The Corner in Birmingham to close this weekend

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

The Corner, the award-winning bar attached to the Townsend Hotel will close this weekend after 16 years. The space will be transformed into a private dining and meeting room, to open in September.

The closing of the 2000-square-foot hotel bar will bring to mind one question from the lounge’s regulars: “what will happen to Dean?”

Bartender Dean Burnett has been an employee of the Townsend Hotel since it opened in 1988. He’s received both local and national accolades for his barside manner and mixing skills.

“Dean is still staying on with us and he’ll be working in our banquet and catering operation,” says Jared Chorney, food and beverage director for the Townsend. Chorney says Burnett may also make some appearances behind the bar at the Rugby Grille, the Townsend’s four-diamond rated restaurant.

“He’s one of only a handful of original employees with the hotel since 1988 and he has been the bartender at the Corner since its inception,” says Chorney. “So it’s kind of bittersweet, certainly for him. He’s been our cornerstone there and our guests absolutely love him, but we’re ready to move to the next chapter. There’s been great memories that have been made there and there’s plenty left to come.”

The Corner’s last nights of service are Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

This change is part of the Townsend’s massive updates which began in 2012 and 2013 with a re-do of the Rugby Grille that included the addition of a 20-seat patio and updates to the seating, lighting, china and other interior details.

Throughout the past three years the Townsend remodeled all 150 guestrooms and nine suites with the latest hotel technology. Most recently the hotel revamped its meeting facilities and public spaces.

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Twitter: @melodybaetens