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Detroit’s Most Anticipated Restaurant and Bar Openings, Fall 2019

From wine bars serving lobster rolls to casual Detroit-style pizza pubs, here’s what to look forward to in dining this season

Downtown Detroit.
| Michelle 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.

The fall restaurant opening rush in Detroit has officially begun. Many long-anticipated spots are preparing to unveil freshly completed spaces and enticing menus within the next few weeks. Several establishments that were expecting to open this summer, such as chef Eve Aronoff’s Cuban-influenced burger restaurant Frita Batidos, are now on track for a September debut. Birmingham’s splashy Japanese-Italian restaurant Pernoi is also poised to open in the next two weeks.

This season, Detroiters can also look forward to seafood and wine at Mink, a new Belgian-style brewery in Islandview, three big restaurants and bars from chef Shawn McClain, and a downtown outpost of Buddy’s Pizza. Without further delay, here now is a guide to fall’s biggest restaurant and bar openings. Don’t miss Eater’s national guide to fall 2019 openings.


Mink

Location: 1701 Trumbull Ave.
Key Players: Nest Egg, LLC and chef Cameron Rolka
Projected Opening: Mid-October

Chef Cameron Rolka and the team from newly formed restaurant group Nest Egg plan to open a 20-seat wine bar and restaurant in the former Farmer’s Hand space in Corktown. During recent pop-ups at the Royce, Rolka teased options like oysters on the half-shell, vegetarian braised burdock rolls, and lobster rolls. An upcoming dinner at Frame features buckwheat blinis with caviar and chilled beetroot soup.

The Farwell Building is shown under construction on a sunny day. Michelle Gerard

Leila

Location: 1249 Griswold St.
Key Players: Samy Eid and Sameer Eid
Projected Opening: Late-September

Metro Detroit’s celebrated fine-dining Lebanese restaurant Phoenicia will gain a more casual downtown Detroit sibling in Leila. The restaurant is heading to the ground floor of the Farwell Building overlooking Capitol Park. The 4,500-square-foot space on the south side of the property will seat 130 patrons with a basement level, 20-person private dining room and lounge. The restaurant is expected to focus on Lebanese mezze served family-style as well as seafood, Lebanese grilled meat dishes called mashawi, and a Phoenicia favorite — dry-rubbed pork ribs.

A black and white photo of chef Luciano DelSignore and chef Takashi Yagihashi standing in a kitchen in front of a steaming pot and a marble counter wearing white chefs coats. Pulp Media [Courtesy photo]

Pernoi

Location: 310 E Maple Rd.
Key Players: Takashi Yagihashi and Luciano DelSignore
Projected Opening: Early September

Culinary dream team Takashi Yagihashi and Luciano DelSignore will bring Pernoi to the shuttered Cafe Via space in downtown Birmingham. Yagihashi, who previously owned Slurping Turtle in Ann Arbor, helmed one of metro Detroit’s most celebrated restaurants, Tribute, before going on to open Michelin-starred Takashi in Chicago. He’s returning to Birmingham with partner and Bacco owner DelSignore to open a restaurant focused on global cuisine. The interior will reportedly be designed by Kyle Evans with a “luxury yacht” finish. Expectations are extremely high for this one.

A photo of the Madison Building sign and Buddy’s restaurant front with blacked out windows. Brenna Houck

Buddy’s Pizza

Location: 1565 Broadway St.
Key Players: Buddy’s
Projected Opening: Late-fall

Buddy’s got its start on Conant Street in Detroit and has pretty much focused on expansions to the suburbs since then. But this fall, the original Detroit-style pizza restaurant will make its way into downtown Detroit for the first time with a 200-seat location near in the M@dison Building that features dine-in seating and a grab-and-go area with square pizza by-the-slice.

A hand with a fork digging into a yellow-colored stew of potatoes and peas over a red table cloth with yellow juice in plastic cups. Baobab Fare [Official photo]

Baobab Fare

Location: 6568 Woodward Ave.
Key Players: Mamba Hamissi and Nadia Nijimbere
Projected Opening: Maybe fall

This East African restaurant owned by refugees from Burundi is set to anchor the corner of Grand Boulevard and Woodward Avenue in New Center. The 2017 Hatch Detroit winners plan to open a casual 65-seat restaurant serving breakfast and lunch with options like coconut rice, goat, chicken and skewered meats, as well as plantains, fried sweet potatoes, and cassava. The owners are currently hosting pop-ups around metro Detroit and with a little luck the restaurant could open this fall.

Brewery Faisan

Location: 1087 Beaufait St.
Key Players: Rachel and Paul Szlaga
Projected Opening: Early October

Islandview is set to gain a big, new Belgian-style brewery this fall. After several years of development, Brewery Faisan is on track to debut this fall. Owners Rachel and Paul Szlaga are already breaking in their brewing equipment at the 9,000-square-foot production facility at taproom on the east side.

