Things seem to be on schedule for a Mo' Better Blues opening this September if all goes according to plan. A few weeks ago, several Eater Detroit tipsters sent word that the interior of the "Jazzy bistro with a soulful flavor" was nearing completion, spotting light fixtures, finished floors and even stacks of brand new dishes inside of the Kales Building storefront on W. Adams.
In an interior exploration this morning, some cosmetic finishing touches appear to be all that's needed in the main seating area and bar, and the restaurant's contractor confirmed that all is on track for a Sept. 23 opening. (That construction confirmation of course doesn't include the inevitable delays for food and drink permits from the city).
Lots of wood, built-in booths, high ceilings and deep blue walls lend owner Gerald Watson II's space a warm, masculine feel, which should brighten up once the dark paper is off of the windows. While distinctly modern, it also seems that their neighbor, restored jazz-era icon Cliff Bell's, served as inspiration for the interior.
The contractor confirmed that a Top Chef-style competition to find Mo' Better Blues' executive chef is indeed planned for the end of September. Watson had earlier suggested that local news networks and corporate sponsors would take part in the contest, including beverage giants Budweiser / Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi Co., although that seems unlikely as the event is still without a media campaign.
It could all be a lot of excitement for nothing, as the Kales Building's failed Shield's Pizza deal still looms in the not so distant past. But removing a couple of heavy wood booths and a collection of place settings is far harder than simply changing the lease on a storefront, lending Watson's efforts a positive, if not inevitable, light.
- Victoria Trudeau
· Lack of Pizza Helped Put Kales Building in Financial Disarray [CurbedDetroit]