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Houston restaurateur sexes up Arlington with new dining hotspot — in a hotel

Hilton Hotel in Arlington
R Bar & Grill, coming soon to the Hilton Arlington, hopes to change how you think about hotel restaurants. Photo courtesy of Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Houston restaurateur Lonnie Schiller is about to make Arlington cool with a new restaurant at the Hilton Arlington called R Bar & Grill. Schiller, of Schiller Del Grande Restaurant Group, has partnered with chef Michael West to open this new concept on March 17.

West previously worked under chef Joanne Bondy at the Old Hickory Steakhouse at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. His menu is described in a release as "casual but innovative," with dishes like an 18-ounce cowboy rib-eye with onion rings; wild boar chili; pizzas; and "food truck-inspired dishes" such as banh mi, chicken-fried chicken tacos and Wagyu beef burgers. Really, is a banh mi sandwich a "food truck" dish?

Cocktails such as the "new old fashioned" will be mixology-style, with fresh juices, house-made bitters and mixers.

Schiller, a founding investor in CultureMap, assisted with the concept development. "Hotel restaurants have often been a bit of an afterthought," he said in a release. "Just enough to satisfy the guests and provide room service, but rarely a destination experience.

"The team wanted to approach this project differently and change all that. We designed R Bar & Grill with a street-level experience in mind, bringing elements you might find in some of the exciting and thriving districts closer in Dallas."

Home to the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys with two large stadiums, Arlington, located between Dallas and Fort Worth, is not known as culinary center.

The release describes the hotel decor as contrasting to the "standard suburban hotel restaurant." The decor will be defined by hues, natural materials, rustic wood, galvanized zinc and soft lighting. A central bar and wood-burning pizza oven will be the visual focal points.

R Bar will be open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., and until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

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