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Restaurant Facelift

Gathering spot for Houston's rich and famous gets a summer facelift

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News, Shelby, Tony's, new interior, July 2014
A decade after opening Tony's undergoes a refresher. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, Tony's facelift, San Remo Room, July 2014
The removable panel was painted on commission by Houston artist John Palmer.  Photo by Shelby Hodge
New, Shelby, Tony's facelift, Ric Campo, July 2014
Houston Super Bowl host committee chairman Ric Campo, right, enjoys lunch with cohorts in the refurbished dining room.  Courtesy of Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Shelby, Tony's, new interior, July 2014
News, Shelby, Tony's facelift, San Remo Room, July 2014
New, Shelby, Tony's facelift, Ric Campo, July 2014

In restaurant life, 10 years is a long time in terms of wear and tear, particularly when the eatery is as popular as Tony Vallone's namesake fine dining establishment. So during a brief Fourth of July break, Vallone orchestrated what he calls "a nip and tuck" to freshen up.

 Houston artist John Palmer has painted a vast wall of pastel-hued bamboo that anchors one end of the dining room. 

 While all the walls have been freshly painted and there is a new floor in the bar, the most obvious element of the summer facelift is the mural that has been added to the sliding wall that connects the main dining room with the San Remo Room. 

Houston artist John Palmer, who has created murals and paintings for Vallone's Ciao Bello, has painted a vast wall of pastel-hued bamboo that anchors one end of the dining room, providing a vibrant backdrop for the Three Graces, the granite sculpture by Jesus Moroles

It's the same design but a more vibrant color in the private party room where the new design adds a welcome punch to the decor.

Discussing the refurbishment, Vallone tells CultureMap, "It's time for new, the same look but new . . . we're just freshening up."

By mid-August, the "freshening" should be complete with all dining chairs recovered, the banquettes recovered and perhaps a few tweaks in the bar area. Already, new wine display racks have been installed in the wine cellar and the wine library, the same wine racks that are employed in Vallone's Steakhouse. Additional paintings by Palmer have been added throughout.

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