By Shelly Williams
The only bed and breakfast in Arlington is now launching a restaurant initiative because of confusion from customers, said Valerie McDonald, manager of The Sanford House Inn and Spa.
The Sanford House launched restaraunt506 in March, with a soft opening in February.
“I think a lot of it is that there was a lot of confusion on whether we’re a hotel or whether our restaurant is only for our overnight guests,” McDonald said. “We really wanted to branch away from that, so that people knew we were open to the public.”
The family-owned bed and breakfast originally served lunch Wednesdays through Saturdays, dinner Fridays and Saturdays and a brunch on Sundays.
Now, The Sanford House serves a full dinner on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m., as well.
“We have a really great culinary team now. That provided a lot of stability that made this possible to go into,” McDonald said. “We noticed that there was a niche in Arlington that wasn’t being filled as far as fine dining, so that’s the aspect we’re looking to help by adding another angle to downtown Arlington.”
The name, restaurant506, came after the business hired a branding firm and realized there was a perception that the dining portion of the bed and breakfast was a tearoom or ladies room only.
“We wanted to make sure we were embracing more of the masculinity in the area,” McDonald said. “Not only is the name our address, but it also takes our restaurant to a more fluid place where we have a lot of flexibility with the options we can provide.”
McDonald said the food served is unique and always fresh. It’s a combination of steak and seafood and fairly traditional. However, if guests don’t see something on the menu that strikes their fancy, they can suggest something and chefs will work to accommodate, she said.
To Executive Chef John Klein, the launch means that The Sanford House can be something big, he said.
“I feel like we can compete with some of the major places that have been in the Dallas area, Fort Worth area and Arlington area,” he said.
McDonald said the next step for the bed and breakfast is to simply see how the restaurant will progress.
“We’re really excited about it, and we’ve seen and had really great response since we’ve opened, and we really just want to help downtown Arlington change and grow in any way,” McDonald said.