St. James Hotel opening

The St. James Hotel welcomed workers and their families for a trial run of the restaurant last week. Photo provided.

After two years of planning, negotiating and renovating, the St. James Hotel will officially open on Jan. 26.

The 186-year-old hotel on Water Avenue in downtown Selma, overlooking the Alabama River, has been turned into a boutique “Tapestry” Hilton, one that is likely the most unique Hilton in the country, said Jay Lewis, general manager and the son of owner Jim Lewis of Rhaglan Hospitality.

The $5 million renovation that has been in process since May 2019 includes a full-service restaurant called The Sterling, named after a previous owner. Last week, the hotel welcomed its first visitors for a trial run of the restaurant that features a menu of Southern and Cajun cuisine.

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