Welcome to The Shutter, a roundup of Detroit and metro Detroit’s restaurant closures.
DOWNTOWN — The Da Edoardo Foxtown Grille is preparing to close at the end of 2017 after failing to reach a new lease agreement with the Ilitch family, which owns the building at 2203 Woodward Ave, Metro Times reports. The Foxtown Grille opened in 2001. However, the last several years have been particularly challenging to the restaurant. It was forced to close twice over the last two years for extended periods due to flooding. Owner Ann Barbieri Kolinski, whose family operates the Da Edoardo restaurant group, says she previously had a good relationship with the Ilitches but that it has deteriorated since Mike Ilitch’s death in February. The restaurant will host its final night of service on New Year’s Eve. [Metro Times]
DOWNTOWN — Angelina Italian Bistro hosted its last night of service on December 10. The 10-year-old restaurant owned by Tom Agosta agreed to vacate its 1565 Broadway St. space after a drawn out dispute with landlord Bedrock Real Estate over rapidly rising rents. Agosta is still exploring options to reopen elsewhere. [EaterWire]
CORKTOWN — Short-lived bar and grill Red Corridor shut down operations on November 24. The building is still owned by former Casey’s Pub operator Andrea Relkin and it’s unclear what she intends to do with the space. [EaterWire]
DOWNTOWN — Former Spanish tapas restaurant-turned-Mexican eatery La Dulce closed up shop in November just five months after moving to downtown Detroit. Owner Luis Negrete stated that the restaurant faced challenges appealing both to its more adventurous, established customer base as well as patrons staying at the Crowne Plaza hotel. A new restaurant is expected to replace La Dulce in the space. [Freep]
SOUTHWEST DETROIT — The VL Bar, located at Vernor and Lansing Street, was purchased and transformed into a new dive tiki spot called Mutiny Bar earlier this fall. [EaterWire]
ROYAL OAK — The Royal Oak outpost of East Coast sports bar chain Black Finn Ameripub has abruptly closed its doors at 530 S. Main St. City officials expressed surprise at the shutter; however the mayor as well as a former commissioner cited ongoing conversations among Royal Oak restaurant owners that sales are down. The decrease in revenue is being attributed to Detroit’s growing restaurant scene that some say is drawing away customers, alongside a lack of parking and frequent road construction. [Freep]
DOWNTOWN — GO! Smoothies in downtown Detroit closed up shop at its 110 Clifford brick-and-mortar location on September 30. The smoothie bar lasted three years in the space and continues to pop-up at Tech Town and Bamboo Detroit. The company’s products are also available on GrubHub. [EaterWire]
TROY — A second outlet of grilled cheese chain Tom + Chee closed down in Troy this fall. There’s one remaining metro Detroit location left in Canton. [EaterWire]
FERNDALE — Local Kitchen and Bar shuttered on Nine Mile on October 1. Owners Geoff Kretchmer and Brian Stiegel have since confirmed that they’re taking the space in a very different direction — hand axe-throwing and a board game bar. The new venues are expected to open in November. [EaterWire]
GARDEN CITY — Italian eatery Villa Amantea on West Warren closed on October 9 after 42 years of business. Owner Sam Porco attributed the closure to a decrease in sales. [Freep]
NORTHVILLE — A two-year-old Northville location of Cincinnati-based, fast-casual franchise Tom+Chee has closed its doors. The restaurant announced the closure to customers via Facebook on September 10. In responses to disappointed customers, the restaurant operators confirmed that the location was underperforming but encouraged patrons to seek out the company’s artery-clogging grilled doughnut sandwiches at a second restaurant in Canton. The company also operates an outpost in Troy. [Facebook]
WYANDOTTE — Bobcat Bonnie’s closed its short-lived second outpost in downtown Wyandotte on September 6. Owner Matthew Buskard had struck a deal with the owners of Bourbon’s Brews & Bayou to revamp the business as a Bonnie’s back in January. Buskard said he and his partners were trying to buyout the business in its entirety but were unable to agree on terms with the building’s owners and decided to cut ties. The Corktown remains open for business. [EaterWire]
MIDTOWN/WYANDOTTE — An abrupt management shuffle left both the Wyandotte and Midtown locations of Dangerously Delicious Pies in limbo in August. At the time, the pie chain’s founder Rodney Henry said he hoped to reopen the Detroit location and keep the River Rouge bakery in operation while opening a new location inside the Ghost Light in Hamtramck, however none of those plans ultimately came to fruition. Henry now says that he’s permanently pulled out of Detroit with no plans to reopen any locations. [EaterWire]
EASTERN MARKET — Gather in Eastern Market has temporarily closed while it undergoes some kitchen staffing changes. The restaurant, which opened in May, has bid farewell to chef Nate Vogeli and hired Jessie Patuano to replace him. Once the restaurant’s kitchen is restaffed, Gather is expected to reopen with a new menu. [EaterWire]
MIDTOWN — Two neighboring occupants in the Park Shelton Building, Nom Nom’s Cupcake Factory and Detroit Pizza Company, have closed up shop in Midtown, according to Daily Detroit. The pair were both operated by La Weir, Inc., which opened both locations in 2014 in the former Good Girls Go To Paris Crepes space. In addition to the Detroit location, Nom Nom’s also shuttered a second retail location in Westland.
