For Sale: The (Un)-Common Residence/Restaurant Duo
Historically rich real estate in an established neighbourhood can present opportunities for savvy investors seeking financial freedoms or goals that can help them achieve a specific, sought-after lifestyle – and may we add, foodstyle.
A vulnerable building that once existed as the local bar for the likes of Chandler Walker and Fire Chief Thomas Drury in the mid-1900s sat humbly at the corner of Gladstone and Cataraqui until it was nearly forgotten. The mixed-use building in Walkerville, one of Windsor’s most iconic neighbourhoods, wasn’t short on character but required extensive planning, rehabilitation and renovations to revive its historic verve.
After years of jumping through hoops and navigating building codes, engaging engineers and architects, and extensive construction, what resulted is essentially a brand new building that will prove its legacy for years to come.
Dedicated rehabilitation completed in 2019 when it was finally ready for people to begin to use and enjoy. Residential space offered for lease in the second storey includes four modern studio apartments boasting loads of natural light, high ceilings, exposed bricks and bamboo countertops. Clean lines embrace sleek kitchens fitted with brand new appliances, and glossy new bathrooms make these spaces move-in ready. The Border City Living Real Estate Group welcomed a long list of applicants who swooned over the modern Brooklyn-style loft vibes.
This years-long transformation is breathing new life and energy into the community by opening a restaurant in its main-floor commercial space. The Gladstone Commons is a contemporary, small-plates restaurant offering Canadian cuisine with a flare of European influence. Its seasonal and locally-sourced menu by chef Dana Friis is elevated in collaboration with pastry chef Olivia Beaumont, and front-of-house crew and manager, Stephen Gambee. Gambee recently won a title in the top “30 Under 30” in Hospitality Canada. A Toronto native, Gambee moved from the GTA to Windsor to realize his personal investment goals.
Over a cherry margarita and a new summer bourbon drink of Gambee’s creation, we sat down with Stephen at the bar in the restaurant, and discussed the business opportunities he and the team are cultivating in Windsor.
He admitted that as a Torontonian he’d never dreamt of having a backyard or private driveway, let alone a corner lot with two driveways, which are both parts of his current living situation. He also never considered moving to Windsor. However, as Toronto real estate grew further and further out of reach, he was naturally drawn to the Windsor area because of its family-friendly community, its close proximity to Detroit, and its affordable real estate market.
After finding a house in the Fontainebleau neighbourhood, Gambee settled in and began making his house a home. He quickly understood the attainable good fortune and opportunities here in Windsor for dreamers and entrepreneurs. With the lifting of Covid-19 travel restrictions, Gambee is looking forward to crossing the border to explore the Motor City culinary scene. But more than that, his excitement is spilling into hopeful confidence that many Detroiters will return the love and flock to South Detroit to experience the culinary prowess that is The Gladstone Commons. With Friis at the helm, patrons can expect more than a remarkable chef’s tasting menu and top-notch service with brilliant cocktails by Gambee. The Gladstone is a gorgeous eating space that is streamlined with coolness everywhere one looks.
The Gladstone Commons restaurant and the residents upstairs are creating a refreshing, vibrant energy in the heart of the Walkerville neighbourhood comparable to mixed-use, commercial/residential locations in Brooklyn, New York. This burst of vitality in Windsor’s urban landscape invigorates our suburban frames of mind and invites us to feel away-from-home at home.
Exciting new real estate developments at the corner of Wyandotte and Argyle, the Distillery Square, means more eyes on the area as more buildings are slated to transform into boutique hotels, with retail, streetscaping and more residential lofts that will continue to enhance the vitality and vibrancy of the Rose City.
Reimagined ways of living and eating in contemporary and sustainable practices will continue to improve our neighbourhoods. With its delectable restaurant, The Gladstone Commons, below and its super-cool residential homes above, this vintage-value building is proof that a risky opportunity can pay off as a vessel for entrepreneurial dreams.
As real estate agents who believe in cultivating your lifestyle, let’s talk about making your dreams come true. This fully tenanted investment property is available for purchase through Border City Living Real Estate Group. For more details and sales particulars, reach out to us!
Keller Williams Lifestyles Realty / Independently Owned and Operated
Deidre Ritsche & Stephanie Bradt