“Come on partner. Why don’t you kick off your spurs?”

– Elizabeth Taylor as Leslie Benedict in “Giant”


Architecture, Interior Design, and Lighting Design


El Paso, Texas



Built in 1930, the recently rehabilitated Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park was the first high-rise in Conrad Hilton’s hotel empire and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For the hotel’s new restaurant Ambar we created a palette of rich walnut wood, jewel-tone velvet and mohair fabrics, warm brass metals and leather for interior design of the bar and restaurant. Contemporary furnishings blend luxury with rough-hewn casual elegance. Custom light fixtures borrow details from original lighting, while Mexican hand-tooled leather panels wrap columns and kitchen counters, evoking the distinct spirit of the place. We also reinstated the original double-height atrium, which had been capped in a previous renovation, to bring back the grand entrance as the heart of the building. The focal point of the atrium is the dramatic back bar, rising 40 feet high and displaying one of Texas’ largest tequila collections behind a sheath of amber glass and polished stainless steel. A new staircase is partially concealed behind the bar, providing access to the wall of tequila, and secretly connecting the bar and restaurant down to a cellar-like private dining space located in the former boiler rooms.


2021 BDNY Gold Key Award, Best Restaurant Casual Dining