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Falling Down Beer Company Abruptly Closes All of Its Taprooms

The brewery’s locations in Warren and Oxford are permanently closed

Falling Down Beer Company/Facebook

Welcome to The Shutter, a roundup of Detroit and metro Detroit’s 2018 restaurant closures.

October 17

WARREN/OXFORD — After six years in Warren and a year in Oxford, Falling Down Beer Company has shuttered both of its taprooms. Co-owner Mark Larson broke the news in posts to social media on Monday, October 15, writing: “It is with a very heavy heart that I must inform you that FDBC is no more. This was not my choice and it is devestating (sic). I have enjoyed the past 6 years immensly (sic) and I wish everyone the best.” Eater has reached out to Falling Down Beer Company for more information regarding the closure.

DOWNTOWN — Greektown’s New Parthenon restaurant appears to have closed indefinitely for renovations according to employees and signage at the business.

SOUTHWEST — Detroit’s Dominican eatery El Caribeño announced on Sunday, October 7, that it is “closed until further notice.” The three-year-old restaurant was founded by Judi Hernandez.

DOWNTOWN — Another Greektown establishment Santorini Estiatorio is closed and in the process of being gutted and redesigned. It’s expected to return with the same name and a different format.

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Cacao Tree Cafe’s vegan sister restaurant the Clean Plate permanently closed its doors on September 26 due to a landlord-tenant dispute.

DETROIT — Growing ice cream startup and soft serve pop-up of the summer Reilly Craft Creamery has shut down operations indefinitely. The company underwent a recall for listeria contamination and went bankrupt in the process. Fortunately, no consumers were sickened by the product.

DEARBORN — Muer Restaurant’s Muer Restaurants’ seafood establishment Big Fish has closed its doors in early September. The late restaurateur Chuck Muer — grandson of Joe Muer — founded Big Fish in Dearborn in 1992.

DOWNTOWN — Cocktail lounge Centaur Bar quietly closed in September due to “staffing issues.” It’s unclear at this time if the bar will return. Centaur’s management have remained silent throughout the process. They allegedly sold a building across the street as residents were served with eviction notices.

METRO DETROIT — Drought juice is shuttering its Birmingham and Ann Arbor stores in November and relocating its downtown Detroit location to the Shinola Hotel. The company says it’s seeking outside investment for national expansion.


September 7

FERNDALE — Zeke’s R&R BBQ in Ferndale is preparing to close its doors permanently on Thursday, September 13 after more than three years on Nine Mile. The barbecue restaurant and live music venue confirmed the impending closure in an announcement to Facebook on Thursday evening. “These past few years have been nothing short of amazing and we thank everyone for making them happen,” the restaurant wrote. Zeke’s Facebook post quickly gathered more than 100 comments from customers wishing the restaurant staff well. Eater received a tip that staff at the restaurant were informed of the impending closure on Wednesday afternoon, but requests for comment from Zeke’s by Eater were not returned. Another restaurant is rumored to already be lined up for the space.

ROYAL OAK — Celebrity chef Michael Symon’s last remaining Michigan outpost of B Spot burgers shuttered in downtown Royal Oak in August. The chain now lists only three locations — all in Cleveland — on its company website.

WEST VILLAGE — Brix Wine & Charcuterie Boutique closed at the end of August due to a dispute with the property’s landlord, Banyan Investments. The wine bar was on track to open a second location in New Center and now plans to relocate the original business to the as-of-yet-undisclosed address. Brix is expected to reopen in 2019.

JEFFERSON CHALMERS — After several years of sporadic hours and renovations, vegan bakery and cafe Coffee and (_____) closed on East Jefferson Avenue in April.


