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Hammer & Nail Brings Mid-Century Cocktail Vibes to Midtown in October

The cocktail lounge will feature a throwback menu and one of the building’s iconic neon “hammer and nail” signs

A hammer and nail sign with the third hammer and the nail’s neon lit up, hangs on a wall on the ground floor of the Plaza.
One of two iconic hammer and nail signs that used to hang on the outside of the Professional Plaza building — now an apartment building called the Plaza — will form the backdrop to a new mid-century bar.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

A mid-century styled cocktail bar is preparing to open its doors at the base of the Plaza apartments in Detroit, sporting one of the building’s iconic neon hammer and nail signs. The bar, first teased back in 2017, is called Hammer & Nail and is on track to open by mid-October, Crain’s reports.

Hammer & Nail will be located in the lobby of the 12-story building in Midtown, formerly known as the Professional Plaza. The building was saved from demolition and underwent a $22 million rehab under the stewardship of the Roxbury Group beginning in 2016. In 2017, the company began leasing the Plaza apartments. As part of the redevelopment, Roxbury took down the famous hammer and nail signs, donating one to the Carpenter’s Union and refurbishing the other one to hang on the wall on the ground floor of the Plaza.

“The name of the bar is obviously inspired by the iconic neon sign and now will be pretty prominent inside the bar,” David Di Rita, founder of the Roxbury Group tells Eater. “When we’re done, I think people will consider it a very appropriate [tribute to the] history of that building.”

A hammer and nail sign on the side of the Professional Plaza building, prior to being taken down by the Roxbury Group.
The Professional Plaza building was often referred to as the “hammer and nail” because of its neon signs.
Michelle and Chris Gerard

Hammer & Nail will span 1,700-square-feet of the lobby with a casual feel and access to a patio, he says. An entity associated with Roxbury Group is spearheading the project. The design as well as the menu will mimic the character of the rest of the building with “modern recreations of some classic mid-century cocktails” and “inventive pub fare that’s also mid-century.”

This is not Roxbury Group’s first go-around with bars. Earlier this year with help from the Azul Hospitality, Roxbury opened the Monarch Club at the top of the Metropolitan Building and has plans underway for another project on the first floor of the Metropolitan. The developer also owns the Buhl Bar in the Financial District. Roxbury had partnered with Dave Kwiatkowski’s Detroit Optimist Society to run the Buhl, but the arrangement ended several months ago, according to Di Rita.

More specifics on the Hammer & Nail are expected to be released in the coming days. For his part, Di Rita says he’s looking forward to bringing a “full-on, grown up cocktail bar” to Woodward Avenue.

Neon Hammer and Nail Building Sign Finds Home in Future Restaurant and Bar Space [ED]
‘Mid-Century Inspired’ Hammer & Nail Bar Nears Debut [Crain’s]
All Hammer & Nail Coverage [ED]
All Bars Coverage [ED]
All Coming Attractions Coverage [ED]

Buhl Bar

535 Griswold Street, , MI 48226 (313) 285-9306 Visit Website

The Monarch Club

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

Hammer & Nail

3800 Woodward Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 474-3477 Visit Website

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