The latest in a series of summer openings, Central Kitchen + Bar is set to debut Monday at 11 a.m. in the First National Building. Photographers Michelle and Chris Gerard were able to take a peek inside, ahead of the restaurant's opening. Central features a slick design by Ron & Roman, with a combination of contemporary and historic attributes. "I think that [customers] will be really surprised by how much of the raw interior of this building, constructed in the 20s, that we kept," says co-owner Dennis Archer Jr.
The ceilings, fixtures, and white washed cement pillars create an antique aura in the restaurant, reinforced by the wallpapered black and white images of old Detroit. Brown and silver booths with wooden tables give the restaurant a warm, updated finish. A chandelier dressed in pressed tin scallops hangs above a rectangular wood bar. One particularly sharp feature, Archer points out, is the ever popular garage-style window installation that brings a "connectivity" between the indoor and outdoor dining experience. Decked out in plush wicker furniture, Central's patio offers excellent views of Campus Martius and Cadillac Square.
Diners can expect hearty, approachable American dishes from chef Christina Stanco's menu. Stanco, who previously worked for Roberts Restaurant Group in Birmingham, says this is her first time building a menu from scratch but she's very pleased with the results. Throughout the process, her aim has been to create dishes with an everyday appeal like burgers, while incorporate less-common ingredients such as duck and quail.
Central Kitchen + Bar opens 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday and Friday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Expect brunch in the near future.