Glendale - When the Radisson Inn closes next week, it will mark the beginning of a transition that will bring a modern look, renovated facilities and new attractions to the Glendale area.
The Radisson Inn, 7065 N. Port Washington Road, is owned by Odyssey Hotels, which will run the hotel independently for two months after it closes on Monday, Dec. 12. The hotel will close entirely on Feb. 28, and will be shut down for five to six months while the west tower of rooms is reconstructed and a lobby is added. The banquet and conference facility will remain open during that time. The hotel will open as Fairfield Inn in the fall.
Odyssey Hotels owner Rachit Dhingra plans to build a 8,000 square-foot addition on the south end of the building. The new addition will be the lobby of the hotel.
The hotel rooms will be renovated, except for the rooms surrounding the atrium and swimming pool on the west end of the grounds. The number of hotel rooms will be renovated and reduced from 133 to 86.
Dhingra also owns the extended-stay Residence Inn hotel being constructed just south of the Radisson Inn. The Residence Inn is expected to open in March, and like Fairfield Inn, is owned by Marriott. The new Residence Inn will be the first new hotel in the area in 20 years.
In addition to the two Marriott hotels, Dhingra is also responsible for the new PNC Bank, which opened at the corner of Green Tree and Port Washington roads in 2011.
Remodeled banquet halls
The Radisson Inn is located on a 5-acre lot that also includes an atrium, banquet facility and Zambonie's Sports Bar and Grill. All of those components are affiliated with Radisson, but they will be operated independently as part of the renovation and conversion to the Marriott brand.
The banquet facility will be rebranded as the North Shore Event Centre. There are three banquet spaces in the North Shore event center, and two of those ballrooms will be renovated as part of the rebranding. These spaces will continue to be available for weddings, corporate events and other special occasions.
The theater-style symposium space is being explored for a new comedy club called North Shore Comedy Connections. The club, which is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2017, is being masterminded by Jeremy Martin, Odyssey Hotels' food and beverage director. Martin has opened nine comedy clubs, and he said his new club will be an attraction for North Shore residents who don't want to travel downtown.
The hotel's atrium, known as Central Park, will continue to host special events, but the surrounding hotel rooms will no longer be available to guests. The atrium may eventually be demolished, or it may be part of an expanded banquet center.
Center Fields aims for the fences
The Radisson Inn's restaurant, Zambonie’s Sports Pub and Grill, has already begun rebranding as Center Fields Sports Bar and Grill, which features pictures of baseball stadiums throughout the restaurant. The restaurant will construct a deck with outdoor seating in the spring.
In creating Center Fields' new menu, Martin said he wanted to offer"exceptional contemporary food" in a bar setting. Examples include ahi tuna, sliders, a bourbon barbecue bacon burger and a reaper pepper panini so spicy that anyone who eats it gets their picture on the wall.
Martin is also hoping to attract attention with over-the-top cocktails, such as the "ultimate margarita," which for $28, includes three skewers of taco ingredients. The "ultimate bloody mary" includes sliders, cheese curds and other accoutrements.