August 22

CASS CORRIDOR — Designer cake shop Cake Ambition is closing its doors today, a year and a half after opening on 3rd Avenue. Founder Jessica Bouren declined to provide details on the reasons for the closure, but was adamant that all customers with cake orders would be contacted and their orders would be filled on time. Bouren is known for her whimsical cake designs shaped like boots, cowboy hats, and even a mini version of the Forest Arms building. Bouren previously worked as executive pastry chef at the Whitney and built her custom cake business out of the kitchens at neighborhood brewery Traffic Jam & Snug.


August 17

NEW CENTER — The curse of the New Center address continues as another Detroit restaurant Atomic Chicken confirms it has closed its doors. The neighborhood, which is experiencing furious development, was not evolving quickly enough to save the fast-casual chicken restaurant, according to Crain’s. Atomic Chicken seemed to struggle from the get-go, as it faced long delays with its renovation during the construction of the QLine. The mini chain briefly opened a location in Clawson and then shuttered it; despite statements that it would reopen, it never did. The Detroit restaurant lost its early opening “momentum,” co-owner Scott Moloney told Eater earlier this year, after its air conditioning went out last summer. It briefly welcomed partner Buffy Campeau’s Buffy’s Mexi-Casion Grill as a pop-up in January. The restaurant closed in May but declined to confirm the shutter until today.

DOWNTOWN — After 31 years near Cobo Center and the Joe Louis Arena, beloved sports bar Cobo Joe’s called it quits in July. The bar had struggled to find its financial footing after the Red Wings relocated to the Little Caesars Arena a mile away in 2017.

FERNDALE — Popular vegan restaurant Om Cafe closed permanently in July. The current owners took over the restaurant after a brief closure in 2014.

HAMTRAMCK — Three Star BarBQ, which served Hamtramck for more than 80 years, closed its original location and moved to the suburbs in Clinton Township in July.


July 9

ROYAL OAK — Days after announcing a new location in Fenton, metro Detroit Italian restaurant chain Andiamo Royal Oak confirmed on Saturday, July 7 via Facebook that the Royal Oak location has shuttered after 19 years of business. Andiamo Group’s president Joe Vicari, who also owns Joe Muer Seafood, tells the Detroit Free Press that the restaurant had experienced declining business as diners increasingly migrated towards the burgeoning restaurant scenes in Ferndale and Detroit. The decision to close was also prompted by failed rent negotiations and challenges with parking in Royal Oak — something the city’s mayor Michael Fournier strongly disputed. In recent years the restaurant had made efforts to appeal to a younger clientele including changing its name to Andiamo Trattoria, updating the menu, and renovating the interior.

MEXICANTOWN — Short-lived experiment Fist of Curry has shut its doors just a few months after taking over the Huron Room space. The restaurant served its last plate of curry on July 9 and will convert into a pop-up restaurant space while Inlaws Hospitality (Johnny Noodle King, Green Dot Stables) develops a new more permanent format for the space. The group is also working on a project in Jefferson-Chalmers.

DEARBORN — M & M Cafe has closed its doors at 13714 Michigan Ave. after 35 years of business. The owners Maurice and Elaine Lteif, in preparation for retirement, sold the business to a new restaurateur who plans to change the name to Now Cafe and tweak the menu.

DEARBORN — There’s only one remaining location of Sign of the Beefcarver in Royal Oak now that the Dearborn location has closed. The restaurant had a 50-year run serving roast beef and mashed potatoes to a loyal clientele, but had experienced a drop in sales over the years. The building has been sold to a strip mall developer.


June 18

FERNDALE — Metro Detroit lost one of its best greasy spoons on Sunday, June 17, with the closing of Ferndale’s Double EE Restaurant. The Nine Mile spot located on the east end of Ferndale near the border of Hazel Park was a favorite haunt for neighborhood patrons looking for a gut-busting breakfast of pancakes, ham, and eggs and a cup of diner coffee at an affordable price. Owners Valter and Elda Xhomaqi released a statement regarding the closure on June 16. The couple — who also own the Whistle Stop in Pleasant Ridge and Birmingham — stated that the owner of the Double EE property had declined to renew their lease. The Xhomaqis are trying to provide new employment for their staff at the Whistle Stop restaurants.


