By Edward Cardenas
ST. CLAIR SHORES (CBS Detroit) – A pair of fires couldn’t deter the owner of Gilbert’s Lodge restaurant in St. Clair Shores from reopening.
A blaze last October severely damaged the landmark restaurant where generations of diners, families and sports teams gathered. An electrical fire damaged a small portion of the restaurant in May, and delayed the opening until Thursday.
“After the first fire, it made no business sense to rebuild it,” said owner Louie Bricolas, who credited community support for reopening. “It was the city, the mayor, council, all my customers… they were the ones that pushed me and said you got to rebuild.”
The entire restaurant, which is nearly 50-years-old, was rebuilt including the dining area, expanded kitchen and storage area along with new outdoor seating with a renovated parking lot.
“The place is brand new,” said Bricolas. “And it means a lot to me.”
The restaurant opens Thursday, and will have a grand opening celebration July 16-20 that will feature music, specials and a joint fundraiser with the St. Clair Shores Firefighters for the Great Lakes Burn Camp.
In addition to being a popular dining location, it is also well-known among music fans as a location where rapper Eminem worked before hitting it big.