From adding backlighting to its classic bar, to incorporating new subtle-but-eye-catching enhancements to the fabric on barstools, the Saint John’s Resort’s Five Steakhouse has managed to upgrade its longstanding excellence.
The steakhouse’s improvements are part of the 75-year-old former seminary’s ongoing $50 million renovation project, which is turning it into not just a southeast-Michigan hospitality jewel, but a destination magnet for travelers from around the globe.
“I love it,” Chapin said of the Five Steakhouse renovation. “It’s given it a new air of upside, but not to the point where it’s too elegant, too stuffy. I think the younger generation is looking for a place like this where you can sit in more of an informal atmosphere to meet for dinner or business-related discussions.
Engaging staff, amazing atmosphere
“What makes this place really special, though, is the people. The staff are incredibly engaging — in a good way — and the atmosphere in here is universal. I’ve met people here from Europe, Asia — you name it, this place’s atmosphere attracts them.”
Chapin said his approval of the improvements is widespread.
“The other day I was chatting with a woman who works for DTE and is from Lansing,” said Chapin. “She told me she used to stay in a prominent hotel downtown (Detroit) when she had multi-day meetings, but since she first stayed here, she’ll never go anywhere else.
“Saint John’s is really growing its reputation for international hospitality.”
Changes fueled by countless hours of idea-sharing
Five Steakhouse’s renovation — even the logo was altered from 5ive to Five — was fueled by a ton of thought and conversation among the resort’s decision-makers, said Fadi Sibani, Saint John’s director of sales and marketing.
“Our color story was based on paprika and brick colors, inspired by the existing materials throughout the property,” Sibani explained. “We wanted to give the lounge a facelift while respecting the current architectural features.
“Our goal was to create a space that provided multiple dining experiences. The hi-top tables are perfect for grabbing a drink or a quick bite, while the banquettes were designed to provide a lounging experience for more casual dining.”
Sibani said longtime patrons have shared nothing but glowing compliments regarding the restaurant’s new look.
Guests impressed by changes
“We’ve received great feedback,” he said. “A lot of our guests have come in and have been blown away because the atmosphere is completely different for them.
“It was very nice before the renovation, but we thought it was time for a fresh, more-modern look. Although it’s different in a lot of ways, it still maintains the beautiful essence of Saint John’s.”
The upgraded design, Sibani explained, includes different textures and materials, woven fabrics, hair-on-hide, leather and overall mood lighting.
And visitors are reminded of the area’s amazing automotive heritage as vintage black-and-white photography from local car manufacturers are displayed strategically on the steakhouse’s walls and wrapped in custom gilt frames to provide a modern twist.
“We thought it was important to add a bit of edginess and did so with hair-on-hide on the back barstools and custom light fixtures with artisan blown glass that mimic the charm of natural quartz,” Sibani added. “We backlit the back of the bar and the countertop to really showcase the beauty of the natural stone and complement the overall mood lighting.”
Saint John’s Resort is celebrating the launch of its Five Steakhouse renovation by hosting three special events.
On Monday, April 24, Saint John’s is partnering with Short’s Brewery for a “Tap Takeover”, which will feature a day-long offering of selected beers and specials.
Wednesday, April 26, will be “Wine Down Wednesday”, during which patrons will receive a 50% discount on all bottles of wine from an award-winning list.
And on May 4, the resort will host the inaugural “Chef’s Table Dinner”, as five esteemed chefs will create five different courses, each of which will be served with a special wine or hand-crafted cocktail.
To register for the “Chef’s Table Dinner” (which has limited seating), click here.