June 6

LINCOLN PARK — Long-running Downriver craft brewery Fort Street Brewery is preparing to shutter in July after 13 years of business. “I am sorry to say that Fort Street Brewery is coming to an end,” owner Pete Romain wrote in a newsletter to fans last week. “Apparently we did not do a great job with keeping up with the times and allowed more new and exciting places to pass us by.” The brewery began winding down business by shortening hours and reducing its menu to pizza and sandwiches on Sunday, June 10. Fort Street intends to stay open through the end of July and will appear at the Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti.

MIDTOWN — After undergoing numerous menu and name changes, Maccabees at Midtown appears to have closed its doors permanently. The restaurant in its most recent Asian-influenced iterationMaccabees Tradersannounced the closure on social media on Wednesday, June 6. The phone line for Maccabees has been disconnected. Followers report that it closed prior to Memorial Day weekend.

BIRMINGHAM — After five years in downtown Birmingham, the Stand Gastro Bistro has called it quits. Founders John Kelly and chef Paul Grosz will finish dissolving their partnership this month, making way for a new restaurant from chef Emmele Herrold and manager Beth Hussey called Hazel, Ravines, and Downtown.


May 23

MIDTOWN — After 27 years on Woodward Avenue, the Majestic Cafe has shuttered. The restaurant was completely gutted as of May 22 as part of a $1 million renovation the Majestic Theatre complex, the Detroit Free Press reports. Owner Dave Zainea say the cafe, which opened in 1991, had faced declining sales since the QLine construction began in 2013 and never really recovered after the rail line opened. The restaurant space will make way for a larger lobby. Other spaces including Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizzeria, Garden Bowl, and the Magic Stick will remain open throughout the renovation.


May 9

WYANDOTTE — After many years in Wyandotte, the Rockery is closing its doors this week. Owners Mark and Traci Skehan, who took over the beloved dive bar two years ago, announced the closure in a statement posted to Facebook on Wednesday: “Over the past two years we’ve tried hard to make this work, but with much effort and many sacrifices it is time to say good bye.” All upcoming shows have been canceled. The Skehans had sought to sell the bar last October, according to the Metro Times, citing a desire to get out of the business of small business. The bar will open for a final night from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday, May 11.

It's with great regret that our last day with The Rockery will be Friday, May 11th. Over the past two years we've tried...

Posted by The Rockery on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

NORTH ROSEDALE PARK — Knudsen’s Danish Bakery, a pastry staple in Northwest Detroit for generations, abruptly shuttered on April 27 to the disappointment of many lifelong customers. The Dimitrieski family later released a statement thanking customers for their support and conceding that it was time “time for a vacation.” The bakery is currently listed for sale for $150,000.

DOWNTOWN — Central Business District salad bar staple the Green Room closed its doors on April 27. The popular lunch destination was established in the Ford Building in 1996, but the building’s new ownership terminated the Green Room’s lease in late-October. Owner Steve Zuccaro had hoped to relocated to a new space, but was unable to secure another location before the restaurant’s move out date at 120 W Congress St.

ROYAL OAK — Gayle’s Chocolates will depart from downtown Royal Oak on Sunday, May 13, after 34 years of business in metro Detroit. Founder Gayle Harte intends to relocate the business to a retail shop in Cottonwood, Arizona, and will continue accepting online orders.


March 15

BIRMINGHAM — Cafe Via shuttered unexpectedly this month. Customers were notified with a note posted to the door stating that the fine-dining establishment would reopen “after remodeling.” The restaurant located at 310 E Maple Rd. in Birmingham is expected to relaunch under new ownership in June, according to Crain’s.


