Knox Street gets a new anchor on Friday when RH opens its three-level, 70,000-square-foot furniture gallery, rooftop restaurant and wine bar to the public.
It’s a luxury shopping experience — it doesn’t do it justice to call it a store.
RH Dallas, The Gallery on Knox Street is a brand that says it’s “obsessed with great architecture,” both in its home furnishings and building interior and exterior designs.
For Dallas, RH built a gallery with 14-foot ceilings, a double staircase and barrel-vaulted passageways leading to rooms arranged with its collections from international designers along with antiques and artifacts from CEO Gary Friedman’s travels.
The retailer, which went public in 2012 as Restoration Hardware and rebranded itself as RH, has been closing older stores and replacing them with bigger galleries. Some are new construction like the one on Knox; others are restorations of historical properties such as the one in Chicago, which was built in 1914 as residence for young women studying music, drama and the visual arts.
The first version of Friedman’s vision of a gallery opened 2010 in San Francisco’s design district, and RH is making the leap to London and Paris next year.
The design gallery on Knox cost almost $40 million. It’s the first one in Texas with the rooftop restaurant, which the company started incorporating into its buildings in 2017 with its West Palm Beach gallery.
“We blur residential and retail. We blur indoor and outdoor, home and hospitality with a wine bar and restaurant to create a buying experience,” Friedman said in an interview. “The galleries are built to express the brand.”
Its newest location is at the site of its longtime 12,000-square-foot Restoration Hardware store on Knox. RH secured much of the rest of the block behind it for a driveway and parking garage built for valet parking. The garage has the same charcoal grey Venetian plaster, huge windows and steel accents that are on the gallery exterior.
The southern entrance has a 42-by-15-foot wall of cascading water inspired by the fountain in New York’s Paley Park.
Encircling the building are glass-and-steel French doors that open to garden courtyards and terraces, including one at the entrance on Knox Street where shoppers get a full view of twin staircases to the second and third levels. The rooftop restaurant, which seats 144 people, has a terrace where people can sip one of 40 wines by the glass.
The experience complements the merchandise.
Dallas native and master glass designer Alison Berger is unveiling five exclusive new collections with the opening.
The collaboration is the first time Berger’s products will be available directly to consumers. Her designs, which are part of the permanent collections at the Corning Museum of Glass and have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, had previously been available to the interior designers and for private clients.
RH Dallas has a full staff of interior designers and a studio on the second level. There’s also work space for customers to bring their own decorators. This location will house RH Interiors, RH Modern and RH Outdoor. Left out were RH Baby and Child, RH Teen and Waterworks bath fixtures.
Merchandise tags show two prices, a regular price and 25% off for members, who pay $100 a year. That program was started in 2016 to replace periodic sale events, and membership includes free interior design services, 20% off on all sale merchandise, early access to clearance events and eligibility for preferred financing with the RH credit card.
RH Dallas, the company’s 11th gallery with a restaurant, will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The company has 68 stores, 38 outlets and 14 Waterworks showrooms. The temporary RH Modern and RH Interior stores around the corner on McKinney Avenue will close permanently on Thursday.
RH Dallas is a big part of the redevelopment of Knox Street. The other big construction project next door is almost finished. Weir’s Plaza, a 12-story office building and the return of a two-level Weir’s Furniture store, will open at the corner of Travis and Knox this fall.
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