Hotel Dining News

Boutique hotel in vintage downtown Dallas high-rise caters to locals

Boutique hotel in vintage downtown Dallas high-rise caters to locals

Cambria Renaissance St Elm hotel
The Texas Petroleum Building has earned praise for its stone exterior and zig-zag moderne upper floors. Courtesy photo

A vintage downtown Dallas building currently being renovated into a hotel-residence will come with a fringe benefit: a restaurant specializing in chef-driven local fare.

The building is the Tower Petroleum building, a historic Art Deco structure at 1907 Elm St. bought in 2012 by real estate developer and former Deep Blue Something rock star John Kirtland.

Entranced by its stone and terra cotta exterior and zigzag moderne-style upper floors, Kirtland launched a restoration and revitalization. By the end of the year, the building will become Cambria Dallas, a hotel and adjacent apartment tower, with hotel management provided by Fillmore Hospitality, which is also overseeing the newly opened Cambria in Southlake.

Target opening date for Cambria Dallas is December.

Cambria describes its properties as modern, upscale boutique-style hotels that strive to fit in with the local scene while serving as a destination for both leisure and business travelers.

Fitting in with the local scene means reusing buildings whenever possible, says Cambria spokesman Chris Johnson.

"First of all, the Petroleum Building is a cool building," he says. "It was built in 1931 and has some nice Art Deco touches. Once the renovation is finished, it'll be something that definitely has character."

Part of the package will be a bar-centric restaurant that caters to the neighborhood.

"There's been exponential growth in the residential density in downtown Dallas," Johnson says. "A downtown hotel would of course have a restaurant and bar, but we also want to be about the locals, with things like a local VIP program, neighborhood nights, and local live music."

The Cambria hotel property in Southlake includes a restaurant called Social Circle Bistro, featuring comfort cuisine, local and regional craft beers, and a wine list with local and esoteric labels.

"Cambria Dallas will have a chef-driven restaurant, and we'll try to play off on the building's Art Deco theme," he says. "We're still working through what the menu should be, but it will definitely have a regional and sustainable focus, rotating to take advantage of seasonal produce and things that are at the height of freshness."

Their cocktails will spotlight local brands. The signature cocktail is all Texas, featuring whiskey from Garrison Brothers in the Hill Country, combined with Texas ruby red grapefruit juice and Dr Pepper bitters made in-house.

"This is what we've done at the Cambria New Orleans which just opened in the Warehouse District — we've focused on local distillers," Johnson says. "We want to get our bourbons and vodkas and rums from local distillers. We want to support the locals."