The first quarter of 2015 started off strong with some hefty openings that included Republic, Batch Brewing Company, Kuzzo's Chicken & Waffles, and Cafe 78. Spring and summer are also squaring up to be big seasons in Detroit dining with Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails wrapping up renovations in Midtown and Katoi closing in on opening day. Later this summer, Norberto Garita plans to open La Noria in Southwest and downtown will see the debut of Parks & Rec by late summer.
Can't keep track of the explosion of new restaurants? Eater agrees, so we've designed this handy guide that rounds up 15 major coming attractions of the next six months. We've even included a handy list of 'burbs spots. Which restaurant are you most excited for? Let us know if the forums.
PARKS & REC
Location: 1942 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
Chef/Owner: Kate Williams
Projected Opening: July 2015
Unlike chef Kate Williams' upscale European tavern, Parks & Rec will offer a more casual, diner-style atmosphere in the GAR Castle. Customers will be able to stop in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner or perhaps take-out. It's also expected to be quite a bit smaller, seating around 25 people. Dry aged steaks will be exchanged for pizza rolls, hand pies, and boozy milkshakes.
ROCKEFELLERS OYSTER BAR
Location: 1315 Broadway St, Detroit, MI, 48226
Owner: Jai-Lee Dearing
Projected Opening: April 6
Early reports had Rockefellers Oyster Bar scheduled to open in February; however, owner Jai-Lee Dearing told MLive in January that a slow building permit process was causing significant delays at the Broadway site. At the time, Dearing expressed a desire to see Rockefellers debut by Tigers opening day. The second location will offer a slightly different menu than the Grosse Pointe Park restaurant with items like sandwiches and ribs to entice the lunch crowd. Dearing, who has several other projects in the works, couldn't be reached for comment regarding progress on the restaurant, but with April 6 creeping up, there's sure to be an update soon.
The whisky Parlor
Location: 608 Woodward Ave.
Owner: David Gregory and Timothy Tharp
Projected Opening: Late May
Dark ceilings and low hanging lights will give The Whisky Parlor a speakeasy feel; however, the owners have gone a step further by removing sections of the third floor to reveal exposed rafters and distressed, painted brick. True to its name, the bar will offer a deep whiskey list with more than 100 bottles. Major construction is complete allowing the owners to host pop-ups and electronic music events in the space. The Whisky Parlor will receive overstuffed leather furniture, lighting, and shelving before they can call the job done.
bon bon bon
Location: 719 Griswold St.
Owner: Alexandra Clark
Projected Opening: Spring
After less than a year, chocolatier Alexandra Clark has outgrown her small Hamtramck kitchen. This spring she plans to expand into downtown, opening a retail-only location in the Dime Building.
Location: 500 Woodward Ave.
Owner: Jeremy Sasson
Projected Opening: Late May or Early June
Birmingham's Townhouse has a huge following, but downtown's Townhouse 2.0 (as owner Jeremy Sasson likes to call it) is sure to upstage the earlier project. The restaurant features a greenhouse-style outdoor dining room, that will allow customers to feel like they're eating on a patio 365 days per year.
Central Kitchen + Bar
Location: 660 Woodward Avenue
Owner: Dennis Archer, Jr., Christopher Brochert, Ken Karam
Projected Opening: July 2015
Just announced March 26, Central Kitchen + Bar is a new modern American gastropub slated for the First National Building. Executive chef Christina Stanco, formerly of Cafe ML, will design the menu. Construction on the restaurant began March 16. Central Kitchen will feature outdoor seating.
Location: 2520 Michigan Ave.
Owners: Chef Brad Greenhill, Courtney Henriette, Philip Kafka
Projected Opening: Early Summer
Katoi chef Brad Greenhill is ready to make the jump from food truck to brick and mortar with a new restaurant just west of Corktown's main drag. Greenhill plans to offer similar flavors to those found in his traditional Thai street food, but with a bigger kitchen he'll have more room to play with the menu. Partner Courtney Henriette says they recently secured a bartender to head their craft cocktail program, although the restaurant partners aren't ready to announce the name yet. In the meantime, the restaurant is advertising opportunities in Detroit on billboards across New York City.
Location: 441 W. Canfield St.
