The Detroit Zen Center Café and Co-Op in Hamtramck has been an underrated gem in a city already known for its plethora of diverse cuisine (think Bengali, Polish, Yemeni, Coneys, Bosnian, etc). But for some reason organizers behind the café - which has featured vegetarian-friendly, organic house-made treats like kale chips, sweet potato chili and chilled pine needle tea – say the eatery portion of the center will cease operations indefinitely because of a general "lack of interest."
Yelp reviewers say the Zen Center's food was a tasty surprise, given the nature of its mostly vegan and raw menu, which can be off-putting to carnivorous Detroiters. But the limited hours – the café was only open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday – might have been what did the café in.
"With regret we have closed the cafe indefinitely, due to a lack of interest. The past few weeks saw our tables all but empty. Maybe the food was too healthy!!?? Our food production business keeps us very busy and pays the bills...we opened the cafe as a way to serve you here on site...but we're losing money in doing so. It was a tough call. We still hope you all feel welcome to come for another event at the Zen Center...we're sad not to be cooking for you any more, but you can still find our products at your favorite stores & markets."
This is the latest Hamtramck establishment to get the shutter this year, a trend that's alarming many a resident. Earlier this year, the popular late-night burger restaurant Campau Tower closed its doors. A resurrection, however, is expected for that spot soon after Rock City Eatery owner Nikita Santches announced he would be taking over. Eater Detroit is putting in calls to the Zen Center for more details on why it made the call to close the café and see if there are plans to try to bring this place back from the brink.
-By Serena Maria Daniels
· Detroit Zen Center Official Page [Facebook]
· Hamtramck Hotspots [ED]
· Late Night Hamtramck Institution Campau Tower Closes [ED]