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Detroit’s Most Anticipated Restaurants, Spring 2017

All the essential details on the city’s biggest coming attractions

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.

Spring time is opening season for restaurants — a time when Michigan’s winter weather begins to let up and patrons regain their appetites. Here in Detroit, there are loads of upcoming restaurant projects to look forward to this year and spring 2017 is set up to be bigger than ever with spots like The Apparatus Room at the Detroit Foundation Hotel and Joebar in Hazel Park on the cusp of a debut. Below, find the latest intel on the city’s coming attractions for March through May. From burgers to wine bars and high-end steakhouses, here are 16 new restaurants and bars to look forward to.

Brix Wine Bar

seating area
Brenna Houck

Location: 7981 Kercheval Avenue

Major Players: Mikiah Westbrooks

The Situation: Located in a rehabbed West Village bank building, Brix is bring a wine bar and bottle shop to the neighborhood with tastings, charcuterie, and retail. The name refers to the amount of sugar in wine grapes prior to processing. Brix seats around 40 patrons and the space feature a vault for private bottle service. A patio is expected to break ground this summer.

Projected Opening: Late-March


Location: 19350 Livernois Ave, Detroit

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

The Situation: 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.

Projected Opening: April

The Apparatus Room

bar rea with lots of lights Courtesy of the Detroit Foundation Hotel

Location: 250 W Larned, Detroit

Key Players: Chef Thomas Lents, Aparium Hotels

The Situation: Chef Thomas Lents of Michelin-starred Chicago restaurant Sixteen announced in January that he would depart for downtown’s soon-to-open Detroit Foundation Hotel. 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, The Apparatus Room, and a prix fixe “Chef’s Table” that will be used as an “incubator” for new culinary talent.

Projected Opening: Spring


exterior of restaurant
Brenna Houck

Location: 1454 Gratiot Ave

Major Players: Kyle Hunt, Leah Hunt, and chef Nate Vogeli

The Situation: This 40-seat Eastern Market restaurant startup is gained 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. The restaurant is awaiting final inspections.

Projected Opening: Late-March

Caucus Club

Facebook/Caucus Club

Location: 150 W. Congress Street

Major Players: George Sboukis, chef Rick Hussey

The Situation: A year since the initial announcement of its revival, renovations of The Penobscot's historic Caucus Club are finally underway. Chef Rick Hussey (Filippa's Wine Barrel) has been tapped to head the steak-filled concept and designer Wendy Silverman his helping revamp the interior with Art Deco influences. Still no word on whether the restaurant's beefy The Bullshot (beef broth, vodka, and spice) cocktail is also making a comeback, but diners can expect oysters, crab, and tuna tartare, and steaks on the menu. The restaurant was initially expected to debut in May but the usual sorts of delays have pushed back that timeline to this spring.

Projected Opening: March

La Noria

La Noria.
La Noria.
Brenna Houck

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 and the restaurant is teasing drivers on Michigan Avenue with its signage.

Projected Opening: Spring

Lady of the House

Chef Kate Williams
Chef Kate Williams

Location: 1426 Bagley Avenue

Key Players: Kate Williams, Unnamed Partner(s)

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.

Projected Opening: Spring/Summer

La Lanterna

La Lanterna.
La Lanterna.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

Location: 1214 Griswold St. (The Albert)

Major Players: Da Edoardo Restaurant Group, Eddie Barbieri

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 10 to 15 “very authentic” pizzas, as well as a small selection of pastas and sandwiches. Delivery will be available. Owner Eddie Barbieri tells Eater the restaurant will seat 57 diners in a “modern traditional” setting. La Lanterna will feature a full bar. The restaurant is awaiting final inspections before management can begin training staff for the opening.

Projected Opening: March/April

Detroit Sip

Detroit Sip.
Detroit Sip.

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: Spring

New Order Coffee Roasters

vinyl signage
New Order Coffee.

