Southern Agenda

Character Study

In historic Fredericksburg, a cement elephant presides over 242 East Main Street, marking the original home of the White Elephant Saloon, built in 1888. That preserved marker is now just one of the protected treasures at the soon-to-open Albert Hotel. Fittingly named after the architect Albert Keidel, the new hotel pays homage to one of Texas’s most important preservation families, making soulful use of historic spaces—the saloon, the Keidel family home (built in 1860), an 1870 home, and the 1906 Keidel Pharmacy—sprawling across a coveted slice of downtown. “The hotel environment is a push-pull of masculine and feminine, historic and new,” says director of design Melanie Raines. At the Restaurant at Albert Hotel, one of three new dining options, a proper sit-down dinner might start with executive chef Michael Fojtasek’s amuse-bouche of chicken liver mousse on a potato roll, and end with a nightcap in the White Elephant room.