Here’s how you can hire a Port Huron landmark for your next event

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The St. Clair County Community Foundation is breathing new life into an old Port Huron landmark by transforming the former Atrium Café & Ice Cream Parlor into a publicly accessible event space.

Located at 1519 Military St., the space is open for any type of event for organizations, families, or individuals, such as parties, graduations, or meetings for businesses or nonprofits. , said Randy Maiers, president and CEO of the foundation.

“We are open to all ideas,” Maiers said in an email. “Holiday parties, small fundraising events for local nonprofits, work retreats, large family reunions, etc. It seems that during the holiday season, our local restaurants are full all the time with parties and small events, so it would allow them to rent the Atrium to use as they see fit, to run their overflow events.”

The space features a main dining room that seats 60 and an atrium with teal stadium seating for 24. It has an old-fashioned feel, with elaborate trim, large mirrors, stained glass, ornate metal and glass doors, and wooden doors. used as wall moldings.

Thumb Coast Kitchen, which operates out of the old cafe, offers licensed chefs the option of renting the kitchen for their small business. Those who book the event space can also book a Thumb Coast Kitchen chef or host an event themselves using the kitchen or full-service bar.

The main space dining room for up to 60 patrons at the former Atrium Café & Ice Cream Parlor on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, located at 1519 Military St., Port Huron.

To book the event space, go to stclairfoundation.org/the-atrium/. Rental fees are $250 per event, $150 for bartender service and $100 per day for food trucks to rent parking.

Maiers said the community foundation uses all rental fees for the upkeep and operation of the old cafe.

Gino Giacumbo, general manager of the Blue Water Convention Center and president of the Rotary Club of Port Huron, said he held two Rotary Club meetings in the space and led a Weight Watchers meeting in the center’s overflow space. Congress.

He appreciated the large parking lot, the large space and the unique character and atmosphere of the space. The old cafe is relatively inexpensive compared to other event spaces in the city, and the foundation was easy to work with, he said.

Giacumbo said he would like to use the space as an overflow from the convention center, or to bring outside groups who are in town for week-long conventions into the space to show them downtown and be in a different location from the convention center.

Doña Marina owner Heather Fagan prepares grilled chicken during the soft opening of the new take-out restaurant Thursday, October 20, 2022 at the Atrium Kitchen in Port Huron.

Maiers said the main purpose of the space remains to give entrepreneurs a low-cost opportunity to start a business through the Thumb Coast Kitchen. The event space is an opportunity for chefs to show off their talents to local organizations and showcase their cuisine, especially as the holidays approach.

Daysha Woodley, manager and consultant for Thumb Coast Kitchen, said the kitchen currently has seven licensed chefs who use the space for takeout, catering and resale.

“It allows you to make sure that’s what you want to do, grow your business, grow your customer base, and then move on to bigger and better things,” Woodley said.

To learn more about renting the kitchen as a licensed chef, visit stclairfoundation.org/thumb-coast-kitchens/ or call Woodley at (810) 300-7580.

For those booking the event space, the chefs in the kitchen provide convenient and prompt service, as the chefs will be on hand to resolve any issues that may arise, she said.

The atrium with teal stadium seating for up to 24 patrons at the former Atrium Café & Ice Cream Parlor on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, located at 1519 Military St., Port Huron.

Heather Fagan, which has just opened Doña Marina’s LLC in the kitchen, said she would be happy to accommodate anyone who has booked an event at the old cafe. She said she enjoys being a bartender and creating new drinks as well as cooking.

Fagan said she sees the event space as more opportunities to involve the community in her business. The event space could also create more things to do downtown, especially during the winter months, she said.

“It’s a really great opportunity to get creative with events in the region,” she said.

The community foundation purchased the old cafe in March for $225,000, according to St. Clair County property records.

Thumb Coast Kitchen, which was first located at Grace Episcopal Church, expanded into the building when the foundation purchased it. After almost 11 years under the same owner, Gayle Stevens put the coffee on sale in 2020 due to economic pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic and the death of her late husband, Rock Stevens.

The building was purchased as part of the foundation’s broader efforts to support local small businesses, an initiative that has received new attention during the economic tumult of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maiers said. .

The main space dining room for up to 60 patrons at the former Atrium Café & Ice Cream Parlor on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022, located at 1519 Military St., Port Huron.

Maiers said the community foundation plans to keep the old cafe for about a year and a half, after which they hope to sell it to a local entrepreneur who would like to open his own business and occupy the space long-term.

Contact Laura Fitzgerald at (810) 941-7072 or [email protected]

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