A photo of the Renaissance Center at twilight looking northeast up Jefferson Avenue. The sky is pink and blue. Ryan Gobuty / Gensler [Courtesy photo]

The Highlands

Location: Renaissance Center (floors 71 and 72)
Key Players: Shawn McClain and Sarah and Richard Camarota
Projected Opening: November

It doesn’t get much splashier than the Highlands, a collection of three restaurants and bars from Vegas chef Shawn McClain’s restaurant group. Highlands Steakhouse, a casual open-fire cooking spot called Hearth 71, and a whiskey spot called High Bar are all filling the old Coach Insignia space in the Renaissance Center. The Highlands will also dedicate substantial square-footage to events space.

An empty room with a window looking out on Parker Street on a cloudy day. Esto’s Garage [Courtesy photo]

Esto’s Garage

Location: 1811 Parker St.
Key Players: Esteban Castro
Projected Opening: November/December

Beloved Detroit taco pop-up Esto’s Garage is aiming to debut this fall at its new home in West Village. The tiny taqueria will have a vintage aesthetic with mid-century furniture and tin ceilings. Diners can expect a handful of pantry items to be available for sale as well as a casual Mexican-American menu with options like owner Esteban Castro’s All City Chili, nachos, tacos, quesadillas, and rice bowls.

The interior features lots of gray floors and ceilings with a long brown upholstered banquette running down the center of the restaurant. Volume One Design Studio, LLC [Courtesy Image]

Smith & Co.

Location: 644 Selden St.
Key Players: Mission Restaurant Group
Projected Opening: September

Jon Carlson, owner of Jolly Pumpkin and North Peak Brewing Company, and partners Greg Lobdell and Chet Czaplicka are bringing a New American restaurant and beer hall to the Smith Welding Supply building in Cass Corridor. The menu features items like chorizo empanadas, corned beef sandwiches, and seared trout. The restaurant will also eventually offer beers from neighboring Nain Rouge Brewery and other small Michigan brewers. A new outpost of Barcade is also expected to debut on the same block.

A green cocktail in a coup with peas on top surrounded by creme brulee, a spoon with black caviar and gold leaf, and a Dutch baby pancake. Joe Vaughn/Savant [Courtesy photo]

Savant

Location: 51 West Forest Ave.
Key Players: Jordan Whitmore and Rebecca Wurster
Projected Opening: End of September

Two Chef’s Table alums chef Jordan Whitmore and bartender Rebecca Wurster are teaming up to open a new French-influenced diner called Savant. The pair are in the process of converting the former Bolero Latin Cuisine space into a restaurant and bar serving dollar oysters, croissant biscuits and gravy, vegan fruit carpaccio, and caviar “bumps.” Wurster is filling out the beverage menu with eclectic drinks such as a gruyere-infused cocktail.

The curved facade of the Kresge building has light colored bricks, glass windows, and red tile. It is surrounded by construction material including plywood boards. Gary Mui [Courtesy photo]

Alma Kitchen

Location: 14300 E. Jefferson Ave.
Key Players: Gary Mui and Alicia Sanchez
Projected Opening: Late-October

The Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood is gaining a casual fusion restaurant called Alma Kitchen this fall in the Kresge building. Owners Gary Mui and Alicia Sanchez will serve a menu that combines American, Chinese, and Mexican flavors in an 84-seat space with Art Deco features. Diners can expect options like almond boneless chicken and scallion waffles — a mashup of the popular Chinese-American restaurant item and Chinese scallion pancakes.

Michigan & Trumbull

Location: 1439 W Elizabeth St.
Key Players: Kristen Calverley and Nate Peck
Projected Opening: November

Folks can already try Michigan & Trumbull’s version of Detroit-style pizza at Fort Street Galley in downtown, but more is still to come. Metro Detroit natives Kristen Calverley and Nate Peck returned to the city this summer from Pittsburgh in order to open a full-service pizzeria devoted to square slices. The restaurant is headed to Corktown not far from the corner that inspired Michigan & Trumbull’s name.

A rendering of a restaurant with a dark blue tiled, rectangular bar and floors with booths along the sides and red chairs. Prince Concepts [Official image]

Magnet

Location: 4848 Grand River Ave.
Key Players: Chef Brad Greenhill and Philip Kafka
Projected Opening: Fall

The team behind Takoi is aiming to bring a new “vegetable centric” restaurant called Magnet to Core City in August. The restaurant, located across from Ochre Bakery inside the former Magnet Radiator Works building, will feature dishes primarily cooked on a wood-fired grill and in a wood-burning oven. The interior, designed by Ishtiaq Rafiuddin, will feature 14-foot-high exposed ceilings with an open kitchen at the back of the space and a 32-foot-long rectangular bar that will be “sunken” into the ground.

A vegetarian noodle bowl with tofu, seaweed, mushrooