The Read House Reopens October 9, 2018
Phase I of Renovation Complete
CHATTANOOGA, TN (October 9, 2018) – Avocet Hospitality Group (Avocet), owner and operator of independent hotels, is proud to announce the reopening of the historic portion of The Read House hotel. Avocet acquired the hotel in 2016 and commenced the renovation in late 2017.
After an extensive $27 Million complete renovation, The Read House reopened the historic portion of the hotel. The hotel is comprised of two buildings – the original Read House built in 1926, and The Manor Building added in 1964. During Phase I of the renovation, the historic structure was closed while all rooms were completely rebuilt with all new layouts, walls, plumbing, electrical, technology, and furnishings. The public areas, including the grand lobby, Silver Ballroom, and the Green Room were meticulously restored to retain the historic nature of the hotel. All of the plaster and silver leaf in the Silver Ballroom has been restored. The original Russian Walnut in the grand lobby has been restored, stripped, cleaned, and polished.
“As we researched the history of The Read House, it became apparent that this was the premier place for social gatherings and lavish parties during the heyday of the hotel. Almost everyone had a great story of a celebration that had occurred at The Read House. These stories made us realize that The Read House needed to be reborn as a Roaring 20s hotel – Gatsby style,” states Jon Weitz, president and owner of Avocet.
Avocet worked closely with local architecture firm, Artech, along with renown hotel interior designer, Deborah Forrest, of ForrestPerkins to create the vision for the rebirth of the hotel. Historic accounts indicated The Read House originally included a library seating area, as well as a lobby bar and billiards room. Those areas were recreated as part of the renovation to make the hotel as authentic as possible to the original vision of Samuel Read in 1926.
The renovation also included returning the hotel entrance back to its proper location on MLK Boulevard, along with a new historically accurate canopy covering the entrance. Guests will be greeted by bellman and valet at 107 W MLK entrance and enter the grand lobby the way it was intended to be enjoyed when it originally opened in 1926.
The hotel will also include Bridgeman’s Chophouse, an upscale steakhouse named after Peter Bridgeman (aka “Peter Rabbit”). Mr. Bridgeman was one the most well-known employees of The Read House for 47 years. He served locals and visitors alike and almost never forgot a name or a face. The restaurant was named in his honor for his dedication to guests of The Read House and will open in late October.
“Our mission is for our team to create a magical experience for each guest from the moment they pull up until the moment they leave. We want guests to feel that they are the guest of honor at a Roaring 20s party. We are definitely trying to create a wholistic experience. We want to give you more than just a place to sleep and a hot shower, “said Ken Merkel, general manager of the hotel.
The entire Read House contains 242 guestrooms and suites, 141 of those rooms have been completely renovated in the historic tower. The remaining 100 rooms housed in The Manor Building will be renovated during Phase II – slated to start before 2019.