The Mighty Union, an Austin-based hospitality concept/design/development/branding and management company that includes longtime veterans of the Ace Hotel in Portland, will bring The Carpenter Hotel to the Zilker area later this year.
The group will convert the old Carpenter’s Hall at 400 Josephine St. (just off South Lamar Boulevard behind P. Terry’s) into a boutique hotel. The Carpenter will have 93-rooms, along with a restaurant, bar, pool and cafe. While a representative for the hotel said the food and beverage operations have not been finalized, the hotel’s main restaurant will be called Carpenters Hall. Christina Skogly Knowlton, a New York-based restaurant consultant with 15+ years management and development experience working with chefs and restaurateurs such as Tom Colicchio and Marcus Samuelsson, has partnered with The Mighty Union to develop the food-and-beverage program at The Carpenter and the other Mighty Union projects. Skogly Knowlton is also married to Bon Appétit restaurant editor and critic Andrew Knowlton, one of the foremost authorities on restaurants in the country.
The Mighty Union, which includes Ace Hotel Portland co-founding partner and native Texan Jack Barron and the stylish, industry-leading hotel’s general manager, Donald Kenney, also operates The Suttle Lodge in Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest, as well as bars Pepe Le Moko and Spirit of 77 in Portland. Austin architect and designer Jen Turner is also a partner in The Mighty Union. While details are few on The Carpenter Hotel, both The Suttle Lodge and Ace Portland have made names for themselves by evoking a genuine sense of place in both design and function, and one assumes The Carpenter will follow a similar model.
Built in 1948, the building was used until 2014 as Local 1266’s Union Hall. The building has since been sporadically used for events, such as Will Taylor & Strings Attached’s “Dark Side of the Moon” Halloween Ball in 2014.
The Carpenter will enter a booming Austin hotel market. Liz Lambert’s Bunkhouse is slated to deliver the sure-to-be-red-hot Magdalena boutique hotel at Music Lane and Academy Drive off South Congress Avenue; the Commodore Perry Estate in Hyde Park is being converted into a luxury boutique hotel; Hotel Zaza is under construction in the Warehouse District downtown; the Fairmont will likely open on the east end of downtown early this year; the scheduled Soho House on South Congress may have a hotel component; the Austin Proper will include residences, a hotel and restaurants helmed by Austin’s McGuire Moorman; and Arrive hotel is coming to East Austin.