Things take a little more time in Detroit than they do in other cities, and restaurant openings are definitely at the top of that list. Between construction issues, permit problems, licensing delays, and the difficulty of something as basic as securing a small business loan, there's an awful lot to overcome before doors can officially open.
However, that hasn't stopped dozens of new places from making it just recently, welcoming in patrons for food and drink after months, or often years, of waiting with bated breath. Meet the newest crop of restaurants potentially really opening this spring and summer, as long as all goes well. Some have built fans through pop-ups, others have put in years of painstakingly slow restoration, while a few are making a splash with quick turnarounds and big dreams.
Atwater In The Park: 1175 Lakepointe (Grosse Pointe). While not technically within city limits, the Grosse Pointe expansion of Atwater was due to open April 1st, but as so often happens that date has been pushed back. However, the church-turned-brewery/restaurant is currently hiring staff, so a late spring opening definitely seems possible.
Cornerstone Barrel House: 1456 Woodward Ave. (Downtown). What was once Oslo on Woodward is now Cornerstone Barrel House and Whiskey Disco, but while basement events have been taking place in the disco for several months, the upstairs remains closed with paper on the windows. Their original deadline of late February or early March has long passed, but owner Mike Bowen is working to actually open the upstairs doors ASAP.
Guns + Butter: (Downtown?) Chef Craig Lieckfelt's uber successful pop-up will soon be a brick and mortar. This comes after a lot of searching for the right building, followed by the necessary renovation, and all the other work that goes along with the process. While the official location has yet to be formally revealed, it's coming soon, and the doors should be open by late spring or early summer.
Hopcat Detroit: 4652 Woodward Ave. (Midtown). The promise of 130 beers on tap had people jumping up and down and yelling from the rooftops when first announced. The popular bar/restaurant, owned by Mark Sellers, has locations in Grand Rapids and East Lansing, and they promise live entertainment along with their brews and food, and are planning an August opening.
La Rondinella: 2453 Russell St. (Eastern Market). The hugely successful Supino Pizzeria will soon have a neighbor, also owned by Dave Mancini. Pizzas will be on the menu, of course, as will homemade pastas and meat dishes. Think rustic, homemade Italian, with a liquor license. Again making no promises, he's hoping for a mid-year opening.
Rose's Fine Food: 10551 E. Jefferson (near Belle Isle). With a location right near Belle Isle, the two cousins opening this small diner with a long history have won over Detroiters with their picnic basket plans. The basket rental, along with the promise of local produce and freshly baked bread (co-owner Molly Mitchell was a baker at renowned San Fran bakery Tartine) persuaded locals to fully fund their recent kickstarter campaign. They appear to be aiming for an opening sometime in June or July.
Rubbed: 2015 Michigan Ave. (Corktown). The deli and charcuterie spot has been crowdfunding and catering, popping up at high-profile events, and doing all they can to build a following and open their doors. They noted in February that they were just getting permits and doing "finishing touches" on the building, so a spring or early summer opening seems attainable.
Selden Standard: 3929 Second Ave. (Midtown). Chef Andy Hollyday, formerly of Roast, has a huge local following of patrons, and more tellingly, local chefs like James Rigato (The Root) and Craig Lieckfelt (Guns + Butter). No official date or updates on the restaurant's progress have been announced, but with any luck they'll open late spring or summer.
Wright & Company: 1500 Woodward Ave. (Downtown). With dream team Marc Djozlija (formerly executive chef for the MGM Grand's Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group) and Dave Kwiatkowski, the owner of Corktown's Sugar House, at the helm, the restaurant's progress has been eagerly followed for the past few months. The renovations are still underway, but they have a kitchen and are hiring, and have declared they're opening in June.
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