant and hotel openings

Amelia Levin looks at the latest and coolest hotel and restaurant openings across the United States

Conrad, Chicago
Conrad Chicago, a Hilton property, has opened a 20-story luxury location, steps from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile in a former advertising office building completely redesigned by hotelier Laurence Geller, international design firm Pierre-Yves Rochon, and hospitality design firm Puccini Group. When designing the new hotel, Pierre-Yves Rochon tapped the work of mid-century architects like Platner and Mies van der Rohe, with clean lines, custom millwork, red leather accents, bronze finishes and warm beech wood details. The property features 287 guest rooms, including 24 suites with two expansive hospitality suites as well as 10,000 square feet of conference and event facilities equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Celebrity chef Richard Sandoval opened three restaurants at the property: Baptiste & Bottle, a modern American tavern with a bourbon-centric beverage program; Il Tavolino, an Italian-style, breakfast and lunch café featuring local Metropolis coffee, and Noyane, slated to open in summer 2017, which will feature a sleek design with cityscape views and a and Japanese-driven menu.

RUKA, Boston
On the heels of a burgeoning trend toward Peruvian cuisine, COJE Management Group has opened RUKA in Boston, which explores the flavors of the country’s Japanese- and Chinese-influenced Nikkei and Chifa cuisines in a space decked out in vibrant colors, Peruvian fabrics and charred wood details. The 177 restaurant features earthy elements such as live-edge wood tables and shou-sugi ban charred wood contrasted with colorful, suspended rope detailing inspired by woven Peruvian fabrics and bright, eye-catching murals and illustrations. Throughout the restaurant, custom-made concrete columns are adorned with dragons and Incan patterns, symbolizing the convergence of the three cultures, along with colorful murals by Miami-based artist Danny Fila and illustrations by RUKA’s own Duncan Mishko. For a more action-packed dining experience, guests can a seat at the elevated, 10-seat chef’s table overlooking the workings of Culinary Director Tom Berry’s open kitchen.

Lionfish and Oxford Social Club at The Pendry, San Diego
The Pendry, a new hotel and entertainment hub in downtown San Diego has opened with three concepts by Clique Hospitality: Lionfish, Oxford Social Club and the Pool House. Driven by seasonal, local ingredients, the Lionfish menu features modern coastal cuisine highlighting fresh-catch and prime meats – many served family-style – in a partnership with Executive Chef Jose Ruiz. Inspired by the social clubs of a bygone era, Oxford Social Club is be the hotel’s nightlife centerpiece, welcoming guests and locals to enjoy a late-night experience focused on design, music, service and an extensive, curated cocktail program. The intimate and relaxed space features banquette seating, plush furnishings and art installations that all take inspiration from the personal detail and comfort of a private home setting.

Big Easy Winebar & Grill, Miami
Ernie Els of Grove Bay Hospitality Group have opened Big Easy Winebar & Grill in Miami exploring the cuisine of the Western Cape region of South Africa. South African native and Executive Chef Maryna Frederiksen helms the kitchen, focusing on prime meats and seafood fresh from the South Atlantic and Indian oceans paired with wines capturing the terroir of the region and from Els’ own vineyards. Imported furniture and décor from the Western Cape include rich, buttery leather chairs, reclaimed wood floors and plenty of cozy corners with marbled stone, earth-toned fabrics and clay pottery.

Smith & Wollensky collaborated with Shawmut Design and Construction and Niemitz Design Group to update and renovate the interior and exterior dining, bar, and private event spaces at the restaurant chain’s Miami Beach location. Renovations on the 22,000 square-foot restaurant included installing an expansive 36-seat racetrack marble-top bar on the first floor, adding new textures and finishes to the second floor, and refinishing floors, wall coverings, and lighting throughout the space. The team also renovated and expanded the new overlook deck—an uncovered second-story terrace—that includes a full bar, lounge, and table seating featuring breathtaking views of South Pointe Park. In addition, Shawmut refreshed the exterior, and reconfigured the layout of the whole restaurant to help maximize space, add flexibility, and increase private event capacities, while showcasing some of the best views of South Beach and the Government Cut Channel.

Amelia Levin

Photo: RUKA, Boston by Melissa Ostow

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