The Best View in Dallas

Reunion Tower gets high-tech redesign and new daytime cafe

Reunion Tower gets high-tech redesign and new daytime cafe

Reunion Tower GeO-Deck
Touch screens on the new GeO-Deck allow visitors to get a sense of the geography and history of their surroundings. Photo by Andrew Bordwin
Halo touch screen on GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower
The touch screens highlight landmarks and buildings of note that can be seen from the tower. Photo by Alex Bentley
View from Reunion Tower
The view from the top of Reunion Tower is still one that can't be beat. Photo by Alex Bentley
Cloud Nine cafe at Reunion Tower
The new Cloud Nine cafe promises great food and great views for visitors. Photo by Andrew Bordwin
Cloud 9 dessert from Cloud Nine cafe at Reunion Tower
The Cloud 9 dessert from Cloud Nine cafe is sure to be one of their most popular offerings. Photo by Alex Bentley
Lounge level at Reunion Tower
Even the elevator lounge at the base of the tower has been redesigned to give visitors a feel for what they will experience at the top. Photo by Andrew Bordwin
Reunion Tower GeO-Deck
Halo touch screen on GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower
View from Reunion Tower
Cloud Nine cafe at Reunion Tower
Cloud 9 dessert from Cloud Nine cafe at Reunion Tower
Lounge level at Reunion Tower

Six long years after the observation deck at Reunion Tower closed, it reopens as the re-branded GeO-Deck on Saturday, October 5, with new high-tech and interactive features designed to enhance its bird's-eye view of Dallas.

There is also a new quick-serve restaurant on the middle level called Cloud Nine Cafe.

The deck was closed to the public in 2007. Parts of Reunion Tower and Union Station were renovated in 2008. Five Sixty, the Wolfgang Puck restaurant that's at the top of the tower, opened in 2009.

Named after the geodesic sphere that sits atop Reunion Tower, the GeO-Deck features tricked-up color-changing lights and a floor that looks like a map of the city. A system nicknamed Halo utilizes 30 touch screens that allow visitors to identify landmarks, buildings and other businesses visible from atop the 560-foot tower.

The touch screens also offer the option to view a live video feed via high-definition cameras placed around the sphere, letting visitors zoom in and out on anything they want to see. From now through November, visitors can also view an exclusive video about the JFK assassination featuring witnesses to the tragedy, a good history lesson considering the view the tower offers of the Sixth Floor Museum and Dealey Plaza.

Anyone who bemoaned having to look through the "chain link fence" that existed in the observation deck's previous incarnation will welcome the switch to thin horizontal wire cables. They allow relatively unobstructed views, not to mention easy access for iPhones and cameras.

Cloud Nine Café takes over the old Top of the Dome bar location, with floor-to-ceiling windows that provide the same 360-degree views as the deck.

Cloud Nine will be managed by Wolfgang Puck, with a menu described as "Texas-themed." Dishes include fried green tomatoes, a chicken adobo sandwich and the chocolate tower dessert, a recreation of Reunion Tower with a devil's food cake ball sitting on top of a milk chocolate tower filled with chocolate mousse, with meringue and raspberries at the base.

Cloud Nine is open to the public during the daytime only; at night it switches over to a private event space, available for weddings or parties.

The tower lounge on the entry level has also been redesigned, with new seating areas and walls that complement the decor seen on the GeO-Deck and Cloud Nine.

Tickets for the GeO-Deck range from $8 for kids 4-12 to $16 for adults. They can be purchased ahead of time via the Reunion Tower website or at the tower itself. The deck's opening will be celebrated with a free fireworks ceremony on Friday at 9 pm.