Official re-opening for Bras d’Or Lakes Inn

    ST. PETER’S: The Bras d’Or Lakes Inn has new owners and a fresh new look.

    Previously owned and operated by Rhoda and Jean Pierre Gillet, the inn was purchased late last year by Albert Sampson, Blaire Martell and Danielle Sampson as part of a new partnership.

    Renovations began early in the New Year and last week the new owners invited the community to see the changes, which include a brighter, more welcoming décor, a greater emphasis on seafood, and introducing locals to a new lineup of exciting musical acts.

    In addition, a conference room is now available at hourly or daily rates and a wharf will allow boaters to dock at the inn to enjoy the bar or dine in the restaurant, which is under the direction of chefs Kourtney Messervey and Randy Burke. The inn’s dining area will also now open for lunch daily at 11:30 a.m.

    More exterior painting and landscaping is planned for the coming months, as well as renovations in the lower-level bar area known as Sessions Lounge.

    Photos by Dana MacPhail-Touesnard — During the grand reopening on May 10, staff of the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn were pictured with new signage for the establishment which has renamed its bar the Lockmasters Quarters Pub, in recognition of the St. Peter’s Canal’s upcoming 150th birthday.

    Ownership partner Danielle Sampson, who handles the day-to-day operation of the inn, used her opening remarks to acknowledge the inn sits on land considered sacred to the Mi’kmaq people and to express gratitude to all who helped make the day possible.

    At the first event of a weekend-long grand opening celebration, Sampson offered her thanks to the family and friends who supported the venture and to her business partners for offering her a chance to get involved.

    “It’s an amazing opportunity that two local businesspeople have brought me in on and I really do appreciate it,” she said, adding the position has been a “life-changer” for her and her young daughter, Adeline.

    “It’s been a whirlwind but everything makes me smile when I walk through the building.”

    Sampson, a native of River Bourgeois, has worked in the tourism sector in various capacities in recent years – including creating and spearheading the successful Pirate Days festival – and says there is something very exciting happening in the St. Peter’s area.

    “The village has an energy that we’ve never seen before and we’re so excited to be getting in at this level and bringing it to the next level for St. Peter’s.”

    The Bras d’Or Lakes Inn will continue the practice of nightly live performances during the summer, including local acts and, on June 1, Sydney-based Canadiana band Pretty Archie.

    With the ribbon cutting making it official, the Bras d’Or Lakes Inn is open for business for the season with new owners Danielle Sampson (pictured cutting the ribbon), Albert Sampson and Blaire Martell at the helm.