The eye-catching entrance to the new expansion.Purchase Photo
Hotel Vandivort Announces V2 Expansion in Downtown Springfield
Hotel Vandivort announces its new expansion in downtown Springfield, MO. Read about our tour of V2 and the evening celebration.
By Jamie Thomas
Sep 19 2019 at 8 a.m.
The award-winning Hotel Vandivort in downtown Springfield, MO, has officially announced its V2 expansion. The new V2 includes 48 guest rooms and a luxurious rooftop venue—Vantage Rooftop Lounge and Conservatory. Building on the vintage, industrial style with a modern twist of Hotel Vandivort, Vantage offers its own art-deco aesthetic in a brand new building. At the top of V2 is the Vantage Rooftop Lounge and Conservatory, giving guests spectacular rooftop views of the Queen City.
Billy McQueary, along with John and Karen McQueary, began the expansion project in 2017. “We are overjoyed at how Springfield has embraced Hotel Vandivort and love being the first taste travelers experience of our beloved area. Our hotel serves as an ambassador, highlighting many incredible local artists and businesses, and from this we have seen great success, creating the need for more space and expanded amenities,” Billy McQueary says. “Vantage brings a big-city rooftop experience to downtown, a chance to both escape the every-day and be inspired by how beautiful our city has become,” Karen McQueary adds.
The V2 Tour
With just a few days left until the official opening on September 24, we were invited for a tour of the new V2 expansion, including the rooftop venue. The new V2 is accessed through the historic Hotel Vandivort. Stepping through the back entrance into the rear courtyard, you’re greeted with clean angles of the striking new V2 building. Outside is an installation made from old boiler parts that were discovered when the grounds were excavated and transformed into an evocative, rust-red, jagged sentinel to guard the entrance. Inside is a seating area decorated with similarly repurposed antiques—an old set of scales, a typewriter, a giant gramophone, among a number of others—all modified with large, clear, round light bulbs glowing a warm orange.
Walking the hallways lined with eye-catching art from local artists is a relaxing experience. The halls are dimly lit and the carpets are whisper-quiet, while the rooms themselves open up with natural light from the windows that overlook the Springfield skyline. Walls are clean and single-colored, decorated sparsely with more local art that pops from the clear surfaces and angular, art-deco-inspired patterns that instantly draw your eye. Every room has its own record player and collection of vintage vinyl records. The record sleeves have even been lovingly restored with some of their own unique touches. It helps that John McQueary, who joined us on the tour, mentioned some of the rooms had Tom Jones records in their collections, immediately speaking to my Welsh roots.
The really incredible part of the tour was the Vantage Rooftop Lounge and Conservatory. The space is bright and airy, with tables lining the many-windowed walls and a skylight beaming daylight down from above. Resting on the long bar was a heavy wooden mallet, not unlike Thor’s hammer, stamped with the Vantage logo (a logo designed, says McQueary, to evoke the Masonic roots of the building). More on the hammer in a moment.
Outside, we were able to see exactly what makes this new venue so special. The open panorama of downtown and beyond spreads out before you from the roof of V2, showing you the mix of building styles—some like old west facades, others industrial monoliths of brick and pipe—that clash to create the eclectic tableaux that is Springfield’s modern heart. Seating is deliberately placed to make sure you see the view no matter where you sit, still visible even from the deep-set and curtained cabana area. Like the interior, the exterior displays an incredible eye (pun partially intended) for balancing classic and modern designs on a knife-edge. Between each set of windows is a gas lamp, custom-made from copper for an aged look, and at one corner sits a heavy, antique bell. This is where the hammer comes in.
The bell, an authentic piece bought from a collector and engraved with a manufacturer’s name and the year it was made, 1848, sits in the outdoor area. Every day at sundown, the one-eyed hammer will be used to toll the bell, ringing it out across downtown. McQueary plans for this to be an enduring part of the downtown Springfield experience.
The Rooftop Soiree
When Vantage is full is when it really meets its potential. The evening saw a rooftop gathering of guests for the grand opening. Hotel Vandivort’s director of sales and marketing Tessa LeRoy told me that they had received around 200 RSVP’s to the event, but it certainly felt like more once the doors opened. Despite the impressive turnout, the space never felt cramped, even as the sun fell to the horizon and the light became dim.
A buffet of samples from The Order’s head chef Caleb Stangroom included black bean cakes, stuffed peppadew peppers, roasted red pepper hummus, spicy pork and sausage meatballs and a smoked trout dip were in seemingly endless supply as more people poured in. The trout dip was a personal standout that I could have just eaten with a spoon, and it seemed like more than a few other guests were in agreement.
As our shadows grew longer, the venue filled with more guests—drinks and buffet bites in hand—standing and surveying the view or lounging in the deep, comfortable seats, talking, laughing and mingling against the backdrop of 417-land’s evening vista. The music was lively, as was the company, and drinks were refilled as everyone in attendance found new things to admire about the space. John and Karen McQueary, along with Billy McQueary, were there to see their idea of a one-of-a-kind rooftop venue in Springfield come to life. At the setting of the sun, John McQueary struck the heavy bell in an inaugural toast to V2 and its Vantage rooftop space. The evening felt like more than just a success for the McQueary trio; it felt like a victory.
Take a look at some of the pictures of the guests below, or head over to the Rooftop Vantage 2019 gallery in People Pics.
I’m not normally someone who gets excited about hotels. This is probably because most of my hotel experience is in cheap roadside stops or crusty British bed-and-breakfasts with doilies and floral wallpaper. V2, however, is something else entirely. The careful blending of styles from different eras is expertly done; everything feels crafted and included with intent. The smallest detail in room design or the decor of the rooftop area looks and feels like it’s there for a reason. The building has an atmosphere and a personality all its own, and all of this is right in the middle of downtown, at the center of Springfield’s vibrant culture. After taking a tour and enjoying the evening gathering, it was hard not to already be thinking of reasons to visit the rooftop conservatory again. And not just because they have a personal favorite—Boulevard Brewing Company’s Space Camper IPA—on tap, either.
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