Club History

Beacon Club History

If our walls could only talk they would tell us stories of the Civil War, both World Wars, the great depression and many tales in between. They would share with us folklore of the Pottawattamie Indian Tribe that spent the summer on the grounds of what is now the Kalamazoo Airport. Home ownership would include a farmer from New York and a candidate for Governor of the State of Michigan. When the home became a private club the walls would tell us about the well dressed men and women who socialized and conducted business in this stately dwelling. Because these walls are discreet, some stories would be left untold and merely remain as memories. Because the walls cannot give us their recount, it is our responsibility to record for future generations, the historical significance this building and Club have had as a part of the fabric of this community.

The Bottle Club Era

Until 1947 Kalamazoo restaurants were unable to sell liquor by the glass. However that same year, the State legislature passed a law to become known as the “Bottle Law” that allowed private clubs to serve mixes and ice to members who brought their own liquor to the club. Approximately 10 such clubs sprang up in the Kalamazoo area and only two remain. The Beacon Club received its Bottle license from the Michigan Securities and Exchange Commission on December 14, 1947.

On New Year’s eve 1947 the Beacon Club held its gala grand opening. The Club seated 60 members in what was an original Greek Revival home built in 1850. During the 1970’s and 1980’s the club was expanded to accommodate over 300 members.

From then until now the club has earned a reputation for personalized service, excellent food and the “Best Cocktails” in the area.

The Tradition Continues

Today, both relaxing and casual areas exist within the Club. A series of member events are now held monthly that range from Fashion Shows and Classic Car Night, to Gourmet Dinners and Wine Pairings. Corporate members use the Club’s private rooms for meetings of all sizes, intimate to large. Club members enjoy a variety of privileges including reciprocity with over 70 private clubs across the country, and the Affiliate Partner Program, with special services and pricing offered exclusively to Club members.

The core of the Beacon Club’s existence is our membership. We pledge to deliver excellent food and drinks in a comfortable setting, complimented by unique member benefits. We pledge to keep the Club strong and responsive to the changes in dining habits, as well as to business and group meeting requirements. And we pledge to provide the ambiance of a private club without the added costs of upfront initiation, monthly dues, or monthly food and beverage minimums. Our hope is that our members come because they want to, not because they feel they have to.

When the doors opened back on New Year’s Eve 1947, a tradition of excellent food, drinks and conviviality began that has now spanned seven decades. Much could be written about the famous people who have passed through our doors: of business deals reached over lunch and dinner; of engagements, weddings, milestone birthdays and anniversaries. They could fill many pages. We invite you to become a part of the Club’s tradition that has yet to be written.


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The Beacon Club 5830 Portage Rd., Kalamazoo, Michigan 49002. (269) 343-9000