Lexington’s Harborview Plaza plans grand opening June 13*
LEXINGTON — The once vibrant Smackwater Block, which went into receivership in December 2011, is getting new life, a new name and new tenants.
Now the Harborview Plaza, the block is at 7318 Huron Ave.
“The new owners are local people that live here,” said Tom Raymond, Lexington village manager. “They have a really good feel about what the area can support.”
New owners, Mike and Lanae Kettlewell, bought the block under the name LLC Harborview Investments and began work to renovate in summer 2013.
The block had a soft opening on May 1. The grand opening will be June 13 [corrected from May 24] with entertainment in the new theater.
The block now houses the Sweetwater Gourmet Deli and Bakery, the Celtic Ray Pub, and the Lexington Village Theatre. Studio Hair Design and ER Fitness also are in the plaza.
“The plaza was dead and sad for a while,” said Lisa Hind, co-owner of Sweetwater Deli. “The courtyard is beautiful now with the fountain flowing and flowers planted. It was brought back to life. It’s a gathering place now.”
Hind said the deli’s soft opening earlier this month was a success.
“The response was overwhelming, better than I could ever imagine,” she said. “The last two weeks have been a good sign for things to come this summer.”
Raymond said community has welcomed the additions.
“We have a diversified group of eateries now,” Raymond said. “None will be in competition with each other because they will be offering a variety, which is key. Now people don’t have to leave Lexington to find variety.”
He said he was impressed with the Celtic Ray Pub.
“We have gotten a very positive response from the community,” said Kevin Doyle, pub owner. “People have been thanking us for saving the building and for bringing something new to Lexington.”
The pub, with a sister location in Florida, was supposed to have opened in Port Huron. But when Doyle by chance walked past the Lexington building, he was sold.
“It was a beautiful building, perfect for an Irish pub,” he said. “And it wasn’t being used for anything. The wood paneling and brick layout were beautiful.”
Doyle said during the grand opening of the block on June 13 [corrected from May 24] there will be a traditional Irish pub sing-a-long band performing with an Australian blues fusion band in the Lexington Village Theatre.
The theater is connected to both the pub and the deli.
“The first year for the theater will be the warmup year,” Mike Kettlewell said. “We expect the first year to be slower, but we do have some significant acts coming out.”
Among the acts are the John Corbett Band, the Little River Band, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.
“The three additions, the pub, the deli, and the theater, are all giving people a reason to stay longer in Lexington and to come more often,” Hind said. “You could literally have a pub crawl now.”
The former Smackwater Block was owned by Adam Buschbacher and housed The Smackwater Grille, Brewmaster’s Pub and The Tap Room. It also housed Gallery 7318, Huron Avenue Gourmet Marketplace and the Lexington Music and Theatre Co.
Contact Nicole Hayden at (810) 989-6279 or email@example.com. On Twitter @NicoleHayden_TH.
Reprinted by permission of the Times Herald.
*Grand Opening corrected from May 24 to June 13