For the first time since before the pandemic, Dallas’ Reunion Tower will reopen next spring with a new restaurant featuring steak, seafood, and plant-based food.
The restaurant, called Crown Block, will replace Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, which operated atop Reunion Tower for 11 years before being forced to close for pandemic-related reasons in 2020. Crown Block will be headed by Elizabeth Blau and chef Kim Canteenwalla of Blau + Associates and Reunion Tower owner Hunt Realty Investments, Inc.
Reunion Tower opened in 1978 with backing from Dallas businessman Ray L. Hunt and became an instant landmark. Crown Block will be overseen by Hunt’s grandson, Tyler Kleinert.
“Dining at Crown Block will be unequivocally as iconic as Reunion Tower itself,” said Hunt Realty CEO Chris Kleinert in a prepared statement.
The restaurant will feature ingredients from regional farms, ranches, and the Gulf of Mexico, according to a press release. It’ll also have a rare steak program, which will include prime beef and Texas and Japanese wagyu.
The menu includes sushi, a chilled seafood display, and a dessert bar. A weighty wine list and special cocktail menu are expected, according to a press release. The restaurant will also have an event space on the 17th floor of the tower for receptions for up to 175 seated guests or 250 standing guests.
Blau and Canteenwalla, who are married, hail from Las Vegas. Blau helped develop the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center in New York City and other restaurants at the Bellagio and Wynn hotels in Vegas. Canteenwalla, former executive chef of the MGM Grand, has experience leading restaurants in Singapore, Dubai, and Toronto, according to a press release.
The couple co-authored “Honey Salt: A Culinary Scrapbook,” which was named the best cookbook of 2018 by Food & Beverage. They also own Honey Salt, a restaurant in Las Vegas.
“Kim and I discovered our love of Dallas and instantly felt welcome with the world-famous Texas hospitality,” Blau said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to bring our longstanding philosophy drawing from the culture, landscape, and culinary traditions of the region to partner with the Hunt family on this exciting new endeavor for the city.”
When it was operating, Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck was a hotspot for anniversaries, birthdays, and engagements—a place to celebrate with a view to match. Crown Block will certainly be seen as a similar bucket-list item.
Diane Hornquist works with the general counsel to oversee legal activities associated with various land development and operating company initiatives. Hornquist began her legal career at the Dallas office of Jackson Walker LLP in the real estate section.
Mike Wallace is responsible for all aspects of Hunt Realty Investments overseeing the firm’s direct-owned real estate portfolio, operating company investments and other real estate activities. He is responsible for sourcing and structuring all new investment activity, as well as Hunt Realty’s interaction and investment relationship with other Hunt-related entities.
Throughout his career, he has been involved in investments in single-assets, real estate portfolios, distressed loan portfolios and private and publicly-traded companies including equity, preferred equity, mezzanine and participating debt investments. His experience spans a broad array of product sectors including office, multi-family, hospitality, retail, senior living, student housing, industrial, residential and land.
Prior to joining Hunt Realty, Wallace was with The Hampstead Group, a Dallas-based real estate private equity fund which invested approximately $1 billion on behalf of institutional and private investors. While at The Hampstead Group, his responsibilities included new investment opportunities in real estate portfolios, publicly-traded companies and distressed loan portfolio acquisitions as well as management of the fund’s investments. He also previously worked for EFO Realty, a real estate opportunity fund where he sourced and structured joint-venture equity investments.
Chris Kleinert is CEO and president of Hunt Consolidated Investments, LLC, and Co-CEO of its holding company, Hunt Consolidated, Inc. He is president of Hunt Realty Investments and oversees the operations of both Hunt Investment Group and Hoodoo Land and Cattle Company, as well as the financial activities of the holding company. Other business interests of Hunt Consolidated, Inc. include oil and gas exploration and production, petroleum refining, electric power generation and transmission. Kleinert’s affiliation with Hunt Consolidated began in 1996. Kleinert received an MBA with a concentration in finance from Texas Christian University and a BBA in marketing from Southern Methodist University. Prior to joining Hunt, he was employed by Texas Commerce Bank (now JPMorgan Chase) and General Mills. Kleinert serves on the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University and SMU’s Tate Lecture Board of Directors. He also serves on the Neeley School of Business International Board of Visitors at Texas Christian University, the Board of Trustees of the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Board of Directors of Amegy Bank -Dallas, and the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors. Kleinert chairs the Board of Directors of the newly created Men’s Advocacy Group for New Friends New Life. In 2009, Chris and his wife, Ashlee, founded Executives in Action (EIA), a nonprofit organization that leveraged the talent and expertise of executives in transition with local charitable organizations to enhance their productivity, efficiency and overall impact. In 2016, EIA merged 4 with New York-based Catchafire, Inc. to form Catchafire North Texas and expand the number of volunteers and nonprofits that can be matched nationally.