Party time: Augustus 27 opens at top of Windsor
Thursday, December 1, 2016
The Windsor Star/Craig Pearson
Windsor’s tallest building provides the world’s best view of the Detroit skyline.
Augustus 27 — the newest party room on the 27th floor of Caesars Windsor’s Augustus Tower — hosted its first major party last weekend after a glitzy grand opening that showcased its ace in the hole.
“The view, with floor-to-ceiling windows, is breathtaking,” Caesars Windsor spokeswoman Susanne Tomkins said.
Augustus 27 has arguably the best view anywhere in Windsor and Detroit — gazing out as it does at eye level with Motor City skyscrapers.
The space sat empty since the Augustus Tower opened in 2008. But maybe now fortunes seem right.
Caesars Windsor, the largest casino resort in Canada, lost significant revenue after 9/11 and the advent of three competitors in Detroit. The casino has steadily increased its revenue the last five years — to $267 million in 2015-16 — thanks to almost four million patrons.
So eight years after Augustus Tower opened, the party room in the sky has finally started hosting the soirees it deserves.
The first full gala was Saturday night with Starry Night, organized by former Mayor Eddie Francis and his wife Michelle Prince. The event, complete with fireworks just outside the acres of windows, raised $1 million for the new hospital campaign — the largest single-event fundraiser in Windsor-Essex County history.
The 10,000 square feet of space with changeable lighting was awash in lamps and beautiful people, all grazing on stations overflowing with such fancy fare as Beef Wellington and cured shrimp tartar with avocado puree.
Of course, filling the place to its 240-guest capacity won’t come cheap. Augustus 27 offers its own upscale menu designed by executive chef Patrick McClary, and each dinner costs $104 to $133 a plate, before even bellying up to the bar — which highlights a silver lounge area complete with stylish sofas.
“The menu is designed specifically for this area,” said Joe Moore, Caesars Windsor’s director of food and beverage. “It goes with the atmosphere of the place. We wanted a Tribeca loft feel.”
The room boasts large-scale contemporary work from local artists Shirley Williams, Nancy Johns and Gisele Poisson. Pipe door handles on metal attached by grommets add to the swanky factory ambience.
The renovation began in August and cost almost $2 million, paid for by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, which approves all major leasehold improvements.
The finished product stands out thanks to a couple of Windsor partners, local designer Helena Ventrella and the TCI Titan Group.
The luxurious setting pairs super-modern with industrial chic, boasting such posh touches as hand-rubbed leather accents, “textured suede” concrete flooring, steel-panelled walls, and dramatic tiered lighting. Edison bulbs hang like so many stars at different heights from an overhead grate on a ceiling that slopes up toward Detroit.
As Kevin Laforet, regional president of Caesars Entertainment, said in a news release: “This world-class amenity gives us yet another offering for our valued customers and an opportunity to ensure Caesars Windsor remains a premier destination for tourism, special events, and entertainment.”