In early November, Birmingham's small but distinguished Townhouse Restaurant announced it was taking a trip downtown to the 45-story One Detroit Center tower. Since then, owner Jeremy Sasson has been hammering out the details of this undertaking—an 8,000-square-foot feat of restaurant engineering.
Sasson says it was important for him to take the Townhouse concept to the next level, referring to the project as "Townhouse 2.0." His team of architects and designers are attempting to incorporate the familiar details of the first restaurant, while adding in the extras that only a larger space could accommodate.
"We see it as a very ambitious project for Detroit, but we're kind of a ‘go for it or don't do it at all,' kind of mentality," Sasson says.
Referring to freshly completed renderings for Townhouse Detroit, Sasson tells Eater what's in store for this destination restaurant.
The enormous floor plan is split into three distinct areas. The first section, indoor space, takes up approximately one third of the floor plan and will handle the restaurant's catering and take-out orders.
The other two thirds of square-footage will be housed outdoors in a 365-day greenhouse-style building and a patio area. The glass building acts as the principal dining room and will offer approximately 120 seats in an all-weather experience, with a fully retractable ceiling and wall for open air dining during the summer. Beyond the glass walls, fair weather customers will have access to the seasonal patio area with between 50 and 60 seats near outdoor fire pits.
The plans also include an open kitchen and bar stocked with more than 350 whiskeys.
"I just thought it was important that I got to share what I feel is a really good dining experience," Sasson says, remarking on the move to Downtown.
While plans still require city approval, a process he expect to be completed by February, the restaurateur predicts that once he has papers in hand construction will proceed smoothly. Sasson estimates a conservative 70- to 90-day construction window, with an opening between late-May and early-June. "It's more of a consideration of what's M1-Rail construction looking like," he says.
As to whether he plans to take the Townhouse brand beyond Detroit and Birmingham, Sasson says ideas are already on the table. "Our next market that we're moving towards is Ann Arbor and after that maybe as far as Grand Rapids."