Justin Yu & Bobby Heugel’s New Project is for a Galveston Hotel

Justin Yu and Bobby Heugel

When announcing that he was closing downtown Houston bar The Pastry War, Bobby Heugel said that he and award-winning chef Justin Yu, who co-own Squable and Better Luck Tomorrow in the Heights, “have a big project planned for 2022 that will require tremendous focus.” That project is now revealed. The duo are overseeing the food and beverage programs for Hotel Lucine, which is expected to open in Galveston next summer, and are also partners in the overall operation.

Located at 1002 Seawall Boulevard, Hotel Lucine is taking over and remodeling a building that was Treasure Isle Motel in the 1960s and most recently Pearl Inn. It’s the oldest existing mid-century motel on the Island; one of many that cropped up during that era to serve road trip-happy Americans. According to a press release, the design concept is “a lively, people-centric atmosphere that promotes gathering and shared experiences.” Some of the areas facilitating all of this socialization are a pool, a patio and The Den — a multipurpose area where guests can grab their morning coffee, a light lunch or an evening cocktail. There will also be a rooftop bar with unfettered views of the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding parts of Galveston.

rendering of the entrance at Hotel Lucine in Galveston
A rendering of the entrance at Hotel Lucine in Galveston. Rendering by Kartwheel Studio.

Austin-based Kartwheel Studio, founded by David Clark, is overseeing the design for the hotel remodeling, and the materials being used include “white brick, bleached white oak and native greenery.” Interior design elements include aged bronze, antique mirrors and reeded glass

The hotel owners are Dave Jacoby, a Galveston-based finance and hospitality development professional who also serves as President of the Board of the Galveston Historical Foundation; Robert Marcus, a real estate and hotel operations, development and finance professional; and Galveston native Keath Jacoby, a marketing and branding executive who’s also recently worked with Vision Galveston. Heugel, Yu, marketing, branding and promotions entrepreneur Shawn Ullman and experienced financial executive and entrepreneur Jeffrey Solomon are considered “strategic partners.” Preacher, another Austin company, is creating the brand identity.

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

Because Heugel and Yu are still in the midst of conceptualizing the various programs, there is no specific information available at this time on what kind of dishes and drinks will be available. In addition, there’s another big project on their shared plate: opening a second Better Luck Tomorrow. Regardless of where Yu and Heugel’s imagination takes them, whatever they decide to place on Hotel Lucine’s menus is bound to be interesting.

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