New Galveston boutique hotel opening next summer, tied to big-time chef and bar owner

Summer 2022 will see the debut of Lucine, a boutique hotel in Galveston featuring several bar and restaurant “experiences” designed by Houston chef Justin Yeo and bar expert Bobby Huggle.

In recent years, Yu and Heugel have branched out into restaurateur roles with concepts like Better Luck Tomorrow and Squable. Now they’re taking that success on the road, to a renovated mid-century hotel on the northern stretch of the Galveston Seawall.

The 61-room Lucine will emerge from the bones of the 1963 Treasure Isle Motel, which until recently did business as The Pearl Inn. A well-connected group of finance and hospitality professionals invigorate the two-storey property from the ground up.

It is a significant development on the Houston area hotel scene. Domestically, we’ve fallen behind Dallas and Austin when it comes to recycling old motels and carpools into gorgeous new boutique hotels. Houston didn’t have anything quite like The Belmont Hotel in Dallas or the Liz Lambert-era Austin motel until late last year, when the Night Moves Group opened a Heights House Hotel in West Cavalcade.

Now comes the Lucene Hotel, down the Bay Highway, designed by studio Austin Cartwell. Founded by David Clark, the company is known for its custom furniture, modern spaces defined by weathered surfaces and bold artistic installations. Look for white bricks, bleached white oak, and original plantings to set the clean new tone at Hotel Lucine. Antique mirrors and antique bronze will add luster, along with luminous streaks of reed glass.

The motel’s U-shaped pool courtyard will live on as a centerpiece converted into a communal den. The rooftop bar will offer 180 degree views of the bay. The partners say their hope is to create a destination for visitors and locals alike.

Partner group is led by Dave Jacoby, a hotel finance expert who developed the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in 2016. He is a member of the Galveston Parks Council and serves as Chairman of the Galveston Historical Society. His wife, Keith Jacoby, is a Galveston native with experience in marketing — and a helpful sense of what she calls her hometown’s unique blend of “original charm and history.” [and] weirdness.”

Partners include Houston’s Robert Marcus, as well as Sean Ullman and Jeffrey Solomon.

Yu says the role of food and beverage partners at a hotel is something he and Heugel “have been interested in for a long time. We are very excited to be working at Galveston and to be part of the Galveston community.”

They are strict about any details. But they “went to Galveston a whole bunch,” says Yu.

And of course he already has a nutritional tip: The Fish Company Taco on 23rd Street, where the fare for the day’s catch comes straight from local fishermen, and chef, Daya Myers-Hurt, is a Uchi graduate.

Next summer looks better already.

Lucine Hotel is located at 1002 Seawall Boulevard. The site is hotellucine.com. Follow us on Instagram @Hotellucine.

alison.cook@chron.com

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