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Grey Ghost Team Will Open ‘Second Best’ Bar in Detroit

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Kamikazes, Jager bombs, boilermakers, and sandwiches

A rendering of Second Best Bar.
Pink & Wooderson
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.

Four Man Ladder Management, the team behind Grey Ghost, is bringing the self-titled Second Best Bar to Brush Park next year in the former Heidelberg Project headquarters.

The new neighborhood watering hole will span 2,300-square-feet on the first floor of 42 Watson St. and is geared towards more casual drinking than its sibling across the street.

The bar will offer a variety of familiar cocktails and shots such as Jager Bombs and Kamikazes alongside canned and draft beers. Rotating beer and a shot combos will be served daily. The menu will include bar snacks and “a few worldly sandwiches” to accompany the drinks, according to a release.

Pink & Wooderson, the same team the developed the award-winning look for Grey Ghost, is designing Second Best. Seating roughly 60 patrons overall, the interior will feature exposed brick and naugahyde vinyl booths with a 23-seat bar and garage doors along the facade. The dimly lit space is also expected to have several flatscreen TVs and a rec area with shuffle board and other pub games.

The group also tells the Detroit Free Press that they purchased one of Heidelberg Project artist Tyree Guyton’s “Giant Steps” shoe paintings from one of the nearby buildings and plan to incorporate it into the interior of the bar. Heidelberg vacated 42 Watson earlier this spring after just over 8 years in the space.

The project is expected to break ground by the end of the year and wrap up in time for a spring 2018 debut.

The exterior of 42 Watson.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

This is the third project for Four Man Ladder, founded by chefs Joe Giacomino and John Vermiglio, bartender Will Lee, and David Vermiglio. The team began developing Grey Ghost in 2015, and quickly moved on to consult with Axle Brewing Co. on the launch of their Ferndale-based Livernois Tap. Second Best will be the second standalone project for the team.

In an interview with Eater over the summer, the team joked that they were tired of coming in second place (alluding to their ranking in the 2017 Detroit Free Press Best New Restaurants list) — a statement that was perhaps a bit of foreshadowing for their latest project. In terms of the restaurant group’s rapid expansion, Vermiglio told Eater, “We have endless ideas of what we would like to do and what would be fulfilling, but I think the biggest thing for us is growing intelligently.”

Grey Ghost Is Going Down in History For Fried Bologna [ED]
Grey Ghost Team to Open Second Best Bar in Former Heidelberg Project HQ [Freep]
All Second Best Bar Coverage [ED]
All Coming Attractions Coverage [ED]

Second Best Bar

42 Watson Street, Detroit, MI Visit Website

Grey Ghost

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