Hotel Restaurant Revamp
R Bar & Grill chef Michael West aims to create foodie destination in Arlington hotel
Owned and operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the Hilton Arlington just completed a comprehensive, multimillion-dollar renovation of all 308 guestrooms and suites, lobby and public corridors, meeting and event spaces, exterior facade, and fitness and business centers. The redo also includes the new R Bar & Grill, which opened March 24.
R Bar & Grill reflects input from Lonnie Schiller of Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group in Houston, who is also a founding investor in CultureMap, and chef Michael West, who most previously worked with chef Joanne Bondy at the Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. The menu ranges from rib-eye to chicken-fried chicken tacos to Wagyu beef burgers.
“We are housed in a hotel and have to meet the needs of hotel guests, but we also want it to be a place for Arlington,” West says.
West says they’ll cater to three groups of customers: hotel guests, sports fans and local foodies.
“We are housed in a hotel and have to meet the needs of hotel guests, but we also want it to be a place for Arlington,” he says. “Being next to a major stadium, we want it to be an affordable bar and grill, but with local craft beers on tap, great cocktails and an evolving menu that changes with the seasons.”
They’ll make use of a gas-fired wood-burning oven. “We’ll have five pizzas to start with, including a margarita; a meat lovers with Jimmy’s sausage; and an unusual one with bratwurst, sauerkraut and mustard,” he says.
Before Old Hickory, West worked with Bondy at Ciudad, the Mexican restaurant on Oak Lawn Avenue, where he developed a fondness for Latin flavors. “It was upscale, yet it had tacos and street food,” he says. “It was ahead of its time.”
A professional chef for more than 12 years, West lives in East Dallas, but he’s a native of England who moved to Arlington in 1987 when he was still in grade school.
“I know Arlington well,” he says. “The Hilton is a half mile from one of the apartments I lived in when I was young. My dad was a physics professor at the University of Texas at Arlington; he was chairman of the physics department. I was only 9 or 10 when we moved here, so I’m basically a Texan.”