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The Buhl Bar Joins Detroit Optimist Society’s Growing Cocktail Empire

The downtown drinking spot is getting a revamp

The Buhl Bar.
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.

Downtown Detroit’s understated cocktail lounge the Buhl Bar is joining forces with Dave Kwiatkowski’s rapidly expanding Detroit Optimist Society empire. The restaurant group today announced its partnership with bar owner and developer the Roxbury Group to revamp operations at the nearly six-year-old Financial District mainstay.

The Buhl Bar with its air of sophistication and prime location at 535 Griswold St. in the namesake Buhl Building has long been a favored spot for business people looking to grab a drink in downtown after work. The partnership with Detroit Optimist Society — known for operating prominent drinking spots such as The Sugar House, Bad Luck Lounge, and Wright & Co. — will likely take The Buhl Bar to a wider audience.

“I have long been a fan of the Buhl Bar,” Kwiatkowski says in a statement. “An elegant space in an excellent location, it is truly a Detroit staple. We are excited to partner with the Roxbury Group to enhance the current offerings and expand its service.”

The transition of operations began today. Buhl Bar is expected to relaunch on November 1 with an updated team led by a bartender Rick Paulger. The watering hole will also return with a broader selection of spirits as well as fresh cocktail menu.

Detroit Optimist Society also plans to expand the bars Savoyard Club membership. Customers who spend at least $100 a month will be able to purchase single barrels to consume at the bar and will have access to “exclusive tastings of rare and allocated whiskeys.”

Additionally, the bar operators will also be expanding hours to 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.

This isn’t the only new project Detroit Optimist Society has in the works. In August Kwiatkowski revealed plans to launch a line of charcuterie with an Eastern Market-area restaurant to match called Gratiot Avenue Provisions.

All Mergers and Acquisitions Coverage [ED]
All Expansions Coverage [ED]
All Detroit Optimist Society Coverage [ED]