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H3D Hospitality Design – under the leadership of principal Candice Schiller – has completed an extensive rebrand, redesign and re-launch of the restaurant and bar space at The Sam Houston Hotel, Curio- A Collection by Hilton under the collective name The Pearl Restaurant & Bar. Houston-based H3D has made its mark in the hospitality industry by offering a full range of services from concept to branding to design and beyond. H3D implemented a comprehensive campaign for The Pearl – designing all elements of the new space and cultivating a timeless original logo for the brand that is featured prominently throughout the restaurant and bar.

H3D’s Candice Schiller – an accomplished restaurateur and multi-award winning interior designer whose work has included Cafe Annie and The Grove in Houston and R Bar & Grill at the Hilton Arlington Hotel in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area – collaborated with noted architect Craig Schuster of Schuster Inc. – who was the lead designer for iconic restaurant concepts in the Pappas family for over 20 years – to take the space down to the studs and replace it with a warm and contemporary aesthetic. The Pearl’s newly renovated dining and bar spaces offer an urban coastal oasis to hotel guests and visitors alike.

With vintage brass light fixtures and accents, caramel-colored leather Chesterfield sofas, black leather chairs, zinc and brass tables, cement tile insets, and plantation shutters, The Pearl offers a welcomed respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown Houston in a relaxed, sophisticated setting. The classically cool interior is made all the more stylish with brick and live-edged cedar walls, chairs covered in Buckskin-colored upholstery along with caramel-colored woven chairs and banquettes covered in black and cream Ikat fabric – a subtle nod to Sam Houston’s own Cherokee lineage.

With its vaulted ceilings made of pressed tin, vintage brass lamps, and antique mirrors soaring above a steel and glass wine room visible from the hotel’s contemporary lobby, The Pearl is primed for power breakfasts, lunch meetings, and after-work gatherings of all kinds for office workers, downtown dwellers and business & leisure travelers in Houston’s fast-evolving Historic District. Bartenders at The Pearl Bar mix up their magic in front of a black wooden wall and serve their craft cocktails on a Calacatta bar top with a heavy zinc edge.

Two prominent oyster chandeliers give the space a welcoming visual element and a fitting focal point inside the bar space for all who pass through The Sam Houston Hotel’s storied doors. In the kitchen, Executive Chef Chris Loftis joins The Pearl after a successful stint as Chef De Cuisine at Killen’s Steakhouse, where he trained under the leadership of acclaimed Houston culinary master Ronnie Killen. As executive chef at The Pearl, Loftis has cultivated a beautifully balanced menu that will satiate guests with savory appetizers and salads, entrees like classic shrimp and grits, grouper with lentils and curried corn, scallop carbonara, and the mouth watering short rib braised in Dr. Pepper.

The robust flavors and textures of Chef Chris’ seafood-forward menu effortlessly coalesce with The Pearl’s elegantly appointed interior that collectively transport guests to a classic-yet-contemporary era brought to life by H3D Hospitality Design’s fully realized vision for the brand. With a longstanding history as one of Houston’s most revered hotels, The Sam is listed on the National Registry of Historic Hotels and is home to 100 refurbished and expanded rooms – offering guests a purview into a bygone era while providing the luxury and amenities of an upscale contemporary hotel.

Locally and lovingly owned by American Liberty Hospitality – which also counts the downtown properties Embassy Suites Houston and Hampton Inn/Homewood Suites – as well as the DoubleTree by Hilton Galveston Beach – in its portfolio of Houston area hotels, The Sam is the only property in the city with ties to the reward-fueled Curio Collection by Hilton, giving it the additional appeal of a handpicked upscale property tailor made for an authentic local experience and the perks that come with the award- winning Hilton Honors program.

Design: H3D Hospitality Design
Photography: Shannon O’Hara

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