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Vegan Taco Truck Owner Plots Restaurant in Southwest Detroit

Rocky’s Road Brew is filling the former Charlie Clark’s Bar building on West Vernor

Vegan tacos from Rocky’s Road Brew in Southwest Detroit.
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 owner of the Rocky’s Road Brew food truck in Southwest Detroit is planning to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Owner Rocky Coronado tells Eater that they’ve acquired the building formerly home to Charlie Clark’s Bar at the corner of Morrell Street and West Vernor Highway with plans to open Damelo Cafe.

Coronado launched Rocky’s Road Brew nearly three years ago while living in Austin, Texas, and relocated to Detroit in early 2017. Since then, the food truck has gained a following in Southwest Detroit for its organic coffee, teas, and vegan tacos.

Coronado is still working out the specifics for Damelo, which translates to “give me” in Spanish. The cafe will likely build on the momentum from Rocky’s by serving vegan tacos with fillings like fried avocado and mushroom-sweet potato. “I just want something healthy. I try to promote a plant-based diet because heart disease, cancer, diabetes are rampant in the Latin American community and communities of color,” Coronado says. Likewise, the food truck owner is also toying with the idea of offering a dry bar with non-alcoholic cocktails. Farther down the road, Damelo may also host “intimate” live music events.

Rocky Coronado recently struck a deal to purchase the former Charlie Clark’s Bar building from the owner of Columbo’s Coney Island.
Brenna Houck

Located next door to Colombo’s Coney Island, the former bar has sustained some significant water damage to the interior, Coronado says. However, it still features the bar counter as well as an old jukebox and some older grill equipment. Coronado plans to begin renovating the restaurant soon, while also applying for small business grants. The Rocky’s truck will also eventually be put up for sale to pay for some of the repairs. Damelo Cafe is aiming to open by this winter. In the meantime, check out Rocky’s Road Brew in the parking lot at the corner of West Vernor and Clark near Flowers of Vietnam.

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Damelo Cafe

5410 W Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209