First Impressions

The aptly named new restaurant opens its doors at Embassy Suites Corpus Christi.
By: Lisa Hinojosa

Following the unveiling of its epic remodel in February, Embassy Suites Corpus Christi quickly moved on to another high-priority project. Next up on the menu: repackaging and renaming the newly renovated onsite restaurant, Impressions. A fitting moniker, Impressions replaces the previous name of Oasis Fare. And the name says it all. General Manager Melody Nixon-Bice boiled down the rationale without mincing words: “Simply put, Impressions leaves an impression.”

Impressions is meant as a modern, contemporary and less cumbersome interpretation of the hotel’s restaurant. “We wanted the new restaurant to complement the transformation of the rest of the hotel, and what better way to accomplish that than starting with a clean slate?” Nixon-Bice said. “We feel that Impressions gives a modern, chic vibe that you just don’t get from Oasis Fare.”

The new and improved full-service hotel aims to make a new, but lasting impression on its guests, its community and, of course, the brand. Still, the diners and guests were top of mind, according to Deven Bhakta, CEO of ZJZ Hospitality Inc., the hotel’s management company.

“We knew we needed to satisfy Hilton requirements for a restaurant, but at the same time, satisfy and exceed the needs of our guests,” Bhakta said. “There are 50-plus restaurants within five minutes, so we focused on a menu and concept that would cater to the guest who is in a rush while still retaining an attractive ambience and selections that appeal to the guests who are here for business meetings and gatherings.”

Impressions extends beyond the casual diners to large-scale events and meetings – for example, the restaurant also services clients holding catered functions in the hotel. From banquet dinners to luncheons to business meetings, Impressions offers an array of options certain to fit any need or preference. Whatever the request, Impressions means to … well, impress. The eatery maintains affordable pricing accompanied by a high value. Flavors and seasonings are carefully considered, and customer service is a primary focus.

The new menu includes the expected Americana fare, but with a few flourishes. Several nutritious entrees have been added with the health-conscious diner (and traveler) in mind. While the restaurant offers lunch and dinner to the general public, the management team is quick to explain that it is more than just another eatery; rather, they consider it an “experience.”

“Impressions is part of Embassy Suites’ one-stop-shop experience that encompasses luxe guest rooms, amazing ambiance and customer service – all topped off with delicious food … perfect for business and leisure travelers alike,” Nixon-Bice said. “You just can’t get that from any other local spot.”

ZJZ Hospitality Inc. opened Impressions quick on the heels of the February grand unveiling of Embassy Suites’ major renovations. With the multi-million-dollar remodel coming to an end, the hotel management company had quite a bit on its plate. When it came time to rename the restaurant, the organization looked to its team members, holding a hotel-wide contest to select the winning tag.

“The employees of the hotel have led the renovation process, from helping guests through unique situations to moving debris and directing construction workers,” Bhakta said. “All things considered, they may have been the happiest to see everything come to an end. I recognized that and wanted the entire team to stay involved and to feel acknowledged for their part in the renovation.”

Impressions was suggested by a team member in the food and beverage department, and after careful consideration, the management team collectively landed on the selection. “Our hotel is in a new era, and we needed something that speaks to how we want people to feel when they dine with us,” Nixon-Bice said. “We’ve made some notable changes to the look and feel of the restaurant that have met with very positive feedback, and that was our overall goal.”

Restaurant hours for the public are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (lunch) and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (dinner).

For more information, contact Lisa Hinojosa at 361-653-4656 or

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