The Clarke Hotel in downtown Waukesha expected to have new ownership soon

The Clarke Hotel could have new ownership by next week. The hotel’s general manager said there is an interested buyer but the sale has not been finalized.
Published on: 5/12/2014

The Clarke Hotel in downtown Waukesha could soon have new ownership, said David Smart, the hotel's general manager.

'It's still pending,' Smart said on Monday, adding that there are 'a lot of unknowns' and 'nothing is certain' until the sale closes.

Smart said he has an interested operator who has similar properties but didn't want to reveal details as of yet. He said he expected the sale to close by May 22 or May 23.

New ownership could bring new life to the restaurant and bar at the hotel.

The 20-room Clarke Hotel, 314 W. Main St., opened in December 2008 after it was transformed from a former flop house and downtown eyesore. It opened under the leadership of Andrew Ruggeri and Drew Vallozzi and was developed by Bethesda Development LLC, a local investors group.

But the hotel's high-end restaurant, the Black Trumpet, changed management and its name just two years later.

However, the new eatery, D Mo's Pasta and Chop House, closed a year later. The restaurant and bar has been closed since.

In the meantime, Vallozzi took over management of the hotel when Ruggeri left in 2009. His successor, Anthony Colletti, has also since left. Smart was hired last year as general manager and said he was hopeful a new restaurant operator would be in place by the spring or summer.

The hotel is currently owned by the Sheboygan-based Community Bank & Trust, which financed two loans for The Clarke Hotel. In 2013, the bank filed for foreclosure in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

The Madison-based IDM Group LLC was named the hotel's new development and management firm last year.