Downtown Dallas’ Newly Re-Opened Statler Hotel May Lean On Its Rich History, But Its New Offerings Are Meant To Keep Up With The Times.
When it first opened in 1957, the Statler was a game-changer in hotels being the first such spot in the world to boast elevator music and a TV in every room. The remodeled version now features 159 guest rooms on the lower levels, and 219 residential units on the top 11 floors. And, holding true to the conventional accommodations that originally put it on the map, the building located at 1914 Commerce Street has ample meeting spaces and a 14,500-square-foot ballroom/music venue.
It also has plenty on its grounds to keep even those not staying or living inside the building entertained.
On the first floors, the building houses four restaurants and a lounge, a bowling alley, pool tables and more. While the casual diner Overeasy is currently open for business, most dining options are set to open mid-November. Underground speakeasy Bourbon & Banter opened to the public, meanwhile, on October 17 along with the hotel’s guest rooms.
With Mad Men vibes on the interior and an actual secret entrance that opens with a phone booth dial entry, Bourbon & Banter mostly holds true to its prohibition-birthed concept. While mounted TVs behind the bar take away some from that authenticity, the intimate lighting and basement location compensates for that. Originally a barber shop in the ‘50s version of the hotel, the menu reflects that business’ memory with drinks named after popular haircuts of the era, such as The Mohawk and Bangs.
Designed in the mid-’50s by architect William B. Tabler, the hotel was originally meant to elevate the role Dallas played in business growth for the southwest. Prior to its establishment, Dallas did not have much of a convention center and little accommodation for travelers. With its original capacity of 1,001 rooms over 20 floors and a ballroom with the capacity of holding 2,200 people, The Statler changed that and put Dallas on the map for development and conventional business.
Because of its history, groups like Preservation Texas have long rallied for the renovation while convincing any would-be developer to hang on tightly to the original architecture of the building. And with good reason: The uniquely designed Y-shape building, along with its first-of-its-kind structure with a flat-slab system that reduced the need of columns and an thin-skinned curtain wall design made up of glass and porcelain, gives the hotel the beautiful curvature that helps it stand out among the grey of urban scenery.
Overall, the restoration does justice to the original hotel’s aesthetic and contributes to the culture and vibrancy of downtown. Though not necessarily budget friendly, it may be the perfect spot to put your folks up when they’re in town or for a trendy stay-cation.