Katherine Lo is coming to Washington as the founder of Eaton Workshop, a 209 room hotel that will also include a social club, co-working space, a movie theater for independent films, a wellness center and a progressive news station. Surely, I've forgotten something.
Oh yes. The radio station will air a radical indigenous-rights show called Red Power Hour, and the rooftop will house an urban farm that will provide ingredients for the restaurant below, American Son.
The Piscataway tribe of Native Americans indigenous to the area will be recognized in decor and more directly. “We were going to put up a plaque to signify that we’re on stolen land,” Sheldon Scott, the hotel's culture director said. “But now we’re talking about contemporary programming possibilities and the prospect of them blessing the space.”
Eaton is a hospitality company that leans firmly, and unapologetically, to the left; Ms. Lo, 36, is focused on making the D.C. location as a gathering place for liberals feeling displaced by President Trump. In fact, Eaton DC could even serve as a retort of sorts to his own hotel, half a mile away, writes The New York Times.
An Eaton in Kowloon, Hong Kong, has already opened; others are planned for San Francisco and Seattle. A few hundred million dollars have been funneled into the fledgling chain, Ms. Lo said, by Great Eagle, the Hong Kong real estate holding firm that owns it, which her grandfather founded in 1963. Great Eagle is also behind Langham, the upscale line of hotels overseen by Ms. Lo’s father, Lo Ka Shui.
Asked what she would do if an alt-right group wanted to gather at Eaton, Lo responded "I'm using Airbnb canceling Mazi accounts as precedent, as companies go toward this new world. . . We want Eaton to be a thoughtful place of dialogue and diverse views coming together, but there are obviously places where we draw the line.”
That kind of strategic thinking may not hold up in a US federal court -- but then again, if cake bakers get away with discriminating against gays marrying in Trump's America, who knows? Perhaps we will just be tribes of our own kind.
Forbes did a recent in-depth on Katherine Lo: This Female Activist Is Building A Gathering Ground Where No Hotelier Has Ever Been Before.