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Flowers of Vietnam
Michelle and Chris Gerard

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13 Detroit Restaurants to Get Excited About in 2017

Burgers, sliders, food halls, and more

Just few weeks into 2017, Detroit is already racking up the restaurant openings. But looking out a bit farther, some major players and smaller startups are preparing to launch their own projects this year. From fast-casual slider restaurants to note-worthy burger chains and world-class chefs, here are 13 restaurants projects to keep on your radar all through the year.

For a more focused look at winter’s highly anticipated openings (and a handy guide to lots of other coming attractions), peruse Eater Detroit’s guide here and the national one over here. As always, if there’s a major spot that Eater isn’t aware of, shoot over a tip.

Slyde

Location: 19350 Livernois Ave, Detroit

Key Players: LJ Nelson, Anitrah Nelson, Jem Frick, Rayna Cook

Projected Opening Date: April 2017

As The Avenue of Fashion continues to reinventing itself as a walkable Detroit neighborhood dining destination, fast-casual slider startup Slyde will throw its hat into the ring this spring. The restaurant will fill the long vacant Hunter’s Supper Club space on Livernois joined by a new outpost of Cass Corridor’s Motor City Brewing Works.

Shake Shack

Location: 660 Woodward Ave, Detroit

Key Players: Shake Shack

Projected Opening Date: Late-winter

As the signage at the First National Building’s Shake Shack was being installed in January, the company finally confirmed that Michigan’s first outpost would in fact debut this winter. Sure it’s another chain. Sure it’s burgers. But they’re really delicious burgers and Shake Shack has a relatively decent track record with employee wages. The Campus Martius-adjacent location will feature a patio, a liquor license, and concretes (blended frozen custard treats) made with city-specific ingredients such as locally-baked pastries.

Norma G's Michelle and Chris Gerard

Norma G’s

Location: 14700 East Jefferson Ave, Detroit

Key Players: Lester Gouvia

Projected Opening Date: TBA

Food truck Norma G’s, a finalist in 2016’s Hatch Detroit contest, is expected to go brick-and-mortar sometime this year in the former Jefferson East Inc. building near Grosse Pointe Park. Through the restaurant owner Lester Gouvia will finally be able to deliver his delicious Caribbean cuisine to an even wider audience.

Eastern Market Brewing Company

Location: 2515 Riopelle, Detroit

Key Players: Dayne Bartscht, Devin Drowley, Paul Hoskin, Hazen Schumacher

Projected Opening Date: Spring/Summer

Breweries were a part of Eastern Market’s history throughout the early 20th century and beer could make a comeback in the humming food and agriculture hub this year. Eastern Market Brewing Company is in the process of renovating the former S&D Packing building into a 120-seat taproom with communal tables.

Marvin Shaouni

Lady of the House

Location: 1426 Bagley Ave, Detroit

Key Players: Kate Williams

Projected Opening Date: Spring 2017

Chef Kate Williams is currently overhauling the former St. Cece’s space into Lady of the House, one of Eater National’s most anticipated restaurants of the year. Williams’ restaurant will feature an Irish tea service sourced from local purveyor Joseph Wesley Tea and dishes that “lean old-world European with flavors from all over the world.” There might even some sort of “pork fat candle dish” incorporating smoked clams or fresh bread.

Geiger Eat Shop

Location: 8044 Kercheval Avenue, Detroit

Key Players: Greg Reyner (Cafe Muse, Atomic Chicken)

Projected Opening Date: Winter/Spring

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.

Detroit Shipping Co.

Location: 474 Peterboro St., Detroit

Key Players: Jonathan Hartzell, James Therkalsen, Dominic Walbridge

Projected Opening Date: Spring/Summer

With a little luck, long-anticipated Detroit food hall Detroit Shipping Co. might actually arrive this year. The company has experienced numerous setbacks, but has also made some progress in securing land and signing on four of its five food vendors — COOP, Brujo, Detroit Dog Co., and Monty’s Beef Co. The construction, once it begins, is expected to move relatively quickly as the shipping container design allows parts to be manufactured offsite. In addition to food stalls, Detroit Shipping Co. will feature two bars, pop-up art space, and a venue for live performances.

Wilda’s

Location: Corner of Grand Boulevard and Woodward Avenue in Detroit

Key Players: Lucy de Parry and Molly Mitchell

Projected Opening Date: Summer/Fall

The founders of Rose’s Fine Foods will bring a new neighborhood restaurant and bar to New Center this year. The 60-seat, counter service restaurant will serve a variety of sweet and savory pastries, sandwiches, and salads tailored to the needs of the area’s workers. Wilda’s will also offer a coffee and espresso bar and a full bar. Like its counterpart on the East Side, the restaurant will also continue to use a tip-free model for worker’s compensation.

