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Luxury Collection’s Ballantyne inaugurates restaurant redesign via art display

December 23, 2013


The Luxury Collection's The Ballantyne Hotel, Charlotte, NC, has ushered in the renovation of its Gallery Restaurant with an exclusive display from the Shain Gallery.

The Shain Gallery's collection's emphasis on local artists imbues the restaurant with culturally authentic pieces that will rotate regularly and can be purchased by guests. Antiquity-inspired motifs and a palette of earth tones mark the redesign.

"The inspiration for the project was to make Gallery feel like a true destination with an authentic gallery feel," said  said Peter Grills, general manager at The Ballantyne, Charlotte.

"The furnishing really complement an inviting, artistic setting," he said.

PB Interior Design and other local fabricators collaborated on the redesign. 

Old and new

Helmed by executive chef Tim Toohey, Gallery Restaurant offers farm-to-table American cuisine that changes seasonally. The menu draws on Mr. Toohey's Australian roots and the cuisine he encountered while in the Pacific Northwest.

From Gallery Restaurant

Mr. Toohey recently appeared as the guest chef at the James Tate Foundation, where he devised a "Taste of the Carolinas" meal.

From Gallery Restaurant

Notable aspects of the redesign include handmade marble Gallery signage, an onyx table, a mirrored glass hostess stand, textured leaded glass windows and ornate frieze.

Gallery Restaurant

Gallery’s private dining room has a lighter color scheme, employs softer materials and offers offers flexible seating.

Gallery Restaurant

A range of seating options such as booths, a chef's table and private rooms were included to accommodate parties.

The restaurant will host events on Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

The creative pull

Other hotels have boosted the traffic in redesigned restaurants with art displays.

Baglioni Hotels’ Carlton Hotel Baglioni, Milan is expanding upon its “Luxury is not a Waste” art exhibit with a redesigned cafe that features 12 pieces of contemporary Italian work until spring 2014.

The Caffe Baglioni’s exhibition was curated by Vincenzo Basile of Basile Arteco, who also spearheaded the exhibit in the Regina Baglioni, Rome. Interested guests are able to purchase the pieces during the exhibit, boosting both the national art culture and certain traveler’s connection to the property (see story).

Art displays are commonly used by hotels to capture the sensibilities of the local culture.

For instance, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is showcasing the underwater photography of Dan and John Cesere as part of its ongoing Artisan Showcase series.

The Artisan Showcase series currently rotates between 42 artists that are pulled from the local community. Six different media ranging from jewelry, ceramics, woodworking, glass, painting and and textiles will be featured every day to ensure that the series remains as fresh as possible (see story).

For hotels, altering the tone of a lobby, restaurant, or hall can reinvigorate the entire property.

“The guest feedback has been wonderful," Mr. Grills said. "They love the décor and sense of energy."

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York