After several years of renovations, the Hallmark Inn, 110 F St., held its grand reopening Friday, just before the downtown’s monthly 2nd Friday ArtAbout.
Guests on-hand, not just of the hotel, but of the opening as well, witnessed an abundance of changes: from the new lobby, which replaced the staff offices, to the freshly hung artwork, to the new 3-D mural on the front of the emergency exit doors of the hotel.
But it’s not just the inn that’s received a facelift.
Hallmark Properties, which owns and runs the hotel, ripped out six bays of ground floor rooms in the process of the rebuild, opening up space for four new retail store fronts on F Street that have transformed this part of the downtown into something even more worth visiting these days.
“I think they’ve done a fabulous job with the remodel,” said Alan Humason, director of the Yolo County Visitors Bureau who was in attendance Friday night. “These are great additions to the downtown and these are things we can promote.”
The new F Street store fronts have been leased to Massage Envy, which opened up in January; CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me), an ice cream sandwich shop that will host its own grand opening Saturday; Putah Creek Winery and a mobile phone store.
Tommy Tu, owner of CREAM, which has two other locations in Northern California, is thrilled to be a part of the new F Street, and Davis’ commercial core.
“This is awesome, everybody has been saying ‘We can’t wait,’ ” Tu said Friday at the event. “We understand that Davis is a small community, so we want to come in here and support that.”
But the star of the show Friday was the Hallmark Inn, showcasing, among other things, its ability to be a premier stop on the ArtAbout trail, with a jazz band dropping the beat behind the pool area, a harpist setting a softer mood in the refurbished lobby, new paintings and sculptures adorning every wall and nook and, of course, the wine.
In addition to the retail shops, meanwhile, the Youmanses — the family that runs Hallmark Properties — also turned the old breakfast area into a new restaurant, now called Café 110. The restaurant will be run by the owners of Seasons, 102 F St., which shares the building with the Hallmark Inn on the corner of First and F Streets.
“We finally got there,” Reed Youmans said Friday. “It always takes longer, it costs more than you expect, but the result is rather exciting. We’re very, very excited.”
The street and sidewalk in front of the hotel also has taken on a new visage, as the city sprung for streetscape improvements along the block face where the inn has set up big violet planters and, as perhaps the crowning jewel of the on-street changes, recently finished a 3-D mural on the emergency exit doors of the hotel.
Youmans enlisted the services of Stephanie Taylor, the artist who painted the giant mural on the south wall of the AT&T store, 140 F St., which looms over the pool and courtyard area in the back of the hotel, to paint the new public piece.
The 3-D mural, called F Street Market, which in part was inspired by stands one might find in the Farmers Market, features sculpted fruit and veggies that pop out from the painting.
“What an amazing transformation,” Councilman Lucas Frerichs said at the party. “(This is) a revitalization of this entire block and it’s just what downtown Davis needs.”
CREAM’s grand opening on Saturday starts at 11 a.m. The store will offer free ice cream sandwiches and will feature a Japanese Taiko drum performance.
— Reach Tom Sakash at [email protected] or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash