Brush Park mansion comes back to life, again, as inn

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

A grand 19th-century mansion in Detroit’s Brush Park — that’s within walking distance of the new Little Caesars Arena — has been reborn as a 10-bedroom bed and breakfast.

The 11,000-square-foot Inn at 97 Winder, in an 1876 mansion built by pharmacist John Clark, has three first-floor parlors.

The 11,000-square-foot Inn at 97 Winder held an official grand opening this week to celebrate its latest beginning, which comes after it was sold late last year to father and son duo Gerardo and Anthony Pecchia. It had a soft opening earlier this spring and occupancy has already grown from 30 percent to 60 percent a night on average, said manager Barry Caplan of Access Hotel & Resorts, the firm managing the property.

“People love what this represents,” said owner Anthony Pecchia.

Built in 1876 by pharmacist John Harvey in a portion of Brush Park once known as Little Paris, the inn has three first-floor parlors, a formal dining room (where guests will have breakfast), a French mansard roof and 14-foot ceilings.

It fell on hard times in the 1930s when it was converted into a rooming house.

Rooms ranges from 800 square feet to 1,200, with distinctive themes.

But by the time the Pecchias toured it last year, it had been fully restored by former owners Ghassan Yazbeck and Marilyn Nash-Yazbeck who also ran it as a bed and breakfast. Tony Pecchia said it only required minor updates such as new window treatments, linens and smart TVs in each guest room suite. They also updated all of the home’s porches.

Bright, bold art fills the first floor and many of the guest rooms, most of it from the former owners. Each room, which ranges in size from 800 square feet to 1,200, has its own theme and motif. The Pecchias added a massage room where guests at the grand opening this week could get quick 10-minute massages.

Caplan, the property manager, said it needed to be decluttered more than anything.

Room rates start at $199 weeknights, and $250 on weekends. The inn also can be rented a whole for large events such as weddings.

Guests eat breakfast in the formal dining room. The official opening was held this week.

Tony Pecchia remembers touring the inn, which was sold after the Yazbecks went through a divorce, and thinking, “Who wouldn’t want it?” he said. He said he and his father, a former Detroit Police officer, are committed to the property.

“We really wanted to take care of the house,” said Tony Pecchia. “We wanted it live up to its absolute potential.”

Caplan said the draw of the new inn is its uniqueness, history and, of course, the location, which he calls “spectacular.”

“It’s a preserved piece of Detroit history,” he said. “... And you’re not 1 of 400. You’re one of 10.”

(313) 223-4686

Twitter: @mfeighan

The Inn at 97 Winder

■10-room bed and breakfast, within walking distance of Comerica Park and Little Caesars Arena

■Room rates start at $199 weeknights and $250 weekends

■ (313) 832-4348 or