By Andrew Beres, Sarah Bulmer, Tess Rex, and Morgan Tucker
We’ve been spending a lot more time in hotel restaurants. But it isn’t an uptick in travel or a convenient meal that draws us there—rather, it’s the excellence with which progressive hotel brands are approaching their food and beverage programs. When our team reflects on the restaurant projects we’re most proud of in 2018, the majority are in these like-minded properties.
We’ve seen hotel restaurants shift their F&B focus toward local talent and, fortunately for us, this changing tide fosters more creativity when it comes to hotel foodservice supplies. Gone are the days of mass-procurement with cold, lifeless banquet spaces and out-of-touch breakfast buffets. When chefs and restaurateurs are given their own budgets and artistic freedoms, you can bet they’re going to build something special. Enter our team of “sourcerors”: curating an elevated guest experience through tabletop product design and other OS&E specifications.
Take a walk through the newly renovated lobby of the Evelyn Hotel and you’ll be instantly attracted to Chef Jonathan Benno’s latest projects. Refined-rustic Italian cuisine saunters out of a brand new kitchen installation by one of our engineering teams. On the tables, you’ll find branded Steelite and Raynaud dinnerware, underlined by dark wooden tables and brass accent fixtures.
After dining on Benno’s signature focaccia, catch us nursing a nightcap in Nude glassware by Hospitality Brands at GW Bar inside the Freehand Hotel in Flatiron. Run by the all-stars at Happy Cooking and recently awarded one of the Best 50 Bars of 2018, we’d expect nothing less than the finest drinkware on their shelves. At Studio, the HC team selected custom matte Anfora dinnerware to welcome guests to the tables of this Santa Fe-inspired space. The branding adds a pop of color to the table, lending to more eye-catching photographs. If that wasn’t enough, check out custom Steelite glassware at Simon & The Whale while you indulge on sophisticated American fare with Sambonet Vintage
Jump on the L train and you’ll make it to our latest hotel restaurants project—The Hoxton—who we welcomed to the US this month when they opened their doors in Brooklyn. This UK-based, open-house hotel brand designs their properties after the neighborhoods they inhabit. Intentionally, Hoxton Williamsburg is as eclectic as the artists, freelancers, and activists in the surrounding community. Of course their main restaurant is the first to plate on the light pink Joyn dinnerware by Rosenthal, serve cocktails in Big Top glassware by Nude, and offer breakfast in the Expressions bowls by Bauscher. They aren’t afraid to take risks to turn heads—just like their guests, and just like the procurement partner they have found in us. The Hoxton will be coming to Chicago, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon in 2019. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to plan a visit.
As we zoom out of New York, the hotels get larger but our commitment to our customers remains the same. We’ve opened numerous properties with the ever-innovative Sydell Group this year, and we’re particularly excited about the brand new Line Hotel in Austin, Texas. Working with Sydell has allowed us to bring in product verticals we previously did not have the opportunity to specify—one of the most exciting being Casa Rovea, the only hospitality-driven, Italian linen company committed to sustainable sourcing.
Finally, we want to give a big shout-out to Graduate Hotels—a group committed to bringing a higher level of hospitality to university-cities across the country. They’ve continued to expand, with properties in Lincoln (NE), Iowa City (IA), Charlottesville (VA), and more. Their commitment to thoughtful design allows us to get creative in our curation of equipment and foodservice supplies. If you find yourself in the lobby of the Minneapolis (MN) location any day of the week, you might be offered a build-your-own baked potato or a freeze-your-own Shaved Ice from one of three custom food carts we helped design in partnership with RCP Design.
That’s our wrap-up of the coolest hotel restaurants to grace us with their presence this year. This year, you can bet we’re going to meet you in the lobby.