Mo Better Blues owner Gerald Watson II is making good on his promise to revive his shuttered concept. The revamped restaurant will return to Detroit this Friday in the Bricktown neighborhood, filling The Next Level Bar and Grill building on Larned. At 3,600-square-feet spread across two levels, the restaurant is slightly smaller than the previous location in the Kales Building. Still, it's a fresh start for a venue with a bumpy past.
Since its beginning in Grand Circus Park, Mo Better Blues has had a rough go. The original restaurant build-out was plagued with delays and a protracted landlord dispute that eventually led to the eatery's closure in January. "In spite of everything that happened, we wanted to stay in Detroit," Watson says. With assistance from a Motor City Match program business grant, Watson was able to put the finishing touches on his restaurant. "The mayor's office was very helpful as far as contacting us and giving us the opportunity."
With a new location, Watson has also assembled a new staff including executive chef Tricia Holt and sous chef Traci Ricks. Dishes are still receiving final pre-opening tweaks, but Watson says diners can expect popular items from the past to return including chicken & waffles sliders, bistro ribs, and chicken Philly sandwiches. In addition to food the restaurant will feature entertainment including weekly comedy nights, talent competitions, and live music.
Mo Better Blues is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to midnight on Thursday (Live comedy starts at 8 p.m.); 11 p.m. to 2 a.m Friday with live entertainment; and 6 p.m. 2 a.m. Saturday for Ciroc The Mic, an 8-week talent competition with cash prizes. Closed Sunday.