April 11, 2010
Viva la Revolución
Photos via: Hotel Havana.
One of Austin's best and brightest, hotelier Liz Lambert, purveyor of coolness and a lifestyle of 'indifference-to-the-world-outside-the-walls', has taken on the challenge of breathing a little life into one of the jewels of the San Antonio Riverwalk, the Hotel Havana.
I was having a drink and a smoke late last year in the hotel's cavernous Cohiba Club, just before it was set to close for the four month renovation, when I made a rather vociferous plea that whomever takes over would they please, please leave in tact the inherent charm in the 119 y.o. building.
Of course, looking back now it was a baseless worry, given Ms. Lambert's success w/ Austin's Hotel San José and Hotel Saint Cecilia.
They've kept the lighting low in the renovated bar, and the furniture remains a smorgasbord of eclectic yet inviting pieces that look as though they were culled from estate sales of people with good taste.
Our superbly made mojito and house margarita (no mixers... ever) by Shana (new bartender) were welcome libations and an indication that the new property should best the old in nearly every way. One big difference... no smoking in the new joint, a point of contention raised by almost every patron that walked through the door. But the blow was cushioned by the gratis cigars Shana was handing out to all who asked, and those who wished were able to seek refuge on the front porch. Fortunately, within a year the hotel should take over the adjacent outdoor back area from the current occupant, riverfront included, and in the process more than triple their space. Which is a good thing, because as word gets out and locals and tourists alike flock to the Havana Hotel, they're going to need all the space they can get.
1015 Navarro Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205