By Kevin Collison
The historic Savoy Hotel, a downtown landmark since 1888, is scheduled to reopen in early August following an extensive renovation by Louisville-based 21c Museum Hotels.
The $47.5 million redevelopment project, more than five years in the making, is scheduled to begin accepting guests in its 120 rooms on Aug. 5. The famed Savoy Grill restaurant, which has been rechristened The Savoy, also will be reopening.
The Savoy Hotel will be the eighth hotel owned and managed by 21c Museum Hotels. The firm is known for featuring contemporary art in its properties where not only guests, but the public, are invited to enjoy.
The six-story brick hotel at 219 W. Ninth St. has a storied history in Kansas City.
It opened during the height of the city’s famed cattle-drive days, and over the years has hosted celebrities including Teddy Roosevelt, W.C. Fields, Will Rogers, Sara Bernhardt and John D. Rockefeller.
The Savoy Grill was part of a 1903 addition to the hotel, and was a longtime favorite of former President Harry Truman, who liked to dine in Booth No. 4. The restaurant also featured murals depicting Santa Fe Trail scenes painted by Edward Holslag.
The redevelopment of the property, which is on the National Historic Register, was guided by Deborah Berke Partners of New York and Hufft Projects of Kansas City.
In a release announcing the opening date, 21c said the hotel had multiple additions and renovations over the years that led to an “eclectic mix of Victorian and Arts and Crafts architectural details, finishes and murals.”
“Intended to honor both the building’s history and Kansas City’s heritage, the design will create an experience of this century that both reflects and enriches the city today,” according to the statement.
As for the restaurant, a time capsule of early 20th Century Kansas City ambience, a 21c release said it’s being “restored and reimagined into a contemporary restaurant that honors the building’s storied past while bring new life and energy to the space.”
The release said the restaurant will feature several components from its original design including the Holsag murals and the Truman booth.
Joe West has been selected as the executive chef. His Kansas City experience includes the former 40 Sardines, Bluestem and Stock Hill. West described the menu as an “intentional throwback to American Classic cuisine” in a statement.
The Savoy restaurant will include a 125-seat main dining room, bar, lounge area and separate private dining room.
The new general manager of the hotel will be Tim Roby. He comes to the Savoy after serving as general manager of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown. Daniel Posch will be director of sales and marketing.
The hotel will feature a rooftop outdoor terrace with views of the Missouri River, a fitness center, business center and valet parking.
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