Ice bucket

Never in a million years did I think I would ever be the first guest at a hotel opening. But it happened earlier this week!

The brand-new Brice Hotel on East Bay Street in beautiful downtown Savannah, Ga. used to be a Coca-Cola bottling plant. The plant opened in 1902, soon closed its doors, then reopened in 1903 under new ownership. The new owner, J.S. Poindexter, came to see the number “13” as his lucky number for a few reasons. For starters, the plant was located on 13 East Bay Street. He arrived in Savannah and opened the doors on March 13. And on his first day in business, he sold 13 cases of Coca-Cola. Hard to believe!

The plant became the Mulberry Inn in 1983, and was eventually sold to The Kimpton Group, which refurbished the hotel. With the grand opening of the Brice Hotel on May 20, the staff wanted to honor the building's history and host a Coca-Cola employee as its first guest. The staff greeted me as I drove up and presented me with a big key at check in.

To further celebrate the hotel's "former life" as a Coca-Cola bottling plant, a table was built using a portion of a Coca-Cola cooler. Stop by if you are ever in Savannah. I’ll let you know if I see or hear any bottling equipment while I sleep!

Justine Fletcher is a processing archivist for The Coca-Cola Company.