clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Eater Detroit’s 10 Biggest Stories of 2019

The restaurant and bar news that resonated most with readers in the last 12 months

Rows of eclairs and other French pastries inside the Cannelle pastry case.
Cannelle by Matt Knio opened in February.
Michelle Gerard

It’s easy to forget just how much has happened in the course of 12 months. Here at Eater Detroit, there are stories that certainly stick with us. We’re talking about the unexpected closures, legal battles, and rewarding long-term projects that occupied our minds as reporters. However, it’s always interesting to look back at what resonated most with you, our readers. Some stories were obvious contenders for the most-read pieces of the year, but occasionally there’s a surprise in the mix. Below, are the top-read news stories (excluding repeats) from 2019.


The industrial interior at Detroit Vineyards features blue walls and floating tables.
Detroit Vineyards.
Michelle Gerard

No. 10 Look Inside Detroit’s New Winery and Tasting Room

For the first time in roughly 60 years, a winery opened in Detroit. The massive Detroit Vineyards production space and tasting room set inside the former Stroh’s Ice Cream Factory, generated plenty of excitement ahead of its May 3 debut.

The sign spelling out Karl’s is painted in red on the windows above the restaurant’s green cafe drapes. The interior of the restaurant features tables and a bar on checker painted wood floors with orange upholstered chairs and lush potted palms.
Karl’s at the Siren Hotel.
Michelle Gerard

No. 9 Step Inside Karl’s, a Stylish New Luncheonette in the Siren Hotel

ASH NYC and chef Kate Williams’ ode to a turn-of-the-century family business, Karl’s, does a very good job of convincing patrons that it’s actually been hiding up on the second floor of the Wurlitzer Building all along.

Iliana Regan sits at a table with a gray and white striped apron on. There’s a fake white deer head hanging on the wall behind her.
Chef Iliana Regan of Elizabeth and the Milkweed Inn.
Tim Hiatt for Eater

No. 8 Chicago Chef of Michelin-Starred Elizabeth Is Coming to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Nothing drives eyeballs quite like the words “Michelin,” even if those sought-after tire company stars don’t technically travel with chefs. The combination of a decorated restaurant team from Chicago’s Elizabeth heading to a secluded location in Michigan Upper Peninsula for foraging and glamping generated plenty of curiosity in February. The highly exclusive first season of the Milkweed Inn sold out in less than 48 hours.

A view down the sidewalk along Michigan Avenue in Corktown shows signs for the Sugar House on a sunny day.
Michigan Avenue in Corktown.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

No. 7 One Excellent Day of Eating and Drinking in Corktown

Corktown may be small but there’s a lot to digest. Here’s suggested itinerary for a full 24 hours of dining in Detroit’s most celebrated food neighborhood.

A cocktail in a brown glass with santas on it sits in a bed of white cotton fluff next to a Christmas-themed model of a trailer.
The Miracle pop-up.
Michelle Gerard

No. 6 Christmas Bars Are Popping Up Across Metro Detroit This Fall With Heaps of Holiday Cheer

For a third year in a row, holiday bars are lighting up local watering holes across metro Detroit featuring themed drinks, Christmas cookies, and lots of kitschy twinkle light decor. There’s no denying, people love them.

Decadent desserts inside a pastry case at Cannelle in downtown Detroit.
Cannelle Patisserie.
Michelle Gerard

No. 5 Peek Inside Downtown Detroit’s Decadent French Patisserie

The long-anticipated downtown Detroit location of Cannelle by Matt Knio opened in February with a pastry case full of gorgeous, French treats. The frenzy over this Capitol Park cafe resulted in several sell-out days.

A fire-roasted fish on a plate next to two dishes of sauce at Magnet.
Magnet.
Michelle Gerard

No. 4 Meet Magnet, Core City’s New Fire-Kissed Mediterranean Restaurant

The team behind Takoi revealed a second restaurant called Magnet in Core City this fall. Specializing in wood-fired cooking, the restaurant serves primarily Middle Eastern-influenced dishes. The design by architect Ishtiaq Rafiuddin earned Magnet a 2019 Eater Award.

Two glasses of sparkling wine with fuschia and orange popsicles dunked inside.
Pinky’s.
Michelle Gerard

No. 3 Rooftop Cocktail Bar Pinky’s Debuts in Royal Oak With Boozy Popsicles

A rooftop filled with plants. Popsicles dunked in sparkling wine. Bubble gum pink decor. Pinky’s ticked off many trendy boxes in 2019.

A view from a terrace at the Monarch Club looking over downtown Detroit on a cloudy day.
The Monarch Club terrace.
Gerard + Belevender

No. 2 The Monarch Club Towers Over Downtown Detroit With Panoramic Views

Detroit gained several notable rooftop bars and restaurants in 2019, but the most talked about was perhaps the Monarch Club, a tony cocktail lounge perched at the top of the renovated Metropolitan Building. Finally, Detroiters had a non-club spot to enjoy the skyline with a drink.

A man walks up the path to Founders Brewing Company’s Detroit brew pub on a sunny afternoon.
Founders Brewing Company in Detroit.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

No. 1 Local Bars and Restaurants Remove Founders Beers From Menus in Response to Backlash

One of the most important, dramatic stories of 2019, also happened to be Eater Detroit’s most-read. Following the release of a deposition conducted in a racial discrimination lawsuit against Founders Brewing Company, local bars and restaurants began responding to customer outrage by removing the brand’s products from menus. In fact, several stories about Founders Brewing Company landed in the top this year, including the closure of the Detroit taproom and Eater Detroit’s interview with plaintiff Tracy Evans following the publication of the leaked deposition by Metro Times. Founders Brewing Company settled the lawsuit and is scheduled to reopen in Detroit in 2020.

All Year in Eater Coverage [ED]

Detroit Vineyards

1000 Gratiot Avenue, , MI 48207 (313) 784-9726 Visit Website

Magnet

4842 Grand River Avenue, , MI 48208 (313) 656-2640 Visit Website

Takoi

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

The Monarch Club

33 John R Street, , MI 48226 (313) 306-2380 Visit Website

Karl’s

1509 Broadway Street, , MI 48226

Founders Brewing Company

456 Charlotte St., Detroit, MI Visit Website

The Siren Hotel

1509 Broadway Street, , MI 48226 (313) 277-4736 Visit Website

Cannelle by Matt Knio

45 West Grand River Avenue, , MI 48226 (313) 694-9767 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Detroit newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world