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Chef Departs From Glamorous Downtown Detroit Restaurant Besa

Plus, La Strada changes names and gets rid off tipping

A piece of fish on a plate in a pool of creamy beige liquid with browned onion slices on top.
Michelle and Chris Gerard
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.

Downtown restaurant gains a new chef

Just shy of a year after opening in the Vinton Building, Besa’s chef Kyle Schutte is departing the downtown restaurant. Besa’s co-owner Mario Camaj tells the Detroit News that Schutte is pursuing a new career outside the restaurant world. Chef Nick Geftos will be stepping into the kitchen in Schutte’s place and releasing an updated menu on Monday, October 7. Geftos, who previously ran the kitchen at Tallulah Wine Bar and Bistro in Birmingham, is expected to introduce dishes like hamachi “hot pot” soup to the restaurant.

Another restaurant is going tip-free in metro Detroit

Italian bistro La Strada Dolci e Caffe is undergoing a bit of a switcheroo. The restaurant is changing its name to La Strada Italian Kitchen & Bar this month and adopting a salaried, tip-free format for all staff, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Union Joints restaurant gets blessing from Birmingham’s planning board

Metro Detroit restaurant group Union Joints passed one hurdle last week in its latest project. The Birmingham city planning board has approved plans for Lincoln Yard, a restaurant and bar in Birmingham’s Rail District, according to Downtown Publications. The business proposal had been put on hold in 2017 after Union Joints, operator of Vinsetta Garage and other restaurants, determined that a bistro license wouldn’t fit the needs of the restaurant. Lincoln Yard is now pursuing an economic development Class C liquor license. The planning board gave its recommendation to the Birmingham city commission, which will decide whether to grant Lincoln Yard a special land use permit and approve the final site plan and design.

Major Detroit small business grant competition reveals semifinalists

Comerica Hatch Detroit, a small business grant competition that’s contributed to the opening of some of Detroit’s most beloved new business of the past few years, has released its list of 2019 semi-finalists. One again the lineup is dominated by businesses with a food and beverage component including Brix Wine & Charcuterie, Morningside Cafe, Street Beet, the French Cow, HM Lounge & Chill Room, NOIS, and Playa vs. Playa Gaming Lounge. Old Soul Vintage, Ilera Apothecary, and 27th Letter Books are also in the running. Voting is open through Thursday, October 3 at which time the top four finalists will be announced. Past Hatch winners have included La Feria, Sister Pie, Batch Brewing Company, and Baobab Fare, and many of the top four finalists in past years have also gone on to open successful businesses.

Virginia Park cafe and brewpub pushes back opening timeline

The owners of Flint’s Tenacity Brewing have pushed back the opening timeline for their forthcoming Detroit cafe and brewpub Tenacity Craft, according to Crain’s. The opening is now projected for April 2020 due to delays with a plumber and the permitting process.

Southwest Detroit Restaurant Week returns for a second year

Diners can once again tour Southwest Detroit’s best restaurants this month during the second annual Southwest Detroit Restaurant Week, running from Friday, October 4 through Sunday, October 13. The neighborhood home to some of the area’s best Latin American establishments. Nearly 25 restaurants are participating in the event, including Dominican restaurant Asty Time, Mexican seafood spot La Terraza, and Puerto Rican eatery Rincon Tropical.

Chase that restaurant week with another round of Detroit Cocktail Week

The area’s most spirit-obsessed annual drink series Detroit Cocktail Week is back now through Sunday, October 6 with 50 participating bars and restaurants. The week features a bunch of events including cocktail dinners at Flowers of Vietnam, Grey Ghost, the Apparatus Room, Gent (a bar below Lady of the House), Takoi, and Vertical Detroit. People can also participate in a variety of happy hours that are free and open to the public. The series is rounded off with the Detroit Cocktail Classic spirits tasting event and a hangover brunch at Parks & Rec.

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La Terraza

8445 Vernor Highway, , MI 48209 (313) 843-1433 Visit Website


2520 Michigan Avenue, , MI 48216 (313) 855-2864 Visit Website

Lady of the House

1426 Bagley Street, , MI 48216 (313) 818-0218 Visit Website

Sister Pie

8066 Kercheval Avenue, , MI 48214 (313) 447-5550 Visit Website

La Strada Dolci e Caffe

243 East Merrill Street, , MI 48009 (248) 480-0492 Visit Website

Flowers of Vietnam

4440 Vernor Highway, , MI 48209 (313) 554-2085 Visit Website

La Feria

4130 Cass Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 285-9081 Visit Website


600 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48226 (313) 315-3000 Visit Website

Tenacity Craft

8517 2nd Avenue, , MI 48202 Visit Website

Vertical Detroit

1538 Centre Street, Detroit, MI

Grey Ghost

47 E Watson Street, , MI 48201 (313) 262-6534 Visit Website

The Apparatus Room

250 West Larned Street, , MI 48226 (313) 800-5600 Visit Website

Parks & Rec

1942 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 446-8370 Visit Website

Baobab Fare

6568 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48202 (313) 265-3093 Visit Website