Iconic Houston Hotel Renovated; Reverts to Original 1963 Name, The Whitehall
Virginia-based Sotherly Hotels acquired the Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown hotel in 2013 with the vision of restoring the property to its earlier glory as The Whitehall – one of the South’s most stylish destination hotels strategically located in the South’s largest MSA (metropolitan statistical area). Constructed in 1963 and recognized by Preferred Hotels and Resorts and Historic Hotels of America, it’s located in the heart of downtown Houston – a desirable destination for those attending functions at nearby Rice University or the George R. Brown Convention Center, or events at Minute Maid Park or the city’s theatre district.
In April Sotherly completed a $5 million renovation project intended to breathe new life into guest and meeting rooms, public spaces (including an outdoor rooftop swimming pool), two new eateries and a revamped restaurant that some consider the property’s main attraction. Formerly called Brazos, the restaurant received a major facelift and a new name to go along with its new look: “Edgar’s Hermano.” Its unusual menu reflects the region’s distinct cuisine, with such unique offerings as fried chicken with poblano/potato enchiladas. Executive chef Sylvia Covarrubias describes her new menu as, “A fusion of southern food and Mexican cuisine – flavors familiar to Texans.”
Resort Interiors of Myrtle Beach, SC, who handled the restaurant refit, designed an authentic look for the restaurant. In keeping with the restaurant’s brown motif, they selected John Boos walnut butcher block dining table tops constructed in edge-grain style. In the opinion of Kathleen Grodsky, Marketing VP at Butcher Block Co., who supplied the Boos dining tables, “Edge-grain walnut was the perfect choice. It presents the beautiful variety of walnut’s light, medium and dark browns in parallel rails of the wood. Those same shades of brown can be found in the strips of reclaimed wood that line the wall of the restaurant and resemble the side of a barn, capping off the restaurant’s rustic look.”
Butcher Block Co. (website: https://butcherblockco.com) is an online seller of butcher block countertops, furniture (e.g., kitchen islands, carts and dining tables) and accessories (e.g., cutting boards and chopping blocks). BBC sells products made by John Boos & Co., among others. Boos is recognized as a leading U.S. manufacturer serving the food service industry. The company also makes, and BBC also sells, wood and steel baker’s tables, stainless steel work tables and base cabinets and stainless steel compartment and platter sinks.