It’s official. Bucharest Grill is returning to downtown Detroit this summer. Owner Bogdan Tarasov confirms to Eater that the chicken shawarma chain is in the process of renovating a building at 436 W. Columbia St. for its fifth location.
The new restaurant marks a major milestone for the popular Detroit-based restaurant group. Bucharest Grill got its start just a few blocks away inside the Park Bar. But the restaurant was forced to close and relocate to East Jefferson in 2016 after a failing to secure a new lease from the landlord.
Since then, Bucharest has gone on to open a location in Northwest Detroit while continuing to maintain restaurants in Milwaukee Junction and Corktown. At the same time, Tarasov kept an eye out for opportunities to return to the stadium area and eventually purchased a building. “I left unexpectedly,” he says. “I didn’t expect to leave the area, honestly, and it was kind of like leaving home. So I did my best to go back to that area.”
At 120 seats, the new downtown restaurant will be Bucharest’s largest location. Plans call for a similar layout and menu to the other satellite restaurants with a few exceptions. In a call back to its residence at the Park Bar, the Columbia Street location will have a bar with between 18 and 24 beers on tap as well as wine and, possibly, cocktails. Tarasov has purchased a liquor license and estimates that the transfer will be completed by mid-July. The location will also feature a brick oven to the new restaurant for baking fresh pita bread to pair with Bucharest’s hummus.
The buildout on the location is already well underway. Signage was installed on the exterior of the brick building on Tuesday and the interior, including the arches behind the walk-up counter, could already be seen taking shape. Tarasov estimates the new dine-in and carryout restaurant will debut by early August. Stay tuned for updates.
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