Sarnia's Drawbridge Inn will reopen as the Insignia in 2018. BlackburnNews.com file photo.

Former Drawbridge Inn Opening Delayed

A gut and rebuild of the historic former Drawbridge Inn in downtown Sarnia is taking a little longer than anticipated

General Manager Kelly Steeves says the Insignia is now scheduled to open sometime in 2018, instead of the originally anticipated September.

The number of rooms will drop from 100 to 84, because of the creation of two, three-room family suites and nine barrier-free rooms.

There will also be an 85-seat dining room and bar on the first floor and a coffee bar in the lobby.

Steeves says although the inside will be entirely different, the outside will still represent an English Tudor Manor.

“We would rather open when everything is finished exactly to what our standards are,” says Steeves. “We’re not going to rush through it and it’s going to take some time to get it to where we want it to be. We’re working with a building from 1963. There was an addition in the late ’80’s so we have two different types of construction to deal with. We discovered that there had been a fire on the first and second floors in ’85/’86 and it had just been dry-walled over, so we had to deal with that. We had a dove in our canopy this spring and summer so after three rounds of babies we were finally able to take the awning off the front of the building. A large steel structural canopy is now being fabricated that will go off the main entrance that will have a glass vestibule.”

The renovation had an initial $4-million price tag.

Steeves says the On Edge Fitness Club’s lease expires in 2020 and they will renew the clubs options for renewal at that time.