The St. Clair Shores social district has been a “grand slam” from the start, St. Clair Shores City Councilman Dave Rubello said.

The St. Clair Shores social district has been a “grand slam” from the start, St. Clair Shores City Councilman Dave Rubello said.

File photo by Erin Sanchez

St. Clair Shores social district coming back May-October

By: Alyssa Ochss | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 20, 2023


ST. CLAIR SHORES — This year marks the third year the St. Clair Shores social district will be available for residents and others to enjoy. It will be available to patrons starting in May and will last through October.

Mary Bricolas, of Shores Inn, said the social district came to be when a member of the Cool City Committee came to one of the meetings of St. Clair Shores merchants.

“Someone from the Cool City Committee had heard about social districts and came to the Nine Mile and Mack merchants meeting and proposed it and so we decided to give it a try,” Mary said.

St. Clair Shores City Councilman Dave Rubello said it was a hit from the start as a collaboration between the Cool City Committee, the City Council and local merchants.

“Right off the bat, grand slam,” Rubello said. “You do these things and it’s like, God I hope somebody shows up. Oh my God. But they came and they keep coming. There (are) some big crowds. We’ve got some good bands in there right now.”

Rubello said the establishments that serve alcohol within the social district are Firehouse Pub & Grill, Shores Inn and the Copper Hop Brewing Co.

Ellene Bricolas, director of real estate at Shores Capital, said many of the residents who do come to these events try not to miss them.

“Yeah, many of them say that, you know, they come to all the events or they try to come to as many as they can throughout the season, and, you know, they try not to miss them because it’s a fun night in the area for the neighborhood,” Ellene Bricolas said.

The frequency at which the social district is available was up to the merchants, Rubello said. They were given the option to host it every Saturday during the months it was available, but they said twice a month would be enough.

Rubello said he agreed with that decision.

“But we left it open in case there was, maybe some special circumstance or special event, holiday, like Halloween or Christmas, or if they wanted to ever do one during that week, too,” Rubello said.

Some additional events are in the works, Mary Bricolas said.

“We’re going to be doing the Rockin’ the Shores as a social district as well in September,” she said. “And that’s the third Saturday. And we may have a couple pop up events. We’re talking about possibly a tent for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, but that’s just in the planning stages.”

Hannah Sarakun, director at Shores Capital, said they have a lot of returning amenities including bands and vendors, but they’re also going to try to make it more family friendly from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. by adding clowns, face painting and other things.

Ellene Bricolas said they’re also going to try to add themes to a couple of the social district days.

“So, you know, if we have a country music singer we can get somewhat of a hoedown, or you know, if we have ’80s music, doing some sort of like a neon-themed rave, glow sticks, all that kind of stuff,” she said. “So, we have some ideas in the works for, you know, how to make the events more fun and a little bit different.”

The rules for the social district have to do with where you can take alcohol purchased at the allowed establishments.

“They cannot bring their own alcoholic beverages into the district,” Mary Bricolas said. “And then the alcoholic beverages have to stay. Like there are signs out there that say no alcohol beyond this point. So, it has to just stay in the district and then alcohol from one establishment can’t go into another establishment, so that was another thing.”

Sarakun said it’s enjoyable for the whole family.

“But other than that, I mean, it’s very family friendly, pet friendly even,” Sarakun said. “We’ve had a bunch of people come with their dogs.”

They are currently looking for sponsorships, Sarakun said, and it doesn’t have to be big.

“A sponsorship can even be $50 to have their name someplace, but the more people that are involved the bigger the event can be and we want to make it best for the community,” she said.