In the last few years, ARRIVE Hotels and Restaurants have taken the hospitality scene by storm – establishing 5 properties in 5 cities across the United States that are planned to be open and operational by the end of 2019. With a goal to “welcome people to the nieghborhood,” ARRIVE aims to celebrate what makes each of their neighborhoods special with both locals and visitors alike. We recently spoke with Chief Operating Officer and restaurant consultant Noah Ellis about ARRIVE Austin – their largest project to date – and how it came to be. ARRIVE partnered with Southern California Restaurant Design Group (SCRDG) to help them tackle this massive property, complete with an incredible restaurant and two other unique bar and venue spaces. Get a glimpse of the finished project below!
Chef’s Roll: ARRIVE Hotels and Restaurant seems to have come out of nowhere, with 5 properties expected to be operational by the end of 2019. It’s an incredible achievement, and surely a team effort – but where did this journey begin for you?
Noah: I started with ARRIVE in 2017. We had one hotel in Palm Springs which had been open for about a year and a couple others in development.
Chef’s Roll: ARRIVE is headquartered in Los Angeles, but the properties are sprinkled throughout other cities across the country. Where did this nationwide vision come from?
Noah: We look for great opportunities in neighborhoods we absolutely love; sometimes they’re close, and sometimes they’re across the country. Chris Pardo, our Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer is constantly scouting new cities, neighborhoods, and properties.
Chef’s Roll: ARRIVE Austin is currently your largest property, a complete ground-up build with 83 rooms and 3 distinct venues. Why did you decide to tackle such an ambitious project in Austin?
Noah: We believed that the neighborhood would grow to a point where it could support (and even exceed) what we were adding – by the time we opened, it turned out to be more than the case.
Chef’s Roll: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced or lessons you’ve learned when undertaking a project of this magnitude?
Noah: The details increase exponentially with the scope – we’ve got to be more diligent and pay more attention to every detail in every room and every space because it gets so easy to overlook them.
Chef’s Roll: When someone stays at an ARRIVE hotel or eats and drinks at one of your venues, what can they expect? What sets you above the rest?
Noah: We’re trying to just execute the basics of great hospitality, food, and service and create great restaurants and bars that resonate with the neighborhoods we’re in. I’m not sure that we’re above the rest – we’re just trying to be better, every day.
Chef’s Roll: Obviously the space itself can be as important to a guest’s experience as anything else. Why did you decide to go with Southern California Restaurant Design Group to help achieve this aspect?
Noah: We wanted the final design and VE process to take place with the same company that would be doing the installation of all of the kitchen and bar equipment. SCRDG was really responsive and on-point during the final design and VE process and that led us to purchase through them and have them do the install.
Chef’s Roll: The property has three memorable venues: Vixen’s Wedding (a Goan-Portuguese restaurant and bar inside of the building), Lefty’s Brick Bar (a Viet-Cajun bar with New Orleans-inspired drinks) in the outdoor brick building that was combined with the hotel’s new build, and Gin Bar (a secret bar on the mezzanine deck of the hotel. Where did the inspiration for them all come from?
Noah: We partnered with Todd Duplechan and Jess Maher from LENOIR in Austin – they conceptualized, created, and opened the restaurants and bars. We can’t take any credit for them – we just try to support them and be good partners.
Chef’s Roll: How was experience of working with Southern California Restaurant Design Group? Would you recommend that others work with them?
Noah: It went well – we managed to come in under budget with all of the equipment we needed. I would recommend them – involve them early and allow them to set and understand scope and interact directly with the GCs to help manage the project.
Chef’s Roll: What does the future hold for ARRIVE Hotels and Restaurants?
Noah: We’re trying to continuously improve our guest experiences and products, both in hotels and restaurants/bars. We’re looking to open around 2-3 properties per year and show consistent, sustained growth while really dialing in the operations.
Southern California Restaurant Design Group has worked with countless chefs and restauranteurs to design and oversee commercial kitchen remodels and installs. From accommodating food storage and preparation of ingredients to plating, dish washing and trash removal areas, here are SCRDG’s top tips to consider when contemplating commercial kitchen design:
• Commercial kitchen design plans are dictated by space requirements, equipment & budget.
• Careful, considered planning in the design of the kitchen will save money & time during the construction phase & increase profitability over the life of the kitchen.
• Efficient ergonomics will be appreciated by the owner, chef & kitchen workers.
Read our feature on SCRDG here.