The Thanksgiving holiday weekend kicked off with a crack in Corktown as a new oyster bar Mink opened its doors on Trumbull Avenue. The small seafood restaurant and wine spot debuted on Wednesday, November 27 after a few days of previews and a sell-out two buck shuck party.
Located inside the former Farmer’s Hand space, Mink is the first joint project from newly formed restaurant group Nest Egg. Owners Ping Ho, chef Sarah Welch, Kiki Louya, and Rohani Foulkes together operated Marrow, the Royce, and Folk. The partners teamed up to rework the narrow market space into drinking spot powered by a raw bar with fresh oysters from around the country.
It wasn’t too long ago that there were only a handful of places devoted primarily to serving seafood in metro Detroit, but recently the restaurant industry has welcomed some new players to its ranks including the wildly popular Voyager in Ferndale. Mink is aiming to fill a niche for seafood snacks like a sort of “waiting room” for other Corktown restaurants, Welch told Eater last month. At the helm as executive chef Cameron Rolka, previously Welch’s sous chef at award-winning restaurant Marrow in West Village. Rolka is working alongside head chef Aris Nueva Espana and general manager Amanda Franke.
Mink’s tightly focused menu features small plates like scallop crudo with fresh water chestnut and wood ear mushrooms, butter-poached shrimp rolls, and steamed Manila clams with Ochre Bakery bread. There’s also options like vegetarian apple salad with cashew crema and roasted delicata squash. In a little restaurant group synergy, Marrow’s butcher shop is also lending some meaty items to the menu including a dry-aged beef tartare served on a swiss chard chip with herbs and a miso sauce. For dessert, there’s almond cake. Items are priced $7 and $18. Diners can also count on fresh oysters daily. The menu is expected to change regularly. In addition to the food, customers can count on a selection of wines and sake, as well as a handful of beers and ciders.
Mink has a sleek modern look designed by Studio AI Architects and built by Virtuoso. The interior features a curved L-shaped bar along the east wall. A small raw bar display faces the front entrance with a banquette seat and tables running along the windows looking out on Trumbull. The former tin ceilings have been replaced with a wavy textured tile and black pendant lights. Detroit Wallpaper used illustrations of oysters by artist Nancy Pappas to created a black-and-white accent wall at the back of the restaurant.
Photographer Michelle Gerard toured the space on Wednesday ahead of the anticipated opening. Take a tour of Mink and scope out the menu in the gallery below.
Mink is located at 1701 Trumbull Ave. Suite D; open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday); website.
Update: This story has been updated with more information about the architect and builder.
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