Now in its third season, Midtown's The Bottom Line is poised to make a comeback this winter with a slightly different layout and some new events.
Café manager and barista Noura Ballout alongside owners Pat and Al Harris are trying to make the space welcoming. "We want it to be a safe space where people can be themselves and feel at home," says Ballout, who joined the team last summer.
"I wanted to create a different atmosphere in the space. It was already a really cool, really homey space, but I wanted to add the element of a couch, the element of rearranging the chairs and the tables where people are able to study creating more space for people to meet in groups to study or meet in groups," Ballout says.
The café will cater mainly to a neighborhood clientele made of longterm residents, but also a mishmash of students from the nearby Wayne State University campus. Low foot traffic on Third Street during the summer, when students go on vacation, has made it challenging for the café to stay open continuously; however over the last three years, the shop has returned to normal operations faithfully each winter.
For now The Bottom Line is still easing into full function. The register is currently cash-only, the internet and the espresso machine are offline, and lunch items will also wait for the New Year. Still customers can enjoy drip and French press coffee, as well as chai, café au lait, and other flavored beverages. The company also offers a selection of pastries sourced from Dearborn and Mexicantown. "We also want to encompass different ethnicities here within the shop," Ballout says. The Bottom Line is also focusing on catering.
The café is looking for even more ways to integrate with the community, including introducing a weekly "Saturday morning cartoons" event, where customers from the area are encouraged to come in their pajamas and order a bowl of cereal, some coffee, and enjoy cartoons on the couch.
In January, the company plans to bring back open mics and will also collaborate with the neighboring Motor City Art Center to add a visual arts experience to the auditory. "We're trying to create some interest for our part of Midtown," says Pat Harris. "Now that we're seeing more apartments and businesses become open, we're seeing our neighborhood become more vibrant."
Ballout expects the café remain open until the summer " and then we'll reevaluate then whether we'll close again."
The Bottom Line is located at 4474 Third Street and has popup hours in December that approximately follow this schedule: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays; 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Keep apprised of their hours and events schedule on via Facebook.