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This Map Shows Two Years of Evolution in Detroit’s Coffee Landscape

Sixty-seven cafes and counting

espresso pouring into a cup
An espresso pull at Anthology in Corktown.
Michelle and Chris Gerard
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.

On Saturday, Detroit will lose its remaining location of Cafe con Leche — a cafe that’s operated in different venues across the city for a decade. The New Center shop follows the closure of Cafe con Leche’s Clark Park-area establishment last year. Co-owner Jordi Carbonell told the Detroit News that he found it challenging to compete with all the new cafes in the city.

In a new map inspired in part by Cafe con Leche’s closure, the cartography obsessives at local blog Detroitography have put this changing landscape of Detroit cafes into perspective.

“Since 2015, I’ve seen 6 coffee shops close, 2 or 3 changed ownership but remained in operation, and 20 new coffee spots open,” writes map creator Alex B. Hill of Detroitography. “The new grand total comes to 67 coffee shops within Detroit’s outer border. Only New Center and ‘Sherwood Forest’ saw losses of coffee shops that were not filled by new ones. Interestingly, Midtown only gained one coffee shop while Downtown added 4 new coffee shops.”

A map demonstrating the change in density of coffee shops from 2015 to 2017 in Detroit neighborhoods.
Shared with permission from Detroitography

The number includes both larger chain coffee shops and independent businesses. Those 67 shops are up from the 54 locations Hill identified back in 2015 when he was exploring growth in the cafe sector as a marker of gentrification.

Interestingly, downtown which by and large has seen some of the biggest investments over the past few years has also seen the largest growth in cafes, adding to the already robust concentration of shops located in the area in 2015. But the growth isn’t just reserved for Gilbertville. State Fair, Bagley, Jefferson Chalmers, Mohican Regent, and Nardin Park are also notably new to the map.

A 2015 analysis of coffee shop density in Detroit by Detroitography.
Courtesy of Detroitography

Numbers aren’t the only insights Detroitography offers. Hill notes that retailer Stef-N-Ty recently added a cafe to its space in the North End.

Map: Detroit’s Changing Coffee Landscape 2017 [Detroitography]

Cafe Con Leche Will Shutter Its New Center Shop [ED]

All Caffeine Nation Coverage [ED]

Cafe Con Leche

2990 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202 (313) 285-8152