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Gilbert's Remodeling Moves Forward After Fire

Renovation work continues to fire-damaged Gilbert's Lodge.

Gilbert's Lodge. (File photo)
Gilbert's Lodge. (File photo)
The St. Clair Shores Planning Commission approved a plan Tuesday presented by the owner of Gilbert's Lodge to add 365-square-feet to the restaurant.

The expansion for a room that will store items including electrical panels, hot water tanks, grease tanks and lockers for employees, is the part of the renovation process to rebuild the iconic restaurant after an early morning fire Oct. 10 heavily damaged the structure.

"Now this is an opportune time to take care of all of that and make a nice mechanical room, make everything clean and give room in the kitchen," said Bricolas, of the uses for the addition and improvements to the restaurant. "It's going to be a lot better."

The request for the addition, which is located in the rear of the building, still needs to be approved by City Council at an upcoming meeting. Additional remodeling plans also must be approved by council.

Despite the approvals still needed, Bricolas is committed to rebuilding. He said the interior of the restaurant has been gutted down to the cinder blocks, and by the end of the week, the smell of smoke will be removed from the inside of the building.

He added that Bricolas will pay for an extra $120,000 in improvements above what insurance is covering, "to make it better than what it was." Bricolas said customers will only see about $20,000, because the majority will be spent in the kitchen area and behind the scenes.

"It will still look like Gilbert's. It will still feel like Gilbert's when you walk in the door," Bricolas stated. 

And the train will return, he added.

"It just seems unfortunate to have the fire," said commissioner Bob Hison. "I am just glad that it is coming back."

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