From the city’s name to the street signs, Detroit is intertwined with French culture. Now the owners of a corner cafe in West Village are hoping to bridge the gap between France and Detroit even more with the opening of La Bohème.
With a name that’s a nod to an opera that focuses on the lives of young bohemians in Paris, the shop is aiming to cultivate an relaxed and artistic atmosphere says co-owner Ève de Castro. She and her partner Jean began renovating the former sweet shop at the corner of Kercheval and Parker Street across from Sister Pie around 18 months ago, after selling their properties in Paris.
With its tall ceilings, mismatched furniture, baskets of scarves, the La Bohème has the feel of a vintage shop or someone’s kitchen. The main cafe seats around 20 diners. A bar and cash register running along the center of the restaurant was manufactured from repurposed wood including doors. Posters and prints hang on the walls with subtle call backs to an American-French connection. “Everything you see you can buy,” de Castro notes of the furnishings.
The basement has also been fully renovated with additional seating and a small stage for live music acts. The owners plan to host art exhibitions in the lower level.
Outfitted with limited kitchen equipment, La Bohème will offer light breakfast and lunch fare including housemade crepes, quiche, and salads, plus croissants, baguettes, cakes, and other French pastries prepared by Cannelle Patisserie. The menu will also feature fresh juices, Great Lakes Coffee, and teas from French brand Le Palais des Thés. “This is a bridge between Paris and Detroit,” de Castro says.
Giving its connection to the City of Love it’s perhaps fitting that the eatery is slated to debut on Valentine’s Day. Take a look around La Bohème below.
Photos courtesy of La Boheme and Darko Stojanovski
La Bohème is located at 8100 Kercheval St. in Detroit; 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; 313-398-5808; Website; Opens February 14.