Housed in a 19th century former monastery featuring rooms decorated with original paintings and antique furniture, the
on the Northside has been putting lesser boutique hotels to shame for decades. The Priory recently outdid itself with
the completion of a $2.7 million expansion which includes the addition of 17 new rooms boasting
king size beds and widescreen televisions, a European-style bar, state
of the art fitness center, and cozy meeting room.
"Our property at the time had 25 guest rooms and we'd been experiencing
dramatic occupancy growth, but we felt we'd pretty much hit the wall in
terms of development due to geographic constraints. By happenstance,
the apartment building directly next door unfortunately caught fire and
burnt severely last January," says owner John Graf, whose parents opened
The Priory Hotel in 1986 after St. Mary's Parish closed its doors.
owners of the building decided not to rebuild, so Graf and his wife
Suzanne jumped at the opportunity to buy and demolish the unsalvageable
building. Working with general contractors Bridges & Company
Richard Lawrence Interiors, and lead architect and Northside resident
Bob Baumbach of Denny Campbell Architecture + Design, the Grafs built an
addition featuring architectural details like custom doors and woodwork
that blend seamlessly into the older section of the hotel.
the 17 new "classic" rooms feature upholstery designed to match the
décor in the older rooms, they set themselves apart with larger beds and
vanities, strong colors, and original works of art from the Shaw Galleries
and the Graf's private collection.
new fitness center and meeting room on the first-floor was just
completed this week, along with the newly retooled Monk's Bar. "The bar
is in our library and it's very intimate. It has huge walls and it
used to be where the Parish records were kept for the church next
door," says Graf.
to receive Pop City each week.
Writer: John Farley
Source: John Graf
Photograph copyright John Farley