The bakery closures weren’t entirely a surprise. Nom Nom’s owners announced their intentions to close and reorganize into a less retail-oriented baking business in a message to customers shared on Facebook and the company website on August 3. “We are thrilled to be taking steps forward to concentrate on corporate accounts and custom orders,” the company wrote. “We will be completing all standing orders while we await the move to our new kitchens. As soon as that location is running, we will be able to resume taking new special orders.” Detroit Pizza Company also confirmed its immediate closure in a brief Facebook post on August 10. [Daily Detroit/Facebook]
SOUTHFIELD — Southfield Korean restaurant and sushi bar New Seoul Garden (27566 Northwestern Hwy) is closing its doors on August 27 after nearly 28 years of business. Sister and brother Sarah and Michael Yi purchased the business last year. The pair intend to renovate the 10,000-square-foot building into two separate unnamed projects — a Korean barbecue restaurant and an eatery serving “healthy Korean cuisine and bar food,” Sarah Yi tells Eater. The projects will also include “noraebang” rooms for karaoke. The plaza where the restaurants are located will be renamed New Seoul Plaza in honor of the shuttered restaurant. The owners estimate that the updated restaurants will debut in January 2018. [EaterWire]
CORKTOWN — Inspectors from the City of Detroit’s building safety declared the UFO Factory hazardous and unsafe for occupancy, according to the Detroit Free Press. The popular bar and music venue shuttered abruptly on Wednesday after construction crews working on the foundation for the neighboring Elton Park development damaged the bar’s north side wall, making it unstable.
There were rumors several weeks back that the developer Soave Enterprises had attempted to purchase the UFO Factory building and as the Metro Times reports today Soave and the owners of the UFO Factory engaged in a legal battle between late 2016 and early 2017 related to use of the land surrounding the bar. Some fans of the UFO Factory have alleged that these incidents may have given Soave motive to damage the bar, however those separate incidents do not in and of themselves mean Soave intentionally tried to destroy the bar.
In a statement to the Free Press, Soave vice president Tysen McCarthy says, “Our general contractor, the Monahan Company, is currently assessing the situation to determine the cause and extent of the damage as well as the appropriate corrective measures.”
In the meantime, the UFO Factory has begun rescheduling events and several fundraisers and have been organized to help the out-of-work employees. A GoFundMe benefitting the workers received more than $16,000 in contributions this week. [Freep/Metro Times]
CASS CORRIDOR — After around 50 years of business the Wayne State University area’s Circa 1890 Saloon is preparing to close its doors next week. Co-owner Lela Cavins says her 88-year-old father Steve Xantheas is retiring. He’s operated the bar since 1974. The saloon located at 5474 Cass Ave. is in the process of being sold to Anton Vulaj who owns the neighboring Campus Diner. It’s unclear at this point what Vulaj plans to do with the space. [Metro Times]
EASTERN MARKET — Iconic Italian eatery Roma Cafe has closed its doors after 127 years of business in Eastern Market. Owner Janet Sossi Belcoure made the decision to lease her building to chef Guy Pelino after being unable to find a buyer for the building. She’s looking forward to retiring and continuing to stay active in the Detroit restaurant and food community. Pelino plans to reopen the restaurant as Roma’s Cucina with some updates in early September. [Crain’s/Detroit News]
SOUTHFIELD — After 33 years of business, Sweet Lorraine’s Cafe & Bar on Greenfield Road is preparing to close its doors. The final service will be hosted on June 25.
Chef Lorraine Platman, matriarch of the Sweet Lorraine’s restaurant empire, opened her eponymous restaurant in partnership with husband Gary Sussman in 1984. However, Platman says in a release that due to health issues she can no longer keep up with the hectic pace of running a restaurant. “It’s been a labor of love,” she says. “Dealing with the challenges of my health issues has made it increasingly impractical to continue operations at the pace that is required to continue to be successful.”
While the longtime restaurant is shuttering, other Sweet Lorraine’s spinoffs including the Mac n’ Brewz! and Mac n’ Cheez! outposts will remain open. The company is also expected to open a new location in Commerce on Haggerty Road dubbed Sweet Lorraine’s GameTime Grill. [EaterWire]
DOWNTOWN — Late-night Greektown gyro slinger Plaka Cafe has shuttered. While no public statements have been made about the closure according to commenters on the restaurant’s Facebook page the eatery is undergoing renovations and will reopen in the next few weeks as a “modern Greek bar and restaurant.” [Facebook]
STATE FAIR GROUNDS — One of Detroit’s finest fried chicken destinations, Ms. E-Vee’s Soul Food is on the move and temporarily shuttered in the interim. The restaurant, previously located near the State Fair Grounds along Eight Mile closed on May 13. It’s currently in the process of relocating to 20880 Gratiot East Pointe. [Facebook]
ISLANDVIEW — Short-lived East Jefferson eatery The Bridge quietly shut down earlier this year. Still the building may not stand vacant too much longer. While the owners could not be reached for comment, one-time Brush Park breakfast restaurant Le Petit Dejeuner is expected to relaunch in the space at 6470 East Jefferson. [Facebook]