New hotel poised to open in former Howard Johnson’s spot

The steel fencing that once hid the former Howard Johnson Hotel in Riverside is gone and the Brenwood Hospitality Group has opened the new J House and eleven14 Kitchen at 1114 East Putnam Avenue.

Calling itself a multifaceted contemporary respite and dining destination, the project is owned and operated by Greenwich based Brenwood Hospitality Group. David Ashen of d-ash design, a New York-based interior design firm that specializes in the hospitality industry, designed a hotel and restaurant space that “combines the old with the new that’s retro in style, while functional and comfortable.”

According to a press release, the bi-level, 86-room hotel combines high-tech with modern, plush comforts and amenities. The rooms are equipped with iPad controls, state of the art TVs doubling as mirrored wall units and the best in-room technology for business accessibility. The hotel also lists meeting and event rooms, a state of the art work out facility, and room service as some of its key amenities.

Billed as “unlike anything that exists in the region,” the design brings the indoors out. The open-air dining and bar areas are protected from the weather by a system of trellises and heating units that allow the outdoor spaces to be used for much of the year. The property is adorned with lush gardens, a resort style pool and sunning area and an outdoor fireplace and cascading water feature.

Private events can be accommodated in the library, the wine room, the board room, and the beautiful outdoor garden.

Guests are greeted in a lobby that has a gallery like feel to it, including projected artwork on the walls, exposed concrete, a polished stainless steel check-in desk, and various seating areas, such as the library with a glassed-in fireplace, contemporary furnishings and eclectic pieces of art.

An illuminated wall lined with pickled vegetables, infused vinegars and oils, and an array of vibrant ingredients, greets guests as they make their way past the open pantry display kitchen into the bar and dining areas. The backdrop to the bar is a brick-faced wood-burning open hearth, clad in custom copper panels. The dining room consists of a mix of furnishings with warm leather and cappuccino colors throughout that are designed to be relaxed and comfortable, while exuding a lively spirit. The restaurant seats 118 people inside and 86 people outside.

Spearheading the restaurant and catered events is Executive Chef François Kwaku-Dongo, well-known for his years at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago in West Hollywood and Chicago. The menu is New American, and as such, incorporates the Chef’s many global influences, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and a nod to sustainable practices. Pure theatre is combined with wood-fired cooking in full view, where seasonal flatbreads, roasted vegetables, market fresh fish, and free-range poultry and grass-fed beef preparations take on the wonderful smokiness of the wood-fired open hearth. Vibrant salads, comforting pasta dishes, and artisan foods, such as a revolving cheese selection, round out the menu.

Mr. Kwaku Dongo will be introducing his chocolate confections in the form of The Chocolate Lab, a sweet shoppe and café located just inside the hotel lobby that’s set to open June 1. It will feature handmade truffles and filled chocolates, as well as pastries, gelato, espresso and coffee drinks, and sandwiches and quick fix foods for hotel guests on the go, as well as residents looking for a meeting place.

By participating in the comments section of this site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and User Agreement

© Hersam Acorn. All rights reserved. The Greenwich Post, 10 Corbin Drive, Floor 3, Darien, CT 06820

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress