The Metro Times reports that over the weekend about a half a dozen workers were laid off "from various high-profile restaurants around town." While none of the people in question are directly quoted, at least one unnamed worker allegedly expressed a lack of confidence in the Detroit restaurant boom. The weekly speculates that Detroit may not have the fine-dining customer base to support the numerous recent openings with higher price points.
But with dozens of restaurants opening in the city over the last few years, we're reminded of last time this happened: for the 2005 Super Bowl. In time, some of those restaurants lasted and some of them didn't. Do we expect anything different from this year's culinary boom? The fine-dining crowd in Detroit has never been that large, and it can be fickle.
Weekends are very busy for many of the trendier establishments, although some newer eateries tell Eater weekdays (especially the lunch hour) are less of a draw. Last fall, the owners of Zenith in New Center told contributor Serena Daniels that business was sluggish during their first six months. Is this set of rumored layoffs part of a greater trend or simply coincidence? Time will tell.
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