clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Most Anticipated Detroit Restaurants and Bars, Summer 2016

All the essential details on 12 of Detroit's biggest coming attractions

Pie-Sci as of June 3.
Pie-Sci as of June 3.
Brenna Houck
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.

Spring offered a slow but steady stream of restaurant openings across the Metro Detroit area. Over the past several months the city welcomed long-awaited spots like Katoi and The Peterboro and Dilla's Delights. The Park Bar's Hawaiian concept GoGo's quietly opened this spring and The Skip's patio debuted just in time for summer. Looking into the next quarter, several spots major players including East Coast chain Wahlburgers and homegrown pizza concepts like La Noria and Pie-Sci are poised to make a summer entrance. Rock City Eatery is also dangerously close to relocating to Midtown. Here, now, are 12 coming attractions to look forward to in the third quarter of 2016.


Atomic Chicken

[Photo: Brenna Houck]

Location: 6500 Woodward Ave

Major Players: Matthew Baldridge and Janna Coumoundouros (Dinner Club Pop-Up), Scott Moloney (Treat Dreams, Woodpile BBQ), Greg Reyner (Cafe Muse, Geiger Eat Shop)

The Situation: Atomic Chicken is a chef-driven, fast-casual concept serving chicken & waffles, chicken sandwiches, and smothered biscuits. Located inside a former Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen in New Center, the restaurant will have a liquor license and an online ordering app. Check out the first takeout-only location currently operating in Clawson.

Projected Opening: Mid-to-late August

La Noria

La Noria. Brenna Houck

[Photo: Brenna Houck]

Location: 5517 Michigan Avenue

Major Players: Norberto Garita and Bertin Garita

The Situation: Chef Norberto Garita is known for his Mexican-Italian restaurant El Barzon, but the owner has plans to open a casual eatery right next door. La Noria, which means "water wheel," will offer wood-fired oven pizzas, tacos, tortas, and more in a converted Coney island. The restaurant features a full bar and, most importantly, beautiful brick patio. Construction is nearly complete, the Italian oven has arrived, and the restaurant is awaiting final inspections.

Projected Opening: Mid-to-late June

Rusted Crow

[Photo: Brenna Houck]

Location: 78 W. Adams Ave.

Major Players: Relatives of Rusted Crow Distillery founder Joe Schebel

The Situation: Dearborn-based Rusted Crow Distillery is expanding to a sister location in the Kales Building near Grand Circus Park. Located next to The Royce Detroit, the 150-seat eatery will feature a 50-foot bar, and a small menu that includes salads, sandwiches, fish tacos, burgers, and entrees like steak, chicken, and pasta. The bar will serve up a wider range of cocktails using the brand's products (vodka, gin, rum, and moonshine). Manager Arielle Bumbul tells Eater the project is ready to go with the exception of staff training and several delayed city inspections. The owners hope to see it debut by July at the latest.

Projected Opening: Mid-July (possibly sooner)

The Royce Detroit

[Photo: Brenna Houck]

Location: 76 W Adams Ave.

Major Players: Angela Rutherford and Ping Ho

The Situation: Located on the ground floor of the Kales Building next to Rusted Crow, The Royce Detroit is a combination wine bar and retail concept. The 2,000-square-foot venue includes a 12-seat bar surrounded by shelves with retail bottles. An additional seating area with sofa and chairs — enough for around 28 more customers — will be available in The Royce's mezzanine lounge. The shop will supply approximately 300 different bottles from around the world with an emphasis is on affordability (mainly priced under $25), quality, and integrity.

Projected Opening: Early-to-mid July

Hearth and Soul Cafe

[Photo: Google Street View]

Location: 1049 Woodward Ave.

Major Players: Owners Jackie Victor and Ann Perrault, chef Maggie Long

The Situation: Cass Corridor's favorite organic bakery is expected to expand its footprint downtown this summer with the Hearth & Soul Cafe. The 2,900-square-foot venue will offer Avalon breads and pastries, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner. The owners reportedly recruited chef Maggie Long (formerly of Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria & Brewery). During the announcement Long teased a menu that would feature vegan items such as salads and soups.

Projected Opening: Summer


[Photo: Brenna Houck]

Location: 5163 Trumbull St.

Major Players: Jeremy Damaske

The Situation: Former Woodbridge Pub-based pizza pop-up Pie-Sci (try saying that five times fast) is finally shaping up in its own space on Trumbull. The owners confirm to Eater that they're in the final stages of buildout with a few inspections left. You'll likely see them slingin' creative pies out of their shop by the end of the month next month. Hallelujah.

Projected Opening: Mid-June Mid-July


Wahlburgers in Coney Island, New York. [Photo: Robert Sietsema/ENY]

Location: 567 Monroe Ave

Major Players: Mark, Donnie, and chef Paul Wahlberg, Bella Piatti owner Nino Cutraro

The Situation: Actor Mark Walberg let slip during a press junket interview last winter that his family's eponymously named burger chain was scoping out Detroit for a new location in Greektown. The fast-expanding chain is expected to launch a multi-level, 130-seat restaurant between Monroe Steak House and Redsmoke Barbecue this summer with a bar on each floor and a patio area.

Projected Opening: Summer

Grey Ghost

[Image: Pink + Wooderson]

Location: 47 E. Watson

Major Players: John Vermiglio, Josef Giacomino, David Vermiglio, Will Lee

The Situation: Culinary duo John Vermiglio and Josef Giacomino departed from Chicago's Matthias Merges restaurant group in November to open a meat-centric concept in Detroit's Brush Park area. Ever since they've been teasing Grey Ghost in a series of pop-ups — each centered around a specific type of meat or poultry — and finally revealed their official location in a portion of Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe. The restaurant is also expected to offer a full bar with a cocktail program designed by Selden Standard's Will Lee. The 80-seat eatery's design will incorporate "industrial components including concrete, brick, and wood." The restaurant is beginning to hire staff in June, which is another promising sign that they'll meet that loose summer deadline.

Projected Opening: Summer

Brix Wine Bar

Michelle and Chris Gerard

[Photo: Michelle and Chris Gerard]

Location: 7981 Kercheval Ave

Major Players: Mikiah Westbrooks

The Situation: Located in a rehabbed West Village bank building, Brix is bring a wine bar and bottle shop to the neighborhood with tastings, charcuterie, and retail. The name refers to the amount of sugar in wine grapes prior to processing. Brix will feature a chef's table and additional seating near the bank's old drive-thru service window.

Projected Opening: Summer


[Photo: Courtesy of Gather]

Location: 1454 Gratiot Ave

Major Players: Kyle Hunt, Leah Hunt, and chef Nate Vogeli

The Situation: This 40-seat Eastern Market restaurant startup is gaining traction through a series of pop-ups throughout the city including monthly dinners at 8 Degrees Plato. The eatery is expected to feature an open kitchen plan with a wood-fired grill and a menu with dishes like crispy pork belly with "black" squid ink noodles, seasoned bison burgers, sweet potato steaks, soft serve ice cream, and slushies.

Projected Opening: September

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken

Brenna Houck

[Photo: Brenna Houck]

Location: 3rd Ave & W Alexandrine St

Major Players: Schmaltz Hospitality (Zack Sklar)

The Situation: Bloomfield-based restaurateur Zack Sklar recently acquired franchise rights to 60-year old Memphis icon Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken. Critics in Chicago raved about the chicken at Sklar's first Gus's location in Chicago, which opened last year. The 3,000-square-foot Cass Corridor restaurant will feature all the classic menu items as well as a full bar with cocktails, beer, wine.

Projected Opening: August

Bucharest Grill — Livernois

Bucharest on Livernois. Brenna Houck

[Photo: Brenna Houck]

Location: 19492 Livernois Ave

Major Players: Bogdan Tarasov

The Situation: The Avenue of Fashion is about to get its own Bucharest outpost. Owner Bogdan Tarasov confirmed the location in November following much online speculation. Like the mini chain's three other restaurants, Bucharest will serve casual carryout options like chicken shawarma and falafel, as well as hot dogs, salads, and more. With the East Jefferson location now operational, fans can expect more time devoted to getting this satellite restaurant up and running.

Projected Opening: Late summer

Other Coming Attractions

Unnamed Selden Street ProjectUnnamed Replacement for Fountain DetroitUnnamed Modern Steakhouse in Capitol ParkMiwakiDetroit Vegan Soul Grandmont RosedaleShake ShackGo! Sy Thai Capitol ParkUnnamed Cass Corridor RestaurantTrumbull Porter Hotel Restaurant and BarEl Club's pizza kitchenPudding HeadReplacement for First National GrilleCalexico, Basement Burger Bar, Unnamed Coffee Shop near Cadillac Square, Detroit Shipping Co., Lady of the House, Lafayette Kitchen and Diner, Detroit Sip, Ladder House No. 12, Sushi Ono, 2941 Street Food—Midtown, Busy Bee Food Hall, Norma G's Brick and Mortar, Beyond Juice, Social Sushi, Possible Michigan Building Project, Windmill Pointe Brewing, Chene Street Grocers, Wurlitzer Bar, Opus One Building Restaurant or Brewery, Aretha Franklin Project, Guardian Building Restaurant Space, Brewster Wheeler Rec Center Restaurant, Grand Cirque Brasserie, Geiger Eat Shop, Gabriel Hall, Slyde, Woodbridge Bikes and Coffee, Unnamed Detroit Optimists Society Bar in Capitol Park, Unnamed Cafe by Shinola, Chubby Duck, Unnamed Project by Till, Shag Bar and Possible Sandwich Shop, Caucus ClubSmoke's Poutinerie

Ferndale Tracking: Black Owl CommuneNeighborhood Brewing Co.The Conserva FerndaleUnnamed Seafood RestaurantAxle Brewing Co. Beer Hall

Royal Oak Tracking: The MorrieO.W.L.,

Pontiac: Fillmore 13 Brewery, Slow's

Ann Arbor Tracking: Diamond Jim Brady'sNew Concept by Mani Osteria OwnerSmoke's Poutinerie

Oak Park: 8MK Project

Big Moves

Rock City Eatery (Summer 2016)

Bon Bon Bon (Fall 2016)


5163 Trumbull St., Detroit, MI Visit Website

Bucharest Grill

2684 East Jefferson Avenue, , MI 48207 (313) 965-3111 Visit Website


1454 Gratiot Avenue, , MI 48207 (586) 850-0205 Visit Website

Brix Wine & Charcuterie Boutique

7968 Kercheval Avenue, , MI 48214 (313) 267-4006 Visit Website

Atomic Chicken

6500 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48202 (313) 782-4803 Visit Website

Rusted Crow Distillery

, Dearborn Heights, MI (313) 551-4164

Grey Ghost

47 E Watson Street, , MI 48201 (313) 262-6534 Visit Website

The Royce Detroit

76 West Adams Avenue, , MI 48226 (313) 481-2160 Visit Website

La Noria

5517 Michigan Avenue, Detroit, MI Visit Website