Seven Gables Inn, often referred to as a European oasis in the heart of Clayton, will have its official dedication March 11 after an 18-month extensive $9.5 million renovation by Restoration St. Louis. Clayton Mayor Michelle Harris will officiate at the ribbon-cutting ceremony that begins at 4 p.m., at 26 N. Meramec Ave.
Amy and Amrit Gill, owners of Restoration St. Louis, have restored the inn to its previous glory that features 32 guest rooms and suites that blend Old World charm with modern luxury. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the property dates back to 1926. With its gabled European roofs and outdoor courtyard, decorative timbering, massive chimney and slender windows, the Tudor Revival-style property is surrounded by modern high-rises and is located within the walkable Clayton city business center. Innkeeper Hospitality Services, LLC, a division of Restoration St. Louis, is managing the property.
“The Seven Gables Inn has provided a quirky charm and European ambiance in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Clayton business district for more than 90 years,” said Amy Gill, co-founder of Restoration St. Louis, “and we wanted to ensure that this oasis-like treasure remains for decades more. Where else can you experience Europe without the jet lag?”
The Gills purchased the hotel 18 months ago and immediately renovated the property’s street-level restaurant, formerly known as Molly Darcy’s Pub. Operating as the Restaurant at Seven Gables Inn, the restaurant remained open throughout the hotel’s renovation. To coincide with the completed renovation of the hotel, the in-house American bistro has been rechristened SEVEN and even features a “Lost Legends” menu that pays homage to dishes from famous St. Louis restaurants that are now closed.
The thoughtfully-crafted menu, under the direction of Food and Beverage Senior Vice President Michael Russell, includes some of the former restaurant’s favorites, including the award-winning Tenderloin Sandwich, Chicken Pot Pie and Fish ‘n Chips. Patrons may also eat on the outside covered porch or in the beautifully encapsulated outdoor courtyard. A full-service complimentary breakfast is available daily for all overnight guests. Breakfast is also available to the public (for purchase) seven days a week.
Renovations to the inn itself include luxury amenities and hardwood floors in the 20 king rooms, seven double queen rooms and five suites, artwork by local artist Fern Taylor, and a new $1 million HVAC heating and cooling system that replaced the former window units. The former reception area has been transformed into a sitting area overlooking the European Garden and a new front desk welcome area. Several hidden stairways connecting to rooms or leading to dead ends were uncovered during renovations; these were filled in to create wider hallway access in each wing.
In-room amenities include TVs inside the bathroom mirrors, Toto Washlets (only the third hotel in the country to have them in every room and suite), half-timbering trim, vintage telephones, Serta Perfect sleeper beds and large Tudor windows. The inn is also pet friendly.
The crown jewel of the renovation, however, is the skywalk that now connects the north and south sides of the hotel, a first for the property. The European-style garden courtyard is filled with Boston ivy winding along the stucco walls. A large tree, decorated with lanterns and warm bistro lights, shades the brick patio floor. Plush lounge chairs and patio tables are available for patrons as well. The 3,500-square-foot flexible banquet space includes Gable 1 and Gable II, as well as the extensively refurbished Hawthorn room, which features a European-style metal ceiling and wood walls.
The property’s original architects, Captain Gunther Meier and Norman Comfort of Meier and Comfort, Inc., were attracted to the attributes of Tudor English design from their time spent in Europe in the military. Comfort also admired author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, “The House of Seven Gables,” hence the inn’s moniker. The building originally contained 27 apartments, four offices and four storefronts. Once completed, the two located their office at the property and continued designing Tudor-style residential areas throughout St. Louis, including Fair Oak Estates, Picardy Lane in Ladue and York Village in Brentwood, to name a few. Today, the once dominant structure of the pitched-roof inn has given way to Clayton’s high-rise buildings and, yet, still maintains its oasis charm.
Home to St. Louis County government, Clayton features a collection of boutiques, galleries, unique restaurants, bars and coffee shops. The sprawling Shaw Park is located just blocks from Seven Gables. A wide range of annual events attract thousands of visitors, including the Saint Louis Art Fair, Taste of Clayton food festival, Gallery Nights, Parties in the Park and a seasonal farmers market.