From blockbusters like Greektown’s Wahlburgers to buzzy new American additions like Brush Park’s Grey Ghost, this summer saw a load of exciting restaurant openings. In July, Detroit welcomed the return of longtime pop-up favorite Pie-Sci as a brick-and-mortar pizzeria while August ushered in the debut of a new Kale’s building wine bar The Royce.
Alas, delays in permitting, inspections, and a host of other unforeseen buildout issues led to some stragglers. La Noria is still, tragically, not opened and looks like it may miss patio season. Livernois, too, is still without a Bucharest. In the near term, we’ve got a big move to look forward to with the imminent debut of Rock City Eatery in Midtown. Further out, promising watering holes like Bad Luck Bar and Kate Williams’ restaurant Lady of the House are on track for fall. Here, now, are 16 spots to look forward to in autumn.
Bad Luck Bar
Location: The Albert in Capitol Park
Major Players: Detroit Optimist Society’s Dave Kwiatkowski and Marc Djozlija and Yani Frye
The Situation: Longtime Sugar House bartender Yani Frye is spearheading this Detroit Optimist Society project, which promises to be a substantial addition to the downtown bar scene. The owners are sparing with the details but in early August partner Dave Kwiatkowski characterized the “progressive” cocktail lounge as "very high-end, very exclusive," with "experimental and experiential" elements. The 800-square-foot space will seat between 27 and 32 patrons and Kwiatkowski says bar goers can expect a highly detailed design with a focus on luxury.
Projected Opening: November/December (ahead of the holidays)
Atomic Chicken Detroit
Location: 6500 Woodward Ave
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. The Detroit location recently received signage. Check out the first takeout-only location currently operating in Clawson.
Projected Opening: Maybe early October
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, a beautiful brick patio. Construction is nearly complete, the Italian oven has arrived.
Projected Opening: Possibly October
Hearth and Soul Cafe
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: Mid-October
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: November
Bucharest Grill — Livernois
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: Fall
Detroit Shipping Co.
Location: 474 Peterboro St.
Major Players: Jonathan Hartzell, James Therkalsen, and Timothy Tharp
The Situation: Detroit’s first food hall is slated to arrive this year in Cass Corridor. Complete with a trendy design that involves more than 20 shipping containers, Detroit Shipping Co. will house five small scale restaurants — Brujo, Detroit Dog Co., Coop, Monty’s Beef Co., and an unconfirmed Japanese concept. Additionally the venue will feature two bars, pop-up art space, and a venue for live performances (More renderings here). The restaurant is expected to obtain construction permits by the beginning of September.
Projected Opening: December
Lady of the House
Location: 2801 14th St.
Major Players: Kate Williams, Unnamed Partner(s)
The Situation: Chef Kate Williams (formerly Republic, Rodin) will launch her own restaurant Lady of the House this fall in North Corktown. The eatery occupies the former Practice-Space and will seat approximately 40 diners with space for a bar and a cafe. Williams’ menu will draw on flavors from Detroit’s local farms. Her national pop-up series has featured “ugly food” — produce that’s considered aesthetically imperfect.
Projected Opening: Fall
Geiger Eat Shop
Location: 8044 Kercheval Ave.
Major Players: Greg Reyner (Cafe Muse, Atomic Chicken)
The Situation: Described as a new American restaurant with international influences, West Village’s Geiger Eat Shop will feature a full bar and dining room with seats for approximately 60 diners. The restaurant will also include a 1,000-square-foot patio and private dining space in the basement. In April, chef/owner Greg Reyner described the space as having a Bauhaus aesthetic with "clean industrial lines," exposed brick, banquette seating, and a "fully exposed kitchen." An L-shaped bar will span the west side of the restaurant.
Projected Opening: Late Fall/Winter
Location: 1701 Trumbull Ave.
Major Players: Mike Han
The Situation: A semi-finalist in Hatch Detroit’s 2016 competition, chef/owner Mike Han is bringing sustainable, fast-casual futomaki-style sushi hand rolls to a renovated corner space on Bagley and Trumbull. "We want to give you a high-quality experience with your food and your drink for under $20 and you feel full." Han hopes to eventually put his fine-dining sushi skills to use with omakase pop-ups in the restaurant.
