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Rooftop cocktails anyone? Fort Wayne’s first boutique hotel is officially open

“You will not walk into another hotel and have this feeling.”

Those are the words of Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, Vera Bradley’s co-founder, describing a new five-story hotel she co-owns in downtown Fort Wayne called The Bradley.

Vera Bradley Co-Founder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard enjoys the Grand Opening of The Bradley at Birdie’s Rooftop Bar at 204 W. Main St.

The latest member of the Portland-based Provenance Hotel group, The Bradley celebrated its Grand Opening on July 15 at 204 W. Main St. near The Landing in downtown Fort Wayne, making it the Summit City’s first boutique hotel. 

Since the early 2010s and the rise of Airbnb, boutique hotels have become a fast-growing segment of the lodging industry, with IBISWorld reporting an 8.6 percent growth rate prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than merely providing guests with a comfortable night’s stay during their travels, boutique hotels make the stay an experience in and of itself. From exceptional service to local decor and statement pieces, they are designed to offer insight into the lives and cultures of the cities they reside in.

True to form, The Bradley is sharing some of Fort Wayne’s identity by featuring bold patterns and prints at every turn, which pay homage to the handbag and lifestyle brand, Vera Bradley, as one of the area’s largest companies.

The hotel is also spotlighting the work of local artists. Each guest room is decorated with specially commissioned botanical-inspired letterpress prints by Fort Wayne artist, Julie Wall of HEDGE Studios. Additional works in the hotel’s public spaces have been created by Theoplis Smith III, aka Phresh Laundry.

The hotel even features a revolving art gallery in its main lobby, highlighting the work of students, faculty, and alumni at the Purdue University Fort Wayne Department of Art and Design. These works can be made available for purchase. 

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

The Bradley has 124 guest rooms and nine suites, each decorated differently and named after Indiana cities. Its three meeting rooms are named after counties in Northeast Indiana, too.

Along with local art, design features, and names, The Bradley offers a skyline view of downtown Fort Wayne from its open-air rooftop bar, Birdie’s, open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily with birdcages, fire pits, and a full menu of food and drinks. The Bradley also has a restaurant, Arbor, on its main floor, which serves local Utopian Coffee and breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Lunch and dinner services will be added to the menu in the coming months. 

We took a photo tour of The Bradley during its Grand Opening to catch a glimpse of all the special touches that make it a one-of-a-kind Fort Wayne experience.

The Bradley is located at 204 W. Main St.

The Bradley is located at 204 W. Main St.

Guests enjoy the Grand Opening of The Bradley and its Arbor restaurant at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Guests enjoy the Grand Opening of The Bradley and its Arbor restaurant at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Special touches at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Guests enjoy the Grand Opening of The Bradley at Birdie’s Rooftop Bar at 204 W. Main St.

Guests enjoy the Grand Opening of The Bradley at Birdie’s Rooftop Bar at 204 W. Main St.

Guests enjoy the Grand Opening of The Bradley at Birdie’s Rooftop Bar at 204 W. Main St.

Fort Wayne artists Julie Wall, Daniel Dienelt, and Theopolis Smith have work featured at The Bradley.

Birdie’s Rooftop Bar serves signature cocktails with a dinner menu and skyline views.

Guests enjoy the Grand Opening of The Bradley at Birdie’s Rooftop Bar at 204 W. Main St.

Guests enjoy the Grand Opening of The Bradley at Birdie’s Rooftop Bar at 204 W. Main St.

Guests enjoy the Grand Opening of The Bradley at Birdie’s Rooftop Bar at 204 W. Main St.

Mayor Tom Henry enjoys the Grand Opening of The Bradley in downtown Fort Wayne.

Fried Mac n’ Cheese balls are served at Birdie’s Rooftop Bar at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Fried Mac n’ Cheese balls are served at Birdie’s Rooftop Bar at The Bradley at 204 W. Main St.

Provenance Hotels President and CEO Katherine Durant and friends enjoy the Grand Opening of The Bradley in Fort Wayne.