Dining to be offered within a few weeks
IT’S BEEN A long and eerily quiet spring for the Landmark Inn, one of the UP’s most prestigious hotels.
Occupancy has been languishing in the single digits during the pandemic scare, restaurants and the pub are closed down, most of the staff has been furloughed.
But now finally, maybe there’s hope on the horizon?
“Business is slowly coming back,” says Ben Graves, the CEO of Graves Hospitality which owns the Landmark. “People are starting to travel. They want to get out, there’s pent up demand.”
The numbers for the last few weeks have been trending upward. The staff is slowly being brought back, as increased business warrants.
The big change we’ll see soon is in food service. By the end of the month, the Landmark will start offering food from an expanded Northland Pub menu which will include some larger “family” dishes, as well.
Where will the diners sit? They’ll be seated in what has been the Piedmont, in the front lobby, and perhaps on tables outside.
The Landmark lobby, now empty, might seat some of the diners.
All of the diners socially spaced, of course, and the staff all abiding by required safety procedures. All drinks available.
As for the always popular Pub, which has undergone a freshening of the decor over the last two months, we may have to wait longer on that.
“We’re exploring how we’re going to do social distancing at a bar, and that can be very difficult,” says Graves. “Our priority is always going to be keeping people safe.”
And the Northstar Lounge on the sixth floor, along with the adjacent Sky Room?
Again, a further delay for one reason: the elevators. The Landmark doesn’t want drinkers and diners crowding into the elevators to get upstairs and downstairs. Social distancing and keeping guests safe are the top priorities.
Finally, there’s the Landmark’s primary restaurant–what was formerly the Piedmont but will eventually be transformed into The Parlour, featuring pizza created by the folks who operate the Smelted food truck. The changeover was to have occurred by now, but the pandemic intervened.
“We’re still on board with Smelted,” says Graves. “And we’ll continue with it when social distancing allows, but right now, I’m not sure when that will be.”
Smelted still planning partnership with the Landmark
“WE’RE VERY POSITIVE about the future with the Landmark,” says Matt Lucas, who owns Smelted.
But it’s a reiteration of what Graves is saying: exactly when the changeover might occur is uncertain. It likely depends on how quickly the pandemic crisis eases, and the economy picks up.
Meantime, Lucas says business for Smelted has been coming back.
“When the breweries closed down, that really hurt us,” he explains. “And then we lost a lot of business because we couldn’t do graduation parties or weddings, but still it’s been steady. People here have been very supportive.”
Smelted’s plans for the summer call for them to set up at local breweries five days a week, while awaiting word on when the collaboration with the Landmark Inn will take place.