Projected Opening: November 1
Location: 1214 Griswold St. (The Albert)
Major Players: Da Edoardo Restaurant Group
The Situation: Reviving an old name, the Da Edoardo family of restaurants is bringing its northern Italian-style offerings to a 2,000-square-foot space on the ground floor of The Albert building. The throwback concept will serve up pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and booze. Delivery will be available.
Projected Opening: Fall
Location: 160 W Fort St.
Major Players: Michigan-based Maru sushi chain
The Situation: Sure it’s a chain, but a Michigan chain filling a much-needed role downtown — sushi. Maru is slated to open its fifth location in Detroit’s Federal Reserve Building this fall featuring Japanese fusion dishes, seating for 150 diners, and a 30-40 seat patio. Detroit-based design firm Rossetti has also developed a slick look for the eatery.
Projected Opening: Fall
Dangerously Delicious Pies
Location: 80 W Alexandrine St.
Major Players: Sam Wood, Rodney Henry, and Don Duprie
The Situation: Fresh off the heels of its brick-and-mortar debut in Wyandotte, sweet and savory pastry wizards Dangerously Delicious Pies announced they were moving on to more established digs in Midtown. As Eater first-reported, the group is currently developing a permanent location on the ground floor of the Strathmore Apartment Building near Great Lakes Coffee. The location will offer casual dine-in seating and carryout service.
Projected Opening: Fall
Unnamed Replacement for Fountain Bistro
Location: 800 Woodward Ave
Major Players: 800 Parc Restaurant Group
The Situation: Alas, not a whole lot of details are available for this one but considering its location at the heart of Campus Martius, whatever is headed for the shuttered Fountain Bistro space is destined to be big. The restaurant is currently under construction. In the original announcement, 800 Parc said the restaurant renovation would include a permanent enclosure for the patio, a larger kitchen, and new windows, as well as updated floors, ceilings, and a new bar. More announcements are expected in September.
Projected Opening: Sources say November
Rock City Eatery
Location: 4216 Woodward Ave.
Major Players: Nikita Sanches and Jessica Imbronone Sanches
The Situation: Almost a year since the original announcement, Rock City Eatery is finally making its move to a new and bigger home in Midtown. Husband and wife team chef Nikita Sanches and Jessica Imbronone Sanches shuttered the original RCE in Hamtramck on August 27 with the intent of vacating and moving their furniture to the new location. The Midtown restaurant will feature some fan favorites from the old RCE, but will also present food that’s truer to chef Sanches’ vision. Expect pizzas, possibly some ants, and a full bar with a more advanced ice program, digestifs, and aperitifs.
Projected Opening: September 8
Location: 7420 W McNichols Road
Major Players: Jevona Watson
The Situation: A new addition to Northwest Detroit’s Bagley neighborhood, Detroit Sip aims to create a community hub with its cafe offerings on McNichols near the University District. The storefront has made some big strides towards opening day with a new facade, exterior lighting, tables, and equipment. Expect Detroit-made products and local coffee, tea, doughnuts, and pastries.
Projected Opening: October/November
Other Coming Attractions
Hamtown Soul Food, Breakfast Restaurant and Market in Metropolitan Building, I Luv Cheese, New Alley Taco Location, Brix, New Order Coffee Roasters, Ladder House #4, New Garrett Lipar Restaurant, Motor City Brewing Works on The Avenue of Fashion, Coriander Kitchen and Farm, Super.Happy.Sushi., Wilda’s, El Cuadro, Unnamed DTE Energy Park Restaurant, American-style Bistro in The Scott, Louisiana Creole Gumbo #2, Unnamed Replacement for Fountain Detroit, Unnamed Modern Steakhouse in Capitol Park (now Winter/Spring 2017), Miwaki, Detroit Vegan Soul Grandmont Rosedale, Shake Shack, Go! Sy Thai Capitol Park, Unnamed Cass Corridor Restaurant, Trumbull Porter Hotel Restaurant and Bar, Pudding Head, Basement Burger Bar, Unnamed Coffee Shop near Cadillac Square, 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, Gabriel Hall, Slyde, Woodbridge Bikes and Coffee, Unnamed Cafe by Shinola, Unnamed Project by Till, Shag Bar and Possible Sandwich Shop, Caucus Club, Smoke's Poutinerie
Royal Oak Tracking: The Morrie, Detroit Dog Co., Dixie Moon Saloon
Pontiac: Fillmore 13 Brewery, Slow's
Oak Park: 8MK Project
• All Eater Tracking Coverage [ED]