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Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub to Debut New Event Center

January completion is expected for the Marshall venue

By Kathy Gibbons

A rendering of part of the interior of the new 19ZERO9 event space || Courtesy of Driven Design and Schuler’s

Since Sue Damron took over Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub in Marshall in 2019, she’s initiated improvements that have led to the biggest project yet: opening a stand-alone event center just down the street.

Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub was founded in 1909, remaining under family ownership for decades until Damron took the lead. She had worked with third-generation family owner Hans Schuler since 1998, when she joined the company as executive assistant, and describes Schuler as her mentor. Damron acquired a minority ownership share in Schuler’s in 2014, when she was named president and managing partner.

Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub features a hotel portion above it, The Royal Hotel, that Damron has helped to revive—this was closed for more than 50 years, from the 1970s until recently. In 2022, Damron decided to begin reopening the hotel, creating seven apartments and an elevator. She added five hotel rooms in 2023.

After that, Schuler’s purchased what Damron describes as the “old Dreamers Furniture building” about a block away. It is now under construction with help from a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The plan is to create a 250-person event center along with three more hotel rooms—the event center will help Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub serve larger groups.

“We can [currently], in our largest dining room, serve 130 people,” Damron says. “We do sometimes sell the main dining room, which can seat 200, but we don’t usually do that on weekends … We’ve been seeing a need, for a number of years, to have a bigger event space.”

The facility’s name is going to be 19ZERO9, playing off the idea that Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub was founded in 1909. “It’s going to have a little bit of a modern, industrial sort of feel,” Damron explains. “It has an arched roof on it, and one of the big things about to happen in construction is taking the roof off and putting a whole new one on.”

There will be a catering kitchen on-site, although food will be prepared at the main restaurant and shuttled over to the event center. Completion is anticipated for January, and Schuler’s is hiring a sales manager to manage booking requests. “We have three contracted events now and have people asking every day,” Damron says.

An artist’s rendering of Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub’s new event venue, 19ZERO9 || Courtesy of Driven Design and Schuler’s Restaurant & Pub

The project is being viewed as a huge boost to the economy for Marshall and the larger Calhoun County. Ford announced last year that it plans to build a new LFP battery plant there, and the effects are already rippling. “When Ford made its announcement of selecting the Marshall community, we immediately saw people coming into the restaurant saying ‘we heard this announcement about Ford and [realized we] kind of forgot about Marshall,’” Damron says. “We’ve had people staying in the hotel here in the restaurant building … and we’re seeing contractors working here in town coming for lunch and dinner.

“We know the facility we’re building and new event center will be needed for some of these large manufacturing components that are going to be coming in because of the Ford plant,” she continues. “We’re going to see some growth that’s been long overdue for our area.”