By Wendy Wollenberg Posted September 25, 2008, 12:56 PM EDT
WASHINGTON Following its April debut after a multimillion dollar renovation, the Liaison Capitol Hill on Monday opened Art and Soul, its new restaurant, and ArtBar, an adjoining lounge. Managed by Denihan Hospitality Group under the company’s Affinia brand umbrella, the 343-room hotel joins the expanding Affinia brand with locations in New York and Chicago.
The property offers a combined 10,000 square feet of meeting space comprised of 10 rooms, most of which are located on the lobby level. The 4,400-square-foot Metropolitan ballroom can be divided into three rooms and accommodates as many as 500 guests theater style or for receptions. The second largest ballroom, the Hill, is 1,600 square feet and can be combined with two other meeting rooms. The entire space—which includes three additional meeting rooms, and a centralized pre-function area—can be combined to accommodate as many as 800 people. The second-floor meeting space offers three executive boardrooms, each with a flat-screen TV, kitchenette, and private bathroom.
The hotel's contemporary look, designed by Dawson Design Associates of Seattle, provides a sleek backdrop to the politically themed art program, which features works by painter Randy Slack and photographer Wayne Takenaka. Each of the guest rooms offers modern touches such as stainless steel light fixtures, chaise lounges, and artwork depicting past presidents. A selection of in-room spa treatments—from massages and facials to manicures and pedicures—is available.
Art and Soul is headed up by Art Smith, formerly Oprah Winfrey's personal chef and the current owner of Table Fifty-Two, a modern Southern restaurant in Chicago. The 221-seat restaurant features updated spins on Southern and regional dishes overseen by executive chef Ryan Morgan. A 100-bottle wine list focuses on organic and biodynamic selections, and artisan-crafted beers and a lengthy cocktail list are also on offer. Two private dining rooms offer a total capacity of 44.
The dramatic design of the restaurant features a series of oil portraits of famous leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Winston Churchill, Gandhi, and Dwight Eisenhower by artist Randy Slack. Sixteen-foot glass walls surround the space, which features shiny red chairs around square oak dining tables. The restaurant also offers outdoor patio seating for 76 and is available for full buyouts.
Adjacent to Art and Soul is the 45-seat lounge, ArtBar, which centers around an illuminated pillar and a circular teal faux-ostrich skin bench accented by champagne patent leather club chairs, settees, and a curvy mid-century style sectional. The lounge serves light fare, cocktails, beers, and wines from the restaurant’s wine list.
The Liaison Capitol Hill will feature a seasonal rooftop pool and lounge, which is set to open next summer.