- Jennifer Sorentrue Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The 80,000-square-foot Restoration Hardware gallery that will mark the gateway to the city’s growing downtown will open its doors to the public for the first time on Sunday, Nov. 19, ending more than a decade of debate over what should rise on the prime piece of real estate.
The mansion-like store, built on a triangular-shaped site in the Okeechobee Boulevard median near CityPlace, is set to open at 11 a.m., offering four floors of home furnishings and a rooftop restaurant with views of the city’s skyline.
The site was originally pegged for a 200,000-square-foot office building, but after a failed bit to lure pre-construction tenants, The Related Cos. dropped the plan. Instead, the New York-based developer began working to create a retail dream house on the site, beating out Palm Beach Gardens for the stand-alone RH Gallery store.
“To me, Palm Beach has always been about a sense of glamour and luxury, a place everyone aspires to be a part of, like the Hamptons, Aspen, Beverly Hills, or the Napa Valley,” Restoration Hardware’s Chairman and CEO Gary Friedman said in a statement released to The Palm Beach Post. “We’re all intrigued to know what’s behind the majestic gates, or lush green hedges that surround the beautiful estates. Our Gallery on Okeechobee was built to retain that sense of allure, to spark our imagination while being inspired by the glamour of the past, and the innovative spirit of the present.”
The store’s dark exterior, palm-tree lined gardens, and hieroglyphic-like mural, are hard to miss for motorists and tourists traveling along Okeechobee Boulevard. The company says the building was designed to blur the lines between residential and retail, indoors and outdoors and home and hospitality.
“We wanted to build something extraordinary in Palm Beach that would be reflective of the beautiful historic oceanfront estates and glamour of Worth Avenue, with a contemporary edge and spirit of Art Basel Miami,” Friedman said. “Blurring the lines between old and new, yesterday and today, respecting where things are, while embracing where things are going.”
The west side of the building features a large garden, with pergolas, hanging chandeliers and sitting areas. Beyond the garden, is a grand foyer with perfectly placed living room and interior designs. The first floor also boasts a palace-like staircase lined with gold-framed mirrors.
Once upstairs, shoppers can meet with professional interior designers in the store’s large design atelier or browse the company’s modern, baby & child and teen collections.
The fourth floor restaurant space, which was created in partnership with restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff, will also feature wine vaults and tasting rooms, offering a curated selection of wines and craft beers. A nearby pantry space will serve espresso and house-made doughnuts and pastries.
The restaurant space can seat roughly 150 people under its large glass atrium. A $6,221 iron and clear crystal chandelier hangs in the center of the room.
The restaurant’s menu features a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options, including granola and yogurt ($10), truffled grilled cheese ($17), shaved prime rib french dip ($24) and slow-roasted chicken ($25).
The restaurant is flanked on both sides by intimate loggias, featuring iridescent gold, groin-vaulted ceilings and checkered French antique white marble and Belgian blue limestone floors.
“RH West Palm is unlike any retail experience in the world, and represents everything we value and believe in,” Friedman said.
Based in Corte Madera, Calif., RestorationHardware, or RH as it calls itself these days, started as a store for historical knobs and fixtures, then broadened into furniture. More recently it transformed into a “curator” of luxury home furnishings, building grand galleries and eschewing traditional mall stores.
The West Palm gallery store will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Restoration Hardware’s store in CityPlace will be replaced by a new collective of pop up shops and experiences. WPB Collective will open on Dec. 2 in the space that had been occupied by RH Baby & Child. Initially, the space will house to Dreamallows, Pumphouse Coffee Roasters, Vagabond Apparel Boutique and until Dec. 10, the jewelry line Uncommon James by Kristin Cavallari.