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St. Clair Inn to hold charity preview, Friday, Oct. 25

St. Clair Inn Charity Preview
The three new cottages south of the main hotel at the St. Clair Inn.

Event includes appetizers, champagne, tours

By Jim Bloch

Be among the first residents to check out the new St. Clair Inn next Friday and you’ll benefit local veterans and children at the same time.

The St. Clair Inn will hold a charity preview on Friday, Oct. 25, 5-8 p.m.

“It’s a strolling cocktail party with some finger food and champagne,” said Bill Kaufman, a spokesperson for Grindstone Strategies, the marketing company owned by former state senator Phil Pavlov; the firm is handling media relations for the inn.

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Jeff Katofsky, the principal owner of the Inn, and his partner Rick Barreca will be on-site for the event and available to talk to guests.

The old River Lounge will become the Dive Bar at the new St. Clair Inn.

The welfare of children is a top issue with Katofsky,” said Kaufman. Barreca is especially concerned about issues faced by veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

At a media tour of the Inn in September, Katofsky said the charities will be managed by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

“As a close follower of the Inn during its restoration, you are uniquely aware of the evolution of the Inn since it was closed in 2014,” said the electronic invitations that were sent to people on the inn’s mailing list Oct. 16. “In 2015 we initiated a four-year restoration and expansion of this iconic property. Since we started this project, nearly $40 million has been invested in the restoration ensuring that the historic portion closely reflects the Inn as it appeared in 1926.”

To attend the event, guests must register at stclairinn.eventbrite.com and pre-pay the $75 donation. Business attire is required.

“Everything served that evening will be produced in the kitchen of the inn,” said Kaufman.

The new facility has already catered two weddings and two anniversary parties.

Former state senator Phil Pavlov and developer Jeff Katofsky at a tour of the inn in September.

While the kitchen is up and running, there remain a number of loose ends that must be tied up before the property’s showcase restaurant — called 1926 after the year the inn first debuted — opens for business.

“Community members and supporters of the Inn have been witnessing the tremendous improvements that have been taking place at the Inn for several years and finally will have the chance to experience the transformation first hand,” said the invitation.

In addition to a new third floor of suites on the north wing of the hotel, the facility boasts completely new rooms and appointments throughout — a new banquet facility, four new bars, a brand new kitchen and a number of satellite kitchens, new outdoor pool and hot tub, new riverside porches and decks, new landscaping and three new cottages.

“There will be some surprises unveiled at the charity event, too,” said Kaufman.

Jim Bloch is an award-winning freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. He writes about the environment, local politics, art, music, history and culture. Contact him at bloch.jim@gmail.com.

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