The Summit Club wined and dined Fort Wayne elite for 38 years before shuttering suddenly in bankruptcy in 2009, its assets eventually sold at auction. The space sat vacant for more than three years before a new business, also specializing in the food and service industry, would come and take its place atop the PNC Bank Building, 110 W. Berry St., in suites 2500 and 2600.
Jeremy and Renee Miner are starting a new company, Three Sixty, in Fort Wayne in the fall, bringing a modern take on the catering and event services industry.
“It's a really big honor. I think everybody has a story associated with that building and that space,” Renee Miner said. In fact, her best friend got married there in 2006.
“If they grew up in the area, they know of the space and they hold it close to their hearts.”
The two originally honed their skills in Chicago and Indianapolis in various aspects of the hospitality and event planning industries.
The move to Fort Wayne will bring the couple closer to their families. Renee – a co-managing partner and chief and head designer – grew up in Huntington, while Jeremy – the general manager and co-managing partner and – grew up on Lake Hamilton.
“We've had our eye on Fort Wayne for a long time,” Renee said. “We've watched the industry in the area grow and the downtown really expand.”
For about the last year and a half, the Miners have been planning and working toward making their Fort Wayne business dreams a reality.
“We provide a completely different approach to the special events world,” Renee said.
And while food and good times will still be a major part of the new venture, there will be some changes to the business structure.
Three Sixty will offer gourmet catering and event planning for anyone interested in a venue for corporate and social events and special occasions, including weddings. From initial concept to planning to implementation, the company promises a full-service experience.
Food service and event hosting will all be done in-house, while Renee said Three Sixty will partner with area business for design aspects as needed.
“The key elements are still there,” Renee said. “It's a special place. It's a high end, elegant experience.”
Construction is still under way at Three Sixty. Flooring and lighting fixtures will be replaced, walls painted and original wood stained, all in an effort to modernize the space.
“But the character of the space is still there. Those that have been there know the woodwork that was painstakingly put there. Those are still there, just refreshed and made new.”
Neutral colors and a modest design will dominate the new space, to make it suitable for a variety of event styles, designs and color palates.
Over in the kitchen, Renee said the food will be innovative, stylized and even fun.
“We're going to look at playing with your food,” she said. “It's not a bad thing. It just doesn't have to be the same chicken and the same beef. Those dishes are wonderful, but the way you present them matters.”
The company will officially open in September. The Miners and Executive Chef Patrick Whetstone will start then, full time. Renee said “an army of people” will work events as servers, supervisors and kitchen staff, among other positions.
A number of events are already on the books, including one client who is a former Summit Club member.
Within a year or year and a half, Renee said she hopes to add to events staff, and perhaps even expand to catering outside the PNC Bank Building.
“It's a long-term relationship,” Renee said. “We are there for the long hall and excited about that.”