Here's one way to start your Opening Day celebration: Coffee and a doughnut from Dilla's Delights. The shop will be hosting a one day-only preview of its new, nearly complete brick-and-mortar location on Friday beginning at 5 a.m. Partner Mike Vanover confirms to Eater that the Dilla's has received a single day permit from the health department.
One of Detroit's most anticipated Spring openings, Dilla's Delights was founded more than two years ago by Herman Hayes (aka Uncle Herm). Hayes created the fried treat brand as a tribute to his nephew the late influential hip hop artist J Dilla. The 800-square-foot corner shop is located in The Ashley (formerly the Milner Hotel), where Dilla's mother at one time operated a restaurant, and is so small it doesn't allow for a kitchen or seating. Doughnuts will continue to be made out of the Avalon International Breads' facilities and delivered daily to the shop and other wholesale buyers (Cafe Con Leche, Parker Street Market, Goodwells Natural Foods, Red Hook Detroit).
Visitors on Friday will find that the space is still undergoing decorating — it's awaiting a menu board, more curtains, and art — but will include the essentials: 15 signature organic doughnuts and Water Street Coffee out of Kalamazoo.
The shop will also feature an eclectic soundtrack, with records spinning on an in-house turntable. "Herm is very adamant that [the records are played] front to back," Vanover explained during a tour of the shop on Thursday afternoon. "No requests. You don't skip nothin'. You might come in here and hear some racy electronic stuff from the '60s. You might come in here and hear Slum Village or you might come in here and hear some jazz, some Brazilian jazz, electrofunk, who knows?" Much of the music will be inspired by J Dilla samples.
While opening the shop is the currently primary undertaking for the small Dilla's crew, they're looking to other opportunities down the road including a possible but not yet solidified partnership with Whole Foods. Dilla's Delights is also developing a line of vegan doughnuts. The shop is expected to receive its final inspections next week with a possible official opening by the end of the month. Following the official opening, Dillas will operate Monday through Saturday from 5 a.m. until sold out. Stay tuned.