Spam fried rice, egg roll paper-wrapped cheese sticks, and craft cocktails are just a few of items in store for The Peterboro, a new restaurant and bar headed for Chinatown this fall. Owner Chuck Inchaustegui, general manager at The Sugar House and bartender at The Magic Bag, tells Eater he's been in the market for a bar space for several years now. When friend Matt Hessler purchased the multi-unit building on the corner of Cass and Peterboro, Inchaustegui decided it was the right time and location to move forward with his plans.
"We're going to try to be approachable for everyone. Especially being near the stadium we want anybody to be able to come in and feel comfortable and have a drink," Inchaustegui says.
Inchaustegui has enlisted minority partners and restaurateurs chef Marc Djozlija and Dave Kwiatkowski to provide guidance on the menu and design as well as chef John Campau to head the kitchen. Inchaustegui says he first met Kwiatkowski while building motorcycles at Detroit Brothers, and sought him out again when he became interested in opening his own business. While managing The Sugar House for the past year, Inchaustegui has been learning how to build systems that will make his future bar run smoothly.
While it might seem fitting to open an Asian-influenced restaurant in Detroit's former Chinatown area, the owner explains that it was purely coincidental. He and Kwiatkowski imagine The Peterboro as a Victorian steampunk style restaurant decorated with reds, golds, and greens recalling old-school Chinese restaurants.
Inchaustegui thinks used to house an Asian wholesale grocer. During demolition, he describes finding broken windows from the market as well as part of a puppet theater. "We're trying to save everything that we can find." He estimates the restaurant will seat approximately 80 people, with additional seating in a 400-square-foot patio area.
While recently, some have questioned whether the Detroit restaurant market has become saturated, Inchaustegui feels confident that there's plenty of room for newcomers. He points to the growth in Corktown as an example. "With Gold Cash Gold coming in people were like, 'Man there are just so many things coming in on this block.' But you know, it just makes everyone else busier."
The property manager is still in the process of making the restaurant space move-in ready. Inchaustegui expects to begin the build-out process in July.