In late December, Bucharest Grill confirmed much to the shock and disappointment of faithful downtown and ball park diners that the restaurant would be vacating its original location in the Park Bar and moving to the Rivertown Warehouse District this winter. However, the stadium area space was unlikely to languish for long post-Bucharest. Miranda Belanger, a rep for The Park Bar, confirms that owner Jerry Belanger and former St. CeCe's chef Adam Verville are planning on filling the vacancy with a new Hawaiian concept this spring.
"We want to keep it affordable and we want to keep it ball game food."
The as-of-yet unnamed restaurant will feature a menu that includes Hawaiian-inspired items like loco moco (basically the ultimate drunk food — a mixture of rice, fried eggs, hamburger, gravy, and other fixins) and manapuas (pork-filled steamed dumplings). Menu development is still in the beginning stages, but people can expect "a lot of rice and a lot of fish," Belanger says. "We really want to make everything that we can locally sourced, but we want to keep it affordable and we want to keep it ball game food."
In terms of service, plans include constructing a walk-up service window on the outside of the building for takeout orders. It's still up in the air as to whether there will be waitstaff for dine-in customers.
When asked about Bucharest Grill, Belanger says the owners met several months ago to discuss a move and was quick to dispel any rumors of bad blood between the owners. "Bucharest has grown exponentially in the past few years and they don't really fit in the space [anymore]," Belanger says, noting that parking in the area has become a particular challenge for regulars.
Bucharest is expected to make its official move by late-January or February. The Hawaiian concept is expected to launch ahead of Tigers' Opening Day on April 8.