Unlike other large metropolitan areas, Detroit moves at its own pace where new restaurants are concerned. Still, that doesn't mean there isn't a hefty grab bag of hotly anticipated new restaurants opening around town as the leaves turn and the weather cools down.
DOWNTOWN — Mo' Better Blues
Address — 78 West Adams
Situation — After the Kales Building missed out on a neighborhood-appropriate iteration of Shield's Pizza, the big storefront along Grand Circus Park sat empty. Now, with almost daily sightings of construction and signs of hiring, owner Gerald Watson II seems poised to finally open a restaurant on the first floor of the Albert Kahn icon. Though the website is dead, Watson's space is alive, and looks to host a Food Network-style competition to determine his executive chef. Expect an October opening, if the September contest goes according to plan.
MIDTOWN — La Feria
ADDRESS — 4130 Cass Avenue
SITUATION — The 2012 Hatch Detroit Contest winner is still putting the final touches on their attractive space in the Cass Corridor, but owner Elias Khalil says progress is moving along as well as can be expected. With a mid to late September opening planned, tapas could be the dish to share this fall in Midtown.
MIDTOWN — Alley Wine
ADDRESS — 655 W. Alexandrine St.
SITUATION — Everyone's favorite would-be wine merchants are still pegging the vague 'end of 2013' date as their opening debut, but if approvals and permits continue, the simple joy of drinking wine in an alley way — legally — may soon be available for all.
WEST VILLAGE — Detroit Vegan Soul
ADDRESS — 8029 Agnes St.
SITUATION — This popup-turned-permanent meat-free take on classic soul food recipes keeps promising that they are close to opening, but they definitely are the closest to open of any of the former Revolve Detroit popup storefronts in the West Village. They originally aimed for a late summer opening, so expect more news either way in the next few weeks.
WEST VILLAGE — Craftwork
ADDRESS — 8047 Agnes St.
SITUATION — With a head chef, a vision and a plan for brunch and dinner delights, Craftwork, and their November opening, could be the most high-end concept of all the Agnes Street storefronts.
WEST VILLAGE — Red Hook Coffee
ADDRESS — 8000 Block of Agnes Street
SITUATION — Like their West Village Neighbors, the Red Hook Coffee folks have claimed their territory for as long as last November. They still aren't open, and don't have any promised opening planned, but we have been informed by a tipster that later this fall is not a totally uneducated guess.
CORKTOWN — La Villa
ADDRESS — 1411 Brooklyn Street
SITUATION — The sisters behind this former bookstore space nestled on the other side of Mudgie's Deli say late September is when they will dish up the breakfast and brunch goodies for all. Seeing as friends and family have reportedly told them to open a place like La Villa their entire lives, we imagine the wait will be lengthy when they open, since almost everybody likes brunch.
SHERWOOD FOREST — Regal Cafe
ADDRESS — 19376 Livernois Ave.
SITUATION — The most food-focused of the many Avenue of Fashion storefronts (although the nearby Local Social Ice Cream looks terribly promising), this 'community-focused' cafe is gunning hard for the fixed September 20 opening date. The Detroit Design Festival denizens will need caffeine, and they'll get more than their share at Regal.
HAMTRAMCK — Rock City Eatery
ADDRESS — 11411 Joseph Campau Street
SITUATION — When owner and head pie-maker Nikita Santches says 'soon,' we're inclined to believe him. The onetime Hatch Detroit participant is awfully near open, and with a few more weeks of permits and the like, his full-scale restaurant will definitely be a hit at the start of the fall season. Plus, they gave Channel 4 and Eat It Detroit a preview today, which can only suggest opening-soon-type things.
Chain Reactions: The Midtown Fatburger could probably finally open this fall (maybe), as well as the Midtown iteration of Just Baked in the Woodward Gardens development.