Owners: Ron Jeffries, Tony Grant, Jon Carlson, Greg Lobdell, Chet Czaplicka
Projected Opening: April 11
Thirty taps and pizzas made with dough developed by Avalon International Breads await Jolly Pumpkin fans on opening day. The restaurant will offer a casual, order-at-the-counter atmosphere and feature a menu filled with local products. In addition to pizzas, fans can expect sandwiches, truffle fries, and the JP Burger.
Location: 4160 Cass Ave.
Owner: Scott Moloney
Projected Opening: May
Melt recently closed in the Cass Corridor leaving a void in the gelato/cafe niche and an empty storefront on a high-demand block. The space wasn't likely to sit uninhabited for long. Luckily, Ferndale's Treat Dreams snatched up the space, finally bringing their delicious ice cream flavors (Salted caramel? Mexican chocolate? Coffee Oreo?) to Detroit. If the opening goes smoothly, the area will have ice cream in time for summer. Yum!
Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails
Location: 15 E. Kirby St, Detroit MI 48202
Owner: Sandy Levine
Projected Opening: Late April
The Oakland owner Sandy Levine announced back in November that he would open a restaurant at the Park Shelton in the location formerly occupied by Rodin. Chef Douglass Hewitt Jr. left Terry B's to head the kitchen, while The Oakland's Kaytee Querro is designing their beverage program. The menu at Chartreuse will consist of exceptionally fresh, local ingredients as the kitchen has little space for storage. Chef Hewitt tells Eater the menu will offer a cold section, a "just vegetable" section, a "two hands" section (think sandwiches), and a hot section. There will be a "light emphasis" on charcuterie, as well as items like chili-spiced Spanish octopus, Korean baby back ribs with raw potato salad, and spring pea and house-made ricotta on bread. The restaurant seats approximately 100 people and features a wildflower wall mural and a "living wall" designed by Rust Belt artist Lady Lazarus.
Location: 4870 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Owners: Gary Sussman and Lorraine Platman
Projected Opening: Spring 2015
This local chain of fast casual macaroni stands is in the midst of a big expansion. The Midtown location is the company's fifth and will be located inside the former Marwil Bookstore near Wayne State. The company is also looking to expand into other areas including Campus Martius.
Location: 2453 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
Owner: Dave Mancini
Projected Opening: maybe Spring
For over a year now Dave Mancini, owner of Supino Pizza, has been hard at work on a a sister restaurant, La Rondinella. The location will operate next door to the pizzeria in the former Taste of Ethiopia space. La Rondinella's menu is expected to include fresh pastas, handmade gnocchi, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, and Supino's pizza. On February 25 the restaurant was issued a fixed awning permit.
Location: 2082 Parker Street, Detroit, MI 48214
Owner/Baker: Lisa Ludwinski
Projected Opening: mid-April 2015
After running a successful Indiegogo campaign and #Dancebreak-A-Thon in February, Sister Pie kicked into high-gear. The build-out on their 900-square-foot space is nearing completion. Most recently, the pie bar received approval on its final electrical inspections. In the meantime, Sister Pie continues to accept orders online and sells pies at Eastern Market and Parker Street Market.
Location: 5517 Michigan Ave.
Owner: Norberto Garita
Projected Opening: mid-Summer
Chef Norberto Garita is known for his Mexican-Italian restaurant El Barzon, but the owner has plans to open a casual eatery right next door. La Noria, which means "water wheel," will offer wood-fired oven pizzas, tacos, tortas, and more in a converted Coney island. Garita has plans for a full bar and (maybe) a patio.
Location: 6470 East Jefferson Avenue
Owners: Alicia Strong and Zamarr Woods
Projected Opening: Late April
This bridge-themed restaurant is new on our radar, but it seems like a promising venture. The restaurant will offer upscale dining and a menu designed by chef Jerry Nottage. The owners plan to bring in live music and host concerts on a patio looking out on the Detroit River.
Other Coming Attractions:
Detroit: Bucharest Grill, Pie-Sci, Guns + Butter, Kuro, 8 Degrees Plato Detroit, Coffee and _____, Social Sushi, Unnamed Projects Ye Old Butcher Shoppe, Unnamed Biegas Gallery Building Project, Tokyo Club and The Keep, Unnamed Jacques Driscoll Project, Possible Michigan Building Project, Windmill Point Brewing, Chene Street Grocers, Unnamed Brendon Edwards Project, Granite City Food & Brewery
Dearborn: Dearborn Brewing, Sheeba Restuarant
Clawson: Woodpile BBQ Shack
Grosse Pointe Park: Bootlegger's Pig & Whiskey