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Is Marcus Samuelsson Bringing a Restaurant to Detroit?

Plus, the city launched a municipal ID program with restaurant discounts

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MGM National Harbor Grand Opening Celebration Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for MGM National Harbor
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Can’t get enough Detroit restaurant intel? The EaterWire is your guide to all the food industry news hits you may have missed.

RUMORMONGERING — Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, who’s rumored to be scouting out properties for a possible restaurant in downtown Detroit, threw more fuel on that fire last Friday during a book signing at Central Kitchen + Bar. “I'm watching what's going on in Detroit," he told Free Press critic Mark Kurlyandchik. “The city is really, step-by-step, adding more jobs, creating more jobs, and that's what I'm about.” He adds: “I hope one day maybe. Why not? Why not do a restaurant here? We're not there yet, but maybe one day.”

Samuelsson says he’s close personal friends with Dennis Archer, Jr., who owns Central and is involved in the Paradise Valley redevelopment in the Harmonie Park area of downtown Detroit. Archer is expected to bring a mixed-use development with a jazz club and restaurant to the area. [Freep]

NEWS — Some big news this week: the City of Detroit has launched a municipal ID card program, giving residents in Detroit who traditionally have trouble getting proof of identity and residence — returning citizens, the homeless, and immigrants — access to vital city services. The cards will be accepted by the Detroit Police Department, Detroit Public Schools, Detroit Water and Sewerage, DTE, and One Detroit Credit Union. Users also get discounts at participating businesses and restaurants such as Buddy’s Pizza, Cutter’s, Detroit Seafood Market, and Johnny Noodle King. [EaterWire]

AWARDS SEASON — Roving Eater critic Bill Addison unveiled his national 38 this week. Dearborn’s favorite Al Ameer nabbed a coveted spot on the list this year representing metro Detroit rich Lebanese dining scene. [Eater]

LABOR — President elect Donald Trump has selected the CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s to head the Department of Labor. As senior labor expert Ryan Sutton reports, that could spell bad news for restaurant workers. [Eater]

BRUNCHWIRE — Royal Oak newcomer The Morrie launches brunch this Sunday. Expect big bloody marys, mimosas, waffle sandwiches, pancakes, and more. The service runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for late risers. [Facebook]

WAGES — As the no-tip model continues to drive conversation nationally across the restaurant industry, reporter Frank Witsil looks at the state of tipless restaurants in metro Detroit. Further abroad Miss Kim launched this week in Ann Arbor and is the first Zingerman’s restaurant to go without tips. [Freep]

DEVELOPMENTS — Wine pop-up Brut Detroit made some first steps towards going permanent last week. The startup was awarded a portion of $40,000 in subsidies from TechTown. The bar eventually hopes to go brick-and-mortar in Grandmont Rosedale. [Detroit News]

FOOD MEDIA — Detroit got gooped. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand recently published a guide to Detroit, which zoomed in on restaurants. El Asador, Craft Work, Flowers of Vietnam, and Dime Store were among the suggestions. [GOOP]

All EaterWire Coverage [ED]