GET READY FOR some changes at the Landmark Inn.
The new owners, Graves Hospitality, officially took over operations on Monday, and the first task on their to-do list is a revamping of Capers, the Landmark’s pricey, formal restaurant just off the lobby.
It’s going to be renamed: either the Piedmont or the Piedmont Lodge. Still undecided.
It will feature northern Italian food. That means rustic fare–whole roasted chicken, boar, venison, pizza, pastas. Think of it as a culinary marriage of the Upper Peninsula and the Dolomites of northern Italy.
And it’ll generally be less expensive than Capers. Let’s be honest, Capers served very good food, sometimes even exquisite food, but the tables were frequently empty and the atmosphere was a little stiff, a little formal. It was appropriate for older, affluent folks, but less so for younger, less moneyed diners unless they were celebrating a birthday or anniversary.
Graves hopes to change that. Both the food and the atmosphere.
Here’s what they’re going to do. The wall between the dining room and the kitchen is coming down. It’ll be an open kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven. The glass wall between the dining room and the lobby is also coming down. The dining room will flow into the lobby.
A new bar will be constructed in the restaurant to serve patrons in both the restaurant and the lobby.
The idea is to make the entire Landmark a place where you want to “hang out” for a half hour or three hours. Eating. Drinking. Talking. Socializing.
The lights in the restaurant will be dimmed. The music will be…younger. And a little louder. No more elevator music. Livelier.
Most of the elegant chandeliers in the restaurant will come down. They won’t be appropriate for a lodge that you might find in northern Italy or the U.P. Chairs and tables will be switched out, as well.
As for the Northland Pub, which has been enormously popular, expect no changes. Except maybe for larger TV’s.
The guest rooms? Yeah, some major changes. New beds, upgraded bathrooms, and bigger TV’s.
The sixth floor of the Landmark, which features the Northstar Lounge and the Sky Room and the best views in town, will stay the same. For now. But the next phase of renovations may change all that. The Sky Room, with commanding views of the city and Lake Superior, is now reserved for banquets. It seems underused.
That may change in the not-too-distant future.
But for now, Graves Hospitality, out of Minneapolis, is just proud to own the jewel of Marquette. Let’s hope they honor it and polish it.
Changes in the restaurant start later this month and should be finished by mid-May. All previous reservations and gift certificates will be honored at the new Landmark Inn.
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