In late May, Southwest Detroit welcomed a new concert hall, El Club, on West Vernor Highway. Although events like Trip Metal Fest attracted attention to the venue, El Club has more than music up its sleeve. This month the building, formerly home to the Mexicantown Fiesta Center (it still has the signage), finally launched Pepe Z Pizza, its in-house pie slinger.
Matt Ziolkowksi is the mastermind behind Pepe Z, making everything fresh from the mozzarella to the 24-hour dough that bakes into a cross between a Neapolitan and a New York-style crust. The thin pizzas are fired in a hybrid wood fired and gas Italian oven and come out soft with just the right amount of chew. Currently diners can order from a menu that includes 12-inch pies (between $9-$13) with choices like house-sliced pepperoni and honey. There’s also a three by-the-slice options, soups, and salads.
Bar manager Kyle Thousand recently unveiled a full drink menu featuring beer, the energy drink Club-Mate, and reasonably priced kegged cocktails served in plastic cups. The lavender margarita is quickly becoming a favorite among the signature offerings.
El Club continues evolving, but it's clear that the staff have lots of ideas to keep things fresh and interesting. The venue now offers outdoor seating, though it’s still under construction. When completed, the area will feature custom tables and an airstream trailer bar. Menus too are still being finalized and recipes tweaked as customers provide feedback. Brunch is also in the works.
Those interested in checking out the pizza or stopping in for a cocktail can count on the kitchen being open during events and now through July 8 diners can drop in between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. for dinner. Keep an eye out for more permanent hours soon and check out the menus from El Club below.
Menu for Pepe Z