February 21

CORNERSTONE VILLAGE — Dish Detroit a neighborhood staple in Cornerstone Village has closed its doors indefinitely. The popular carryout restaurant located close to Harper Woods and Grosse Pointe Farms opened in 1998 and was nearing its 20th anniversary on Mack Avenue. Owner Peg Sulek stated in a Facebook message to the restaurant’s customers that it had become too difficult to maintain the business while caring for her husband, who has been facing serious health issues. “We will miss you all and we will miss your devoted support,” she writes. “Thank you all for your kindness lo these many years.” (Update: Paul Sulek died on February 23. Dish Detroit has reopened as of July).

HAMTRAMCK — Mocha Cafe in Hamtramck, home of the Mocha Treat, closed its doors recently making way for a new American and Mediterranean sandwich shop called Fantastic Subs. The Dearborn location of Mocha Cafe, fortunately, is still alive and kickin’.

MEXICANTOWN — Michigan-centric seafood spot The Huron Room has shuttered on Bagley Street making way for a new restaurant, Fist of Curry. The new curry shop is still owned by Inlaws Hospitality (Johnny Noodle King and Green Dot Stables). The owners attributed the change to a desire to try something new and a lack of affordable buildings for new projects in the area.


February 2

NOVI — [Update: Pastry House Hippo reopened in April] Japanese pastry charmer Pastry House Hippo is closing its doors in Novi. The shop is expected to make way for a new business called White Wolf Japanese Patisserie, according to the original announcement on the company’s Facebook page. The strip mall bakery owned by Linda and Yusuke Okamoto has been a Novi fixture since 1997, building a following for its adorable sweet and savory buns and pastries often designed in the likeness of animals (turtles, pigs, cats, and crabs to name a few). The shop will remain open for one final weekend, before closing permanently on Sunday, February 4.

SHERWOOD FOREST — The Avenue of Fashion’s 1917 American Bistro abruptly shuttered without notice in early January after nearly nine years of business. The restaurant’s equipment was put up for auction. Owner Don Studvent has remained quiet about the reasons for the closure, though rumors have swirled that the two-story building might yet welcome a new project.

EASTERN MARKET — Eastern Market stunner Antietam is preparing to close its doors on March 31 as owner Gregory Holm readies to put the renovated building on the market. The restaurant had a rocky history early on, closing shortly after its original opening in July 2014 when chef Brendon Edwards and bartender Joe Robison resigned from their posts. Holm later recruited two chefs from out-of-town. Chef Seth High eventually joined on as a partner in 2016. “I’ve reached a point where I need a little bit of downtime and unfortunately our operation doesn’t afford the kind of ability for a sabbatical or anything,” High told the Detroit Free Press of the decision to close. “My main plan is to take a little downtime, hopefully travel a little bit.”

All The Shutter Coverage [ED]

Coffee and (_______)

14409 East Jefferson Avenue, , MI 48215 Visit Website

Andiamo Royal Oak

129 S Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067 (248) 582-9300 Visit Website

The Huron Room

2547 Bagley St, Detroit, MI 48216 (313) 265-3325 Visit Website

Om Cafe

23136 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48220 (248) 548-1941

Mocha Cafe

9335 Conant Street, , MI 48212 (313) 974-6073

B Spot Burgers

310 S Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067

The Whitney

4421 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 832-5700 Visit Website

The Stand Gastro Bistro

34977 Woodward Avenue, Birmingham, MI 48009

Three Star BarBQ

11941 Joseph Campau St, Hamtramck, MI 48212 (313) 365-9494

Brix Wine & Charcuterie Boutique

7968 Kercheval Avenue, , MI 48214 (313) 267-4006 Visit Website

Atomic Chicken

6500 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48202 (313) 782-4803 Visit Website

Joe Louis Arena

600 Civic Center Dr, Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 396-7000 Visit Website

Majestic Cafe

4140 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 833-9700 Visit Website

Cake Ambition

4154 3rd Avenue, Detroit, MI

Roast

1128 Washington Boulevard, , MI 48226 (313) 961-2500 Visit Website

Traffic Jam & Snug

511 West Canfield Street, , MI 48201 (313) 831-9470 Visit Website

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