Steakhouse to occupy top of O'Connor Plaza (video)
Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:13 a.m.
Updated Nov. 14, 2012 at 5:14 a.m.
Crossroads residents searching for dining with a view will soon be in luck.
Change is coming and ownership is switching hands at Olde Victoria at the Oak Room, which, on the top floor of One O'Connor Plaza, is the highest restaurant in town.
The plan is to offer a quality steakhouse with a cozy feel and a focus on the city's ranching history, said Dennis Patillo, who is managing the project along with his wife, Louise Hull Patillo. Although the name isn't set in stone, he said he's leaning toward The Sendera, which refers to pathways on a ranch.
Menu items will include a variety of steaks, game and seafood.
"We want to provide the same quality you'd find in the big cities but more akin to Victoria pricing," he said, noting the eatery will boast dark, welcoming colors and possibly a historical mural near the entry. "We want to appeal to a wide sector of Victoria."
Representatives with Kemp Properties, the building's owners, approached the husband and wife awhile back about possibly investing in a restaurant, Patillo said. Although they first turned them down, the duo reconsidered about a month ago, when the owners once again contacted them.
"They were sharing some of their vision and made a very interesting case," Patillo said.
The Oak Room's current owners - Ferydoun, Farshad and Faramarz Darshad - will work with Patillo and Hull Patillo to fulfill the holiday parties already booked in the space, said Casey Beasley, a partner with Kemp Properties.
He said the restaurant would close at the end of the year and ownership will then change hands. Renovations will span about 45 days, and the plan is for the steakhouse to open its doors in February.
"We're just excited to have the new operator in the building," Beasley said. "We're looking forward to bringing their ideas and creativity to set up a restaurant to head down a new direction and serve the community of Victoria."
Work is already under way to get the process moving.
The kitchen equipment, which had seen better days, has already been removed, Patillo said. New equipment will arrive this week but, in the meantime, crews will resurface the kitchen floors.
Although Patillo and Hull Patillo have a general idea regarding what they hope to see - large ranch doors at the entrance, six separate dining rooms divided by bookcases and wine racks, and a limestone bar surrounded by living room seating, for instance - there are plenty more decisions to be made. That includes a finalized menu, logo, glassware and more.
Patillo declined to comment about what the renovation would cost, joking that admitting it out loud would keep him up at night.
"I really want to be in denial," he said.
Hull Patillo said her feelings on the changes alternate between excitement and terror. The steakhouse project, combined with ongoing work at The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar keep them constantly busy, she said, but the finished product will be nice.
She said she enjoyed moving to a location with character.
"A traditional location doesn't feel like what we want to do," she said. "We like that uniqueness."
"I don't believe that in my lifetime there will be another 12-story building in Victoria overlooking DeLeon Plaza," he said. "You can't duplicate it. I think it's magical."
Attempts to contact the Darshads on Tuesday were unsuccessful.