Continuing its development momentum, The Avenue of Fashion is welcoming yet another new dining concept this year. Slyde, a fast-casual slider restaurant will take up residence in a portion of the old Hunter's Supper Club building this year. Co-founder LJ Nelson tells Eater the new concept is designed to provide healthier, quick options for Detroiters.
As working professional, Nelson says he often finds it difficult to find fast options that suit his diet and satisfy his kids tastes. This got him interested in the idea of developing his own fast-casual option. "I started thinking 'How do I like to eat?'" Nelson began researching not just the restaurant industry but also urban farming and the sustainable food movement to investigate what was available in terms of sourcing. "We realized that the urban farming — even though it's understood that we have them in the city — it's very underutilized."
"We felt very boxed out of downtown and Midtown."
Serving sliders, he explains, allows diners to choose from a wider variety of options depending on their mood while allowing Slyde to tap into the local food movement. The restaurant will serve around 15 different mini burgers ranging from $2 to $3.50. Additionally, the menu will feature seasonal salads, organic soups, desserts, and side dishes like air-baked fries. "Everything is going to be locally sourced and we're trying to get as close to farm-to-table as we can," he says. "We don't want a lot of stuff sitting around in freezers."
Slyde didn't initially consider Northwest Detroit for its location. The partners, including LJ's sister Anitrah Nelson, Bradford Frost, Jem Frick, and chef Rayna Cook, originally looked to downtown and Midtown, but working with a limited budget found it challenging working out deals with landlords in the area. "One landlord asked did we have a million dollars in cash on hand," LJ Nelson recalls. "We felt very boxed out of downtown and Midtown."
The Slyde team, which had already received special funding through Detroit Development Fund and Huntington Bank, decided to apply for Motor City Match. Through MCM (a program organized by the City of Detroit to help bolster small businesses and help them find appropriate storefronts in the city), Slyde was able to secure the coveted Hunter's Supper Club space that Chad Dickinson of I'm Here Detroit has been renovating for the past several years. "We felt like maybe there was a reason we were getting boxed out of downtown and Midtown, because that's not where we were supposed to be. We were supposed to be in the neighborhood with the people," Nelson says.
The 40-seat restaurant will occupy the center space of the large Hunter's Supper Club property, overlooking the courtyard. The restaurant will have a carryout door and one for dine-in service, with patio and terrace seating overlooking Livernois. Additionally, Nelson reveals that a bar may also be in the works in the building, meaning dine-in patrons could possibly grab a drink with their sliders. The startup is also developing an ordering app with optional delivery in the neighborhood. Slyde is aiming to open by late summer or early fall.