Long ago, two side-by-side Crossroads buildings housed a bustling brewery bottling plant and offices where political boss Tom Pendergast set his machine in motion.
Then the businesses closed and the red brick buildings — despite taking up a block in the heart of the Crossroads — were largely ignored and empty.
Now their new owner, Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group, is out to change that. It has spent the last three years redeveloping the site as a destination for tourists and residents called Crossroads Hotel.
The 131-room boutique hotel at 2101 Central St. officially opens in the historic Pabst Brewing Co. bottling building on Thursday, Oct. 18. It features a five-story atrium lobby that also will serve as an event space.
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The rooms have works by local artists and makers — leather goods by Foxtrot Supply Co.; wallpaper by local tattoo artists Mikey Wheeler and his wife, Megan Mac Wheeler; lampshades by Melanie Sherman; bed throws from Happy Habitat by Karrie Dean; artwork by Jennifer Janesko and Hammerpress; handcrafted furniture by Matthew Castilleja; and candles from Convivial Production.
In-room private bars also are stocked with Christopher Elbow chocolates, Thez Nuts, Polly’s Pop, and gin from Tom’s Town Distilling Co. — all available to purchase as souvenirs.
Nightly rates begin at $179.
In addition to a 2,000-square-foot public gallery and studio space, it will have 40 works by local and regional artists throughout the public spaces.
Then there are the bars, restaurants and lounge areas — all designed to make the hotel a “unique space to convene.”
▪ XR, a casual, quick service operation in the lobby area, softly opened earlier this month. It features artisan pizza from a wood-burning oven, a signature double patty burger (with white American cheese, bacon-scallion aioli, caramelized onions and pickle), sides and antipasta, as well as wine, cocktails, spritzes and beer. It also has billiard and shuffleboard tables.
▪Lazia, a modern take on an old-world Italian steakhouse, opens Thursday for dinner only.
Executive chef Remy Ayesh — a Kansas native of Lebanese descent, according to her bio — graduated from the French Culinary Institute in New York, and then worked at restaurants in Aspen, Colo., Chicago, and New York, as well as a private chef.
She also was executive chef of the Oliver on the Country Club Plaza and then Café Sebastienne at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. She was featured on the Food Network’s “Chopped” in 2011.
Her menu includes antipasti such as chicken liver mousse with lavender thyme honey ($12), burrata ($13) and charred prawns ($16). For the main course, customers can select from such dishes as a 14-ounce dry-aged ribeye ($48), bone-in chop Milanese ($29), hearth-roasted branzino ($32), tortelloni ($15) and Amish chicken ($27).
Pasta ranges from the Cacio e Pepe with garlic cream ($14) to the colorful Cuttlefish Ink Spaccatelli with clams, mussels, baby octopus, saffron cream and Calabrian chili ($18).
It has two private dining rooms — one for up to eight people through an original vault door, the other for 16, along with many meeting areas, a ballroom and boardrooms.
Kansas City’s El Dorado Inc. was the architect, and Chicago’s Simeone Deary Design Group did the “post industrial” design.
The rooftop bar and restaurant, Percheron, is scheduled to open in spring 2019. It will feature craft and frozen cocktails, craft beers, light bites and activities.