Musume's backlit, screen-lined whiskey bar will transport diners to Japan.
The Japanese inspired lobby of the new Sandman Signature Hotel sets an early tone.
The lobby bar space inside the new Sandman Signature Hotel opening in March in downtown Fort Worth.
Clean lines and tranquil Japanese gardens welcome guest inside a new experience.
Modern magic will mark the soon to open Musume restaurant inside Fort Worth's new Sandman Signature Hotel.
A noodle and sushi bar awaits at Musume.
The dining will include some floating banquettes with Zen lighting and Shinto red walls.
The finishing touches are being put on the 20-story Waggoner Building’s complete transformation from a century old office tower into a boutique hotel. Built in 1920, it’s one of Fort Worth’s most historic high-rises, having earned a place on the National Historic Register. The new Sandman Signature Hotel will be a 245 room showplace that is scheduled to open in March. It is also bringing a new signature restaurant to Fort Worth and PaperCity has the exclusive details.
The Sandman Signature Hotel is part of Northland Properties which is headquartered in Vancouver with hospitality, real estate development and investment ventures on five continents. Its president is none other than Tom Gaglardi, the owner of the Dallas Stars.
Gaglardi also happens to be a partner in all of Rock Libations restaurants, the restaurant group’s creator and co-founder Joshua Babb tells PaperCity Fort Worth. The Sandman Signature Hotel’s main restaurant will be a lavish retreat located on the basement level. It will be the second iteration of Babb’s Japanese restaurant Musume. The first is located on Flora Street in the Dallas Arts District.
“When Tom first told me about the project about three years ago, we explored how Musume might fit into it,” Babb says. “We now have all the food and beverage in the new hotel, including room service. We’re currently set to open in late March.”
A Peek Inside the Sandman Signature Hotel’s New Musume
Along with the spacious new lobby bar, the new Musume restaurant is going to mark something of a divergence in downtown Fort Worth dining, which is still a tad steakhouse heavy. It all begins in the spacious lobby bar and leads downstairs to a Japanese escape all its own with the new restaurant. Picture traditional Zen and minimalist architecture, plenty of tropical greenery and private dining rooms, including one tatami room.
Babb and his Rock Libations’ first big success was the decade-long run of Kenichi, which was nestled near the Perot Museum in Dallas’ Victory Park neighborhood. It closed in 2017. A sad loss, but that is where Babb came to know his current executive chef Yuki Hirabayashi. In between Kenichi and the opening of the first Musume, the native Japanese chef struck out on his own with the short-lived Sushi Bayashi in Trinity Groves.
“Musume means daughter in Japanese, and the new Fort Worth restaurant is certainly the offspring of the original,” Babb says. “Our Dallas location will celebrate its fifth year in February.”
Babb and Hirabayashi recently returned from a trip to Tokyo together in October. They are drawing new inspiration for the Fort Worth Musume menu from that trip.
“It will be about 70 percent the same as our Dallas menu, with our grilled lamb lollipops and black cod misozuke,” Babb tells PaperCity. “But in Fort Worth, we plan to add more approachable Japanese style street foods and more noodle dishes, which are so popular in Japan.”
There will be a whiskey bar with Japanese screens backlit in red lined by black lacquer bar stools and some intimate izakaya style seating in snug spaces.
“I think I’m most excited about putting a tatami room inside a bank vault that was built in the early 1900s,” Babb says.
The former bank’s vault will be transformed with a black lacquer round entrance. Seating will be sunken beneath the floor (for a slightly Westernized tatami style seating), with origami cranes dangling overhead. The vision for the new Sandman Signature Hotel and its Musume restaurant will be a welcome departure from downtown Fort Worth’s plethora of rustic/ranch, or Zigzag Moderne Art Deco styling.
This is anything but just another Fort Worth steakhouse. The Sandman Signature Hotel is going bold.