Houston’s social scene came racing back for the season as Dr. Kjell Gruner, President of Porsche North America, along with Sonic Automotive CEO Dave Smith and President Jeff Dyke, welcomed more than 500 revelers to the formal reveal of Porsche River Oaks. The sleek, new Inner Loop landmark is situated on a prime site at 4007 Greenbriar that for decades was the home of Stahlman Lumber Company.
Waving the checkered flag, event planner extraordinaire Deborah Elias of Elias Events orchestrated a multi-sensory extravaganza that spanned two floors and nearly 40,000 square feet of creatively repurposed spaces within what is among the country’s largest Porsche dealerships. One of the evening’s many special moments was a surprise set from chart topping country singer Clint Black, and guests mingled with the likes of hometown sports heroes Roger Clemens and Brian Ching, as well as numerous other social and business notables.
Photo gallery credit: Daniel Ortiz
Visitors arrived in the foyer to a Veuve Clicquot cart and glasses of champagne topped with sugar cubes emblazoned with the unmistakable Porsche logo, a shimmering wall step and repeat, pyrotechnics and 360 photo booth. First floor offerings continued on with an ethereal ice wall raw bar – created by DLG Ice Factory – also featuring the Porsche logo, a cocktail chemistry station with drinks created in vessels akin to tail pipes, balloon clouds, strolling saxophonist, plus a psychedelic, interactive art installation with motion tracking – all leading to a pop-up nightclub. Fashioned out of the dealership’s spotless shop, the high-octane club space kept the party hopping with multiple bars, dazzling, digital 3D mapping elements and motion lighting, in addition to one-of-a-kind sweet and savory treats presented with panache by Los Angeles-based Gastro Garage.
The second-floor showroom had an entirely different vibe with Rokestra trio, cheese wheel pastas being tossed with fresh truffle, cleverly served noodle dishes, salad shelves and an endless parade of passed hors d’oeuvres from Monarch Hospitality. The Fitting Lounge, where customers can pick everything from leather finishes to shift knob designs doubled as a showcase for a special collection of Porsche design watches.
Tying the myriad of dynamic activation areas together was a show-stopping collection of vintage and collectible Porsches, an eye-catching sculpture series – The Whale Tail Project – from European artist Johans Lamic reinterpreting the iconic 930 turbo spoiler and stunning red rose arrangements everywhere you looked.
As guests departed, they left with pina colada popsicles and goodie bags of Porsche swag and were entertained with high flying acrobats on poles while valet whisked cars around. Additional partners making the night a success included Bravo Entertainment, Premier Sound and Lighting, Louie Balloonieville, Kirksey Gregg Productions and AFR.
Click here to visit Porsche River Oaks.