La Noria

Location: 5517 Michigan Ave, Detroit

Key Players: Norberto Garita and Bertin Garita

Projected Opening Date: Winter/Spring

Chef Norberto Garita is widely 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 and the restaurant is teasing drivers on Michigan Avenue with its signage.

Unnamed 8MK Restaurant

Location: 12700 8 Mile Rd, Oak Park

Key Players: Union Joints

Projected Opening Date: 2017

It’s still a toss up on which Union Joints project will debut first — the Brewster Wheeler Rec Center bar and restaurant or 8MK — but we’re betting on the Oak Park project. Union Joints is known for big crowd-pleasing restaurants like Vinsetta Garage, Union Woodshop, Fenton Fire Hall, and recently Honcho. This restaurant aims to repurpose the historic WWJ Building on Eight Mile into a 100-seat, “American comfort food” destination with al fresco dining, events space, a DJ booth, and dedicated parking.

Filling in with all the goods

A photo posted by Coming Soon (@voyagerferndale) on

Voyager

Location: 600 Vester St, Ferndale

Key Players: Marc Bogoff and Eli Boyer

Projected Opening Date: Winter/Spring

Stockyard chef Marc Bogoff teamed up with restaurateur Eli Boyer last year to launch a small neighborhood seafood restaurant and raw bar “with an oyster obsession” in Ferndale. The eatery, dubbed Voyager, will fill a garage slightly off the beaten Nine Mile strip.

Foundation Hotel Restaurants

Location: 250 W Larned, Detroit

Key Players: Thomas Lents

Projected Opening Date: TBA

Chef Thomas Lents of Michelin-starred Chicago restaurant Sixteen announced in January that he would depart for the Foundation Hotel in Detroit. The move could be another game changer for the rapidly accelerating Detroit dining scene. Lents will head up the dining program at the hotel including its flagship restaurant and a prix fixe “Chef’s Table” that will be used as an “incubator” for new culinary talent.

Flowers of Vietnam Michelle and Chris Gerard

Flowers of Vietnam

Location: 4430 Vernor W Hwy

Key Players: George Azar

Projected Opening Date: Summer

After more than a year of regular weekend pop-ups inside Vernor Coney Island, Flowers of Vietnam is expected to make the leap to permanent, full-scale restaurant this summer. Chef George Azar told Eater in December that he will temporarily shut down in March while he works with the team from Noma during its Mexico pop-up. While he is away, the restaurant is supposed to undergo renovations in preparation for a summer debut.


Other restaurants to keep on your radar:

  • The Caucus Club is on track for a revival downtown in the first half of this year. Perhaps there will be Bullshots.
  • Atomic Chicken is on the cusp of a debut in New Center. The second location of the fast-casual chicken restaurant will be larger than the original in Clawson.
  • Avalon International Breads is slated to open the second location of Avalon Cafe & Kitchen downtown Detroit this year.
  • Could the space next to Public House finally get some food of its own? Working Class Outlaws got the go-ahead to start demolition on the space last summer.
  • Love it or hate the optics of it, modern steakhouse Prime + Proper is expected to land this spring in Capitol Park with an exclusive bar, Cash Only, reserved for special guests.
  • A very cool looking restaurant space is coming together on the site of the forthcoming DTE Energy Park, however the official restaurant project has yet to be finalized.
  • Detroit could get an Izakaya in Milwaukee Junction this if Miwaki gets its way.
  • Not much is known about The Kenilworth Club at this point but the proposal of a New Orleans-inspired restaurant with West African influences for the North End neighborhood sounds promising.
  • In addition to Eastern Market Brewing, Urbanrest and Axle Brewing are developing their own establishments in Ferndale this year.
  • Gather is expected to settle into Eastern Market in the first half of this year.
  • A bar/restaurant/market hybrid Eatori Market is expected to arrive this spring in Capitol Park.
  • While Eater reported last fall that chef Garrett Lipar would make a comeback in the first half of this year, the progress on Albena has been slow to non-existent. Its unclear at this point whether Lipar will move forward with the project.

Detroit’s Most Anticipated Restaurants and Bars, Winter 2017 [ED]

The 16 Most Anticipated Restaurant Openings of 2017 [E]

All Coming Attractions Coverage [ED]

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