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Somewhere along the line, hotels got so standardized and boring that you couldn't tell if you were in Cleveland or Portland or some interstate in between. But today's fashionable and hip travelers expect more. They are seeking unique properties evoking the history and culture of the area and a Boutique Hotel fits the bill nicely. If you think New Braunfels isn't fashionable and hip then you have not been to The Faust lately.

There is an aesthetic at The Faust, a synthesis of modern style with influences of a bygone era, which verges on steampunk. (Google it. One writer's definition: "Living a life that looks old fashioned that speaks to the future.") Yes, it is still your grandmother's Faust where she attended fancy parties wearing gloves and hats. But, she didn't dance to music over a state of the arts Sonos Sound System. Opa might have enjoyed a beer at the bar; catching a game on HDTV would have popped his suspenders.

The man behind this vision of the future is Vance Hinton. Hinton is president of Powerohm Resistors, Inc. an electrical manufacturing company out of Katy and a businessman first and foremost. He and his Powerohm partners have owned The Faust for only six months and his vocabulary is peppered with words like "Acquisition", " P&L", and "Industry Standards".

Having never owned a bar or hotel the affable Hinton admits he had a lot of things to learn and is still learning. "I am not a micro manager. I'm good at finding the right people for the right job." Young talent like bar manager Dana Kummins keeps The Faust moving in the right direction.

"The reputation of The Faust had been soiled," Hinton says. "There was a lack of reinvestment and attention for decades... This place has got so much character, but it (had) a frown and it needs a smile and I think I can put that smile back on."

The folks at the bar on a recent Friday night were smiling. And why shouldn't they be? Renovations have been made in the last few months and some welcome additions are in the works for the summer. (Can you say "Biergarten"?) It is what you can't see, however, that is so impressive.

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"Operationally it is all new," Hinton says. (That's the technical stuff like gauges, regulators, clamps, hoses and such that most people don't give a second thought about but makes all the difference.) The custom lighting, installations, new TV's and live music enhance the experience.

When the finishing touches are made to the microbrewery visitors will find taps converted to European ceramic towers and an expanded guest beer list. For the house brew think of a smooth, not bitter, Altbier from the Rhine region in Germany and you're on the right track.

The lobby and banquet facilities are undergoing a face-lift as well. Safe to say they have the most beautiful phone booth in town. Floor by floor the guest rooms are being refurbished with antiques and rewired for modern comforts. A new website with a booking engine will ease reservations.

Hinton is pleased the see things unfold the way they have at The Faust. Stay tuned for the rest of the transformation, steampunk and all.

faust-hotel-brewing-co  240 S. Seguin Ave.
New Braunfels, TX 78130
830.625.7791
www.fausthotel.com