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Aretha Franklin Is Still Planning to Open a Nightclub in Detroit

The Queen of Soul wants to open a live music venue downtown

'Clive Davis: The Soundtrack Of Our Lives' Premiere Concert - 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
Aretha Franklin performing in New York City in April.
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival
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.

Aretha Franklin, the reigning Queen of Soul, is returning to Detroit and is once again discussing plans to open a nightclub in the city. The 75-year-old music icon, who announced her semi-retirement from the stage earlier this year, tells the Detroit Free Press she’s planning to move out of her longtime home in Bloomfield Hills to take up residence in the city of Detroit and open a nightclub.

Franklin previously discussed her desire to open a live music venue and “fine-dining” establishment in 2015, suggesting at the time that she was already exploring possible locations with Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate. Now she appears to be putting that plan into action. She even has a name for it: “It would be Aretha’s,” she tells the Free Press. She continues:

From time to time I would sing, and of course, I would have special artists come in to perform for the city that people in Detroit like — Detroit favorites.

While her mind appears to be made up, Franklin is still in talks with possible partners and says she’s open to other investors besides Gilbert.

Franklin isn’t the only music artist to return to Detroit and open a business. White Stripes co-founder Jack White opened a Cass Corridor location and record pressing facility for his label, Third Man Records in 2015 and an as-of-yet unnamed musician from a “a well-known rock band” is expected to open an Italian restaurant called Brudders in West Village this winter. Kid Rock may also be putting his name on a restaurant inside the new Little Caesars Arena.

Riley: Aretha Franklin Moving Into Detroit and Wants to Open a Club Downtown [Freep]
Aretha Franklin Bringing 'Fine Dining' Nightclub Venue to Downtown Detroit [ED]