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Claire’s Café


Cedarbrook of Bloomfield Hills Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


Claire’s Café, a 1950s inspired ice cream parlor at Cedarbrook of Bloomfield Hills, is named after the mother of Michael J. Damone, president of Cedarbrook Senior Living because, he says, his mother inspired him to build the community. Damone’s parents lived in Bloomfield Hills and it was a weekly tradition for the family to gather at his parent’s house for dinner every Sunday. In 2006, Damone’s mother told him she realized she would eventually need to move into a senior living commu- nity and she described the high-end community she wanted to live in. She told him it should offer all levels of care, have great amenities such as a wine cellar, a spa and exercise room, an onsite movie theater and a fun place for grandchildren to visit their grandparents, and it had to be in Bloomfield. Damone immediately began inquiring about properties in town. The seven-and-a-half acre site that Cedarbrook is built on became available in January 2007. Damone was determined to build on the site despite the topographical challenges that come with property that slopes 60 feet from the west to the east end.


Sadly, while Cedarbrook was being built, Damone’s mother fell ill and passed away before the community opened it doors in December 2015. “She was the inspiration,” he said. Damone named the café after his mother because she enjoyed having family and friends visit and she loved spending time with her grandchildren. His grandmother also provided some inspiration for the café. “When my kids were younger, my grandmother lived in a nursing home in New Hampshire but there weren’t many com- mon spaces,” he said. “My kids would never want to stay” because there was nothing to do. So, Damone decided future communities he developed would feature an engaging area for kids to visit with their grandparents and great-grandparents. Claire’s is a nostalgic ice cream parlor that also serves a lunch menu and beverages. Adjacent to Claire’s is a kids play area with puzzles, board games and video games. Right outside is an 8-foot long aluminum dinosaur for climbing named Sinclair. All of this, Damone said, encourages grandchildren to spend time with their grandparents. The space gets a lot of use, he noted, especially on weekends.


The residents also enjoy Claire’s because it reminds them


of something from their young adulthood, Damone noted. “It’s become the social hub of the building.”


Continued on page 14


12 SENIOR LIVING EXECUTIVE / NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016


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