Hotel Online  Special Report



The Hospitality Industry Losses
a Great Leader, Sonny Look
Houston, Texas -- On December 29, 2003, Houston lost one of its great restaurateurs of all time, Garret Dawson “Sonny” Look.  Sonny was 84 years of age and passed away at his home.  He was born on April 21, 1919 in Caldwell, Texas. He graduated from Brenham High School. Sonny attended the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Florida State University, and Oklahoma State University. At the age of 21, Sonny bought his first restaurant, The New York Cafe in Brenham. 

In 1942, Sonny joined the United States Navy and served honorably aboard the U.S.S. Beagle in the Pacific Ocean until 1945. Sonny moved to Houston that same year, and in 1946, opened The Quitman Coffee Shop and soon after opened Sonny Look's restaurant. Sonny continued in the restaurant business with Look's Sir-Loin House, Look's Sir-Loin Inn, The Depot, Don Quixote, and several Bar-B-Q Barns. 

He has been on the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association, President of the Texas Restaurant Association, and President of the Houston Restaurant Association. In 1967, Sonny opened the first of many hotels and became chairman of Sunbelt Hotels, Inc. He was also instrumental in establishing the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston and served as an Adjunct Professor at the Hilton College. 

In addition, he served on the Board of Directors of the American Hotel/Motel Association and Texas Hotel/ Motel Association. Sonny was also one of the founders of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. He served as Chairman from 1980 to 1982. Additionally, he was a charter member and Director of the Texas Tourist Council. He was also a member of Second Baptist Church in Houston. Furthermore, Sonny was a Lifetime Vice President of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. He also served the organization as Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. 

Over his expansive career, Sonny was awarded numerous honors including Houston Outstanding Restaurateur, Texas Outstanding Restaurateur, Hall of Fame-American Restaurant Magazine, The Governor's Tourist Development Award, and the Life Achievement Award from the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Sonny was also given the Distinguished Honorary Alumnus Award from the Conrad N. Hilton College. 

The family had requested that memorials in honor of Sonny Look be made to the charity of choice or to the Conrad N. Hilton College at the University of Houston.  Sonny and his wife Carole were dedicated supporters of the College and its students. In his honor, the College will be establishing the Sonny Look Endowment with the donations that are made to the College. If you wish to make a contribution to the Sonny Look Endowment, please make checks payable to The University of Houston.  Donations can be sent to the following address:  Conrad N. Hilton College, Attn:  Laura Sutherland, 229 C.N. Hilton Hotel & College, Houston

Conrad N. Hilton College
229 C. N. Hilton Hotel & College
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204-3028 USA
(713) 743-2550 

Also See: Ed and Lynn Hogan Recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Travel Industry; Awarded the 2003 Anastasia K. Mann Leadership Award / September 2003

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