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Cafe Al Karar Struggles with Dinner Service, Gets Boost from New Downtown Restaurants

Cafe Al Karar opened in July on Broadway Street.

Cafe Al Karar
Cafe Al Karar
Yelp/Fred S.
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Can a gala opening like Dan Gilbert-backed Punch Bowl Social help other new and veteran businesses? Small business blogger Amy Haimerl of Crain's says yes.

Haimerl spoke with Karar Al-Murshidy, the 26-year old owner of Café Al Karar, which opened in July on Broadway Street downtown. The restaurant replaced Al's Paradise Café, owned by Al-Murshidy's uncle. When the restaurant lease was up Al-Murshidy moved to a larger space where "he could then hire more employees—and a cook—and spend more time focusing on managing the restaurant and business."

While the restaurant has been relatively successful during the day, the owner says that dinner service has been a challenge. While he doesn't want to alienate a loyal clientele that enjoys the halal restaurant, the owner has reluctantly been considering pursuing a liquor license to boost the slow dinner service.

Luckily, Al-Murshidy reports that new restaurants like Punch Bowl Social across the street have helped. Employees from the "eatertainment" venue as well from Wright & Co. are now frequent visitors to the café.

Café Al Karar is located at 1368 Broadway and is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The halal restaurant's chicken schwarma and garlic sauce come highly recommended.

Wright & Co

, , MI 48226 (313) 962-7711 Visit Website

Punch Bowl Social

1331 Broadway, Detroit, MI (313) 749-9738

Cafe Al Karar

, Detroit, MI (313) 265-3176