Corktown’s new slice shop Grandma Bob’s is preparing to officially throw open the doors this week after three days of public previews. The latest restaurant from the Detroit Optimist Society hospitality group will debut Wednesday, March 27 with coney dog and sausage-pistachio pizzas.
Detroit Optimist founder Dave Kwiatkowski developed Grandma Bob’s in partnership with his brother John Kwiatkowski. The restaurant replaced their mother Gail Kaye’s retail shop Detroit Artifactry. Before that, the building was home to a speedometer shop. Dave Kwiatkowski tells Eater that he took that industrial history of the space into consideration when developing the design for Grandma Bob’s. The restaurant features a long bar fabricated from an old shipping container and lit up by matte black and silver Diesel light fixtures. Grandma Bob’s green and white wire chairs were made by Detroit-based designer Julian del Campo. The long communal tables that run down the center of the space of the narrow restaurant were made by Kwiatkowski and Public Lumber.
Grandma Bob’s seats roughly 65 customers. While there’s no patio at this time, the restaurant is outfitted with retractable garage doors on both the alley side and Michigan Avenue for an open-air feel in the summer.
Grandma Bob’s menu is relatively brief, due to the building’s limited kitchen space. Matt Ziolkowski, who previously ran hit pizza restaurant Pepe Z’s at El Club, has taken the lead with the pizzas and come up with a tight lineup of six styles. Expect 12-inch pizzas in combinations like pepperoni with honey drizzle, pear and fig with blue cheese, and fennel sausage with crushed pistachios and mascarpone alongside options like the coney pizza. All of the sausage used on the pizzas with the exception of the hot dogs, is being sourced from Detroit Optimist’s charcuterie brand and forthcoming Eastern Market restaurant Gratiot Avenue Provisions.
Grandma Bob’s has a full bar menu that’s primarily focused on beer. Additionally, customers can also count on $4 shots whiskey shot, three options for wine, and four cocktails including the the Sneaky Pete (a reference to the former owner of the building) with Appleton rum, amaro, ginger syrup, and pink smoke.
Kwiatkowski says the goal is to eventually introduce a pizza-by-the-slice option, particularly for late-night bar crowds on Michigan Avenue. Due to the limited capacity of the kitchen, there are no plans at this time to offer delivery. Photographer Michelle Gerard took a tour of the new restaurant space ahead of the opening. Take a look inside Grandma Bob’s in the gallery below.
Grandma Bob’s is located at 2135 Michigan Ave.; open 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.