Location: E. Watson Street and Woodward Avenue

Major Players: Patrick Seeney, Elizabeth Rose, Tyler Martin

The Situation: Located next door to Grey Ghost, this 2,000-square-foot cafe designed by Et. al will serve coffee brewed by-the-cup and house pastries. New Order is aiming to offer an ultra-personalized experience. "Nano-batches" of coffee roasted on-site will allow customers to work directly with staff to develop their own specialty batches of roasted beans. In addition to the Brush Park location, the company teases that a new Ferndale Coffee Lab is in the works.

Projected Opening: Spring

Cake Ambition

Cake Ambition’s new storefront. Brenna Houck

Location: 4154 3rd Avenue

Major Players: Jessica Bouren

The Situation: A designer cake shop next to a florist seems like a winning combination for wedding planners. Jessica Bouren brick-and-mortar bakery will specialize in custom cakes but will also offer a selection of pastries, desserts, and WiFi to satisfy everyday sweet tooths. Expect a retro ‘50-inspired interior and plenty of whimsical desserts.

Projected Opening: March

Prime + Proper

construction at prime and proper Brenna Houck

Location: 1145 Griswold Street

Major Players: Jeremy Sasson, chef Michael P. Barrera, butcher Walter M. Apfelbaum

The Situation: Located at the corner of State and Griswold in Capitol Park, this massive, meaty undertaking by developer-turned-restaurateur Jeremy Sasson aims to deliver a next-level steakhouse experience. The restaurant is expected to feature a bar, raw bar, lounge, butcher shop, and private dining area. A ultra exclusive bar, dubbed Cash Only, is also said to be in the works.

Projected Opening: Spring

Royale With Cheese

Royale With Cheese.
Brenna Houck

Location: 4163 Cass Avenue

Major Players: Hass Bazzy and Moe Ettaher

The Situation: An ode to Pulp Fiction’s elusive Parisian cheeseburgers, longtime friends chef Hass Bazzy and Moe Ettaher are in the process of launching this fast-casual Midtown eatery. The 60-seat restaurant will offer signature burgers such as the Royale (house-smoked brisket, Southwest corn relish, caramelized onions, avocado, smoked gouda, coleslaw, and creamy “Royale sauce”) alongside “bites” such as nacho cheese ravioli and fried macaroni and cheese.

Projected Opening: March


Joe Vaughn/Facebook

Location: 23839 John R, Hazel Park

Major Players: Joe and Cari Vaughn, chef Courtney Witter

The Situation: This highly secretive project from photographer Joe Vaughn is located on the same block as Mabel Gray in Hazel Park. While details right now are limited, the restaurant and bar has been hosting private soft opening previews for the past two weeks. Designed by Ron & Roman, the interior features murals from artist Glenn Barr. Chef Courtney Witter (Woodward Avenue Brewers, Mabel Gray) is running the kitchen.

Projected Opening: Early Spring


raw bar red tile Facebook

Location: 600 Vester St, Ferndale

Key Players: Eli Boyer, Justin Tootla and Jennifer Jackson

Restaurateur Eli Boyer recently ended his partnership with collaborator Marc Bogoff but is moving forward with plans for his seafood restaurant and raw bar in Ferndale with the help of chefs Justin Tootla and Jennifer Jackson. The small neighborhood establishment will seat 40 in the dining room with additional space on the patio. Expect a raw bar with an “with an oyster obsession.”

Projected Opening Date: March


eatori construction wrap Brenna Houck

Location: 1215 Griswold Street

Major Players: Zak Yatim and Samer Ghafari

The Situation: Yet another addition to the rapidly transforming Capitol Park area, Eatori Market will offer specialty grocery items and a full bar on the ground floor of the Malcomson Building. A prepared foods section will offer grab-and-go items, paninis, soups, a chopped salad bar, and possibly a rotisserie. In the bar area, diners can look forward to a limited hot menu.

Projected Opening: May


Detroit Vegan Soul

paper is up signs are up Robin Runyun

Location: 19614 Grand River Avenue

Major Players: Kirsten Ussery-Boyd and Erika Boyd

The Situation: A West Village favorite, Detroit Vegan Soul is bringing its plant-based menu to the Grandmont-Rosedale area in 2017. The second location is slated to fill the former Blue Moon Ice Cream space on Grand River Avenue. The new location has a similar footprint to its counterpart in West Village, seating between 32 and 34 patrons. But the Grandmont Rosedale restaurant has the advantage of its own dedicated parking lot. Thanks to a larger kitchen fans can look forward to a few new dishes at the West Side location.

Projected Opening: Early April

Bucharest Grill — Livernois

bucharest windows in Brenna Houck

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 2015 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. Owner Bogdan Tarasov tells Eater he’s confident the new shawarma spot will debut this spring.

Projected Opening: March/April

Atomic Chicken Detroit

Atomic Chicken signage
Atomic Chicken in Detroit
Brenna Houck

Location: 6500 Woodward Ave

Major Players: Scott Moloney (Treat Dreams, Woodpile BBQ), Greg Reyner (Cafe Muse, Geiger Eat Shop)

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. With Q-Line construction mostly wrapped up the Detroit location is very near to opening, according to Scott Moloney.

Projected Opening: Late-March/early April

Alley Taco

Alley Taco signs hang inside the former Goodwells Natural Foods space on Willis. Facebook/Alley Taco

Location: 418 W Willis Street

Major Players: Jason Frenkel

The Situation: Marcus Market taco fixer Alley Taco snagged a prime Willis Street storefront after Goodwells mysteriously vacated last summer. Owner Jason Frenkel plans to keep the Marcus Market spot open while offering a more sit-down style atmosphere at the Willis restaurant. Frenkel tells Eater a new menu will roll out at both restaurants when the Willis outpost launches in the New Year.

Projected Opening: Maybe spring

Avalon Cafe and Bakery

Avalon Cafe and Bakery.
Caryn Laska

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 spring with the Avalon Cafe and Bakery. 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. Another location of the concept will debut in Ann Arbor in December.

Projected Opening: Spring

Other Coming Attractions

Detroit Shipping Co., Hamtown Soul Food, Breakfast Restaurant and Market in Metropolitan Building, Ladder House #4, Albena 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, Miwaki, Unnamed Cass Corridor Restaurant, Trumbull Porter Hotel Restaurant and Bar, Pudding Head, Unnamed Coffee Shop near Cadillac Square, Lafayette Kitchen and Diner, Ladder House No. 12 (maybe a bakery), Sushi Ono, 2941 Street Food—Midtown, Busy Bee Food Hall, Norma G's Brick and Mortar, Social Sushi, 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, Smoke's Poutinerie, Second Location of La Strada Dolci e Caffe, Space Next to Ottava Via, Henriette Haus, Kenilworth Club, MUFI Cafe, Itadaku Sushi, Capitol Park Project (Eli Boyer), Possible ChefStable Projects, NoHo Hospitality Projects in Shinola Hotel, Bakersfield, Lockhart’s BBQ, Possible Second Location of Frita Batidos, The triumphant return of Katoi 2.0, Revamped Flowers of Vietnam (Closes March 19), Woodpile BBQ Shack-New Center, Black Bottom Brewing Company, For The Love Of Sugar, Detroit Optimist Society Project, The Sweet Life of TU and MAI

Ferndale Tracking: Urbanrest Brewing, Axle Brewing Co., Mystery Concept Next to Public House, New Order Coffee Lab, Detroit Fleat, Voyager

Royal Oak Tracking: Detroit Dog Co. (Early 2017), HopCat

Pontiac: Slows Bar BQ

Ann Arbor Tracking: Diamond Jim Brady's, New Concept by Mani Osteria Owner, Smoke's Poutinerie, Eve the Restaurant, Hearth and Soul Cafe

Oak Park: 8MK Project

Hazel Park: Joebar, Revamp of Doug’s Delight

Dearborn: Ford’s Garage

Berkley: Berkley Common

Birmingham: Possibly Adachi or Lincoln Yard

Big Moves

Bon Bon Bon (Hamtramck)

The Menagerie (Pontiac)

13 Detroit Restaurants to Get Excited About in 2017 [ED]

All Coming Attractions Coverage [ED]

All Eater Tracking Coverage [ED]

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