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Wurlitzer Building Hotel Development Reveals Three Major Restaurant and Bar Projects

Two Eater Young Guns and Populace Coffee are all headed to The Siren Hotel in downtown Detroit

The Wurlitzer Building in downtown Detroit.
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.

The Siren Hotel, a boutique hotel opening this fall in Detroit’s Wurlitzer Building and neighboring 1515 Broadway will house seven restaurants and bars, developer ASH NYC revealed on Wednesday night. The projects include a restaurant and a separate cocktail bar developed by two Eater Young Guns alums — chef Garrett Lipar and bartender Dorothy Elizabeth — on the ground floor of the of the building. Bay City-based roaster Populace Coffee will also open a separate full-scale cafe in the hotel’s lobby.

Lipar helmed acclaimed Ferndale restaurant Torino and has been named a semifinalist twice for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star of the Year award. He’ll be opening an eight-seat, tasting menu-only restaurant called Albena inside The Siren Hotel. The project, which Lipar first teased last August, is currently being previewed during a month-long chef residency at Frame in Hazel Park. Each multi-course dinner will run around an hour and a half.

According to ASH’s creative director Will Cooper the restaurant will be situated on towards the back of the hotel’s first floor. Albena’s interior will take cues from Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetics with a “homey, dark” feel. The designs call for vaulted ceilings, wood, concrete, and plaster with a light placed above every place setting for a “cinematic” experience.

Bartender Dorothy Elizabeth left her post at Standby this month to develop a roughly 30-seat cocktail lounge called Candy Bar on the ground floor of the Wurlitzer. Elizabeth tells Eater that she’s looking forward to delving more into her chemistry background and molecular mixology through the project. The menu is still in development but will serve cocktails like the “Capitol Park,” a rye-based drink, mixed with cardamaro, bonal, and a special blend of bitters. The design for Candy Bar will feature a J-shaped bar top and an additional 20 seats at tables along the walls of the lounge. The space is being decked out entirely in pink hues (an increasingly popular color palette) using lacquers, mirrors, glass, and other materials.

The Populace coffee bar will be the first outpost in Detroit for the Michigan roaster. The company has been looking to bring a brick-and-mortar location to Detroit since 2014. The hotel cafe will be located towards to the entryway to the lobby and will have a relatively open layout, Cooper says. A separate standalone Populace outlet was rumored to be in the works near the True North quonset huts development on Grand River Avenue, however sources say that project may have fallen through.

An as-of-yet-unnamed second floor restaurant is expected to debut in late 2017 followed by three additional restaurants and bars in the front, rear, and rooftop of The Siren Hotel in 2018.

All together the downtown hotel rehab spans 55,000-square-foot with a total of 106-rooms and eight retail spaces. Two of those retail spaces — Pot & Box flower shop and Social Club Barbershop — have been confirmed so far and more are expected to be announced soon. The Siren Hotel and the ground floor food and beverage projects are aiming to open between October and November. Head over to Curbed for a peek inside the building.

First Look Inside the Siren Hotel in the Wurlitzer Building [CDET]

Wurlitzer’s $21M Rehab Plan Calls for Restaurant, Café, Bar, and Rooftop Lounge [ED]

Chef Garrett Lipar Reveals Plans for Albena, a New Chef’s Counter in Detroit [ED]

Dorothy Elizabeth: Taking Detroit's Craft Cocktail Scene to a Molecular Level [ED]

All Coming Attractions Coverage [ED]