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Historic Galveston hotel renovation makes waves with 2 Texas hospitality superstars

A boutique hotel boasting waterfront views and destination-worthy food and drink is coming to Galveston next summer. Hotel Lucine will occupy the historic Treasure Isle Motel property at the intersection of 10th Street and Seawall Boulevard.

The 61-room property will be centered around its pool and an adjacent area called the Den that will serve as the venue for breakfast, lunch, and cocktails in the evening. Austin-based design firm Kartwheel Studio’s plans call for preserving the building’s midcentury feel with details such as white brick, bleached white oak, and native greenery.

Hotel Lucine’s partners possess strong Galveston ties, which is important in a city where being BOI establishes a required level of credibility. They include: Dave Jacoby, a finance and hospitality developer who also serves as president of the board of the Galveston Historical Foundation; Robert Marcus, who has a background in real estate and hotels; and Galveston native Keath Jacoby, a marketing executive who recently worked with Vision Galveston.

“Our vision for Hotel Lucine is an alluring destination for visitors and locals alike, a place that feels refined and modern but still approachable and full of heart and soul like a good house party,” Dave Jacoby said in a statement.

“We hope to make it a refuge for culture, fun, and culinary and cocktail delights that you never want to leave,” added Robert Marcus.

To create the “culinary and cocktail delights,” the hotel’s ownership recruited Houstonians Bobby Heugel and Justin Yu to serve as operating partners for the food and beverage offerings.

The duo, who together own Heights patio bar Better Luck Tomorrow and the European-inspired restaurant Squable, are also known for Heugel’s status as a co-founder and owner of seminal Houston cocktail destination Anvil Bar & Refuge and for Yu’s work as the James Beard Award-winning chef-owner of Theodore Rex. 

The duo will be responsible for developing the food and beverage offerings for the Den, an additional restaurant on the property, and a rooftop bar that will offer 180-degree views of the Gulf of Mexico. Heugel tells CultureMap the duo are still finalizing their plans for the project and will have more to say in the coming months.

For now, Houstonians can contemplate spending a weekend next summer on Galveston in an environment that’s a little more intimate and stylish than the other properties on Seawall Boulevard. After all, the only way to find out if the aroma of sea air makes a Bobby Heugel martini taste even better than normal is to go up on the roof and find out. 

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