The Palm's New Look
The Palm is undergoing a major renovation, which will serve as a prototype for the restaurant chains renovations and new locations going forward. We snapped director of construction and facilities Lisa Helmke and executive director Jim Martin in front of the restaurant on Westheimer, which is doubling its footprint to include 322 seats. ("Excuse me, waiter. There's a piece of heavy machinery in my soup.") Jim tells us the company picked Houston for the prototype rollout because of our vibrant economy and the locations steady business. The refreshed restaurant will open on July 9, coinciding with The Palms 35thanniversary locally. (The chain is 85 years old and includes 26 stores nationwide.)
Looks like eating at the Palm means you get to leave your high beams on. Jim tells us construction started Feb. 18--GC Story Construction took off the roof and took out the foundation. Its moving the entrance to the corner and adding a cocktail lounge that Jim says will be the focal point of the restaurant. The look will be different, combining historical features and pictures with new design by Dacre and Youngquist. The famous caricature wall will remain but will move toward more realistic portraits. We learned one other reason Jim may have chosen Houston for the initiative: His son-in-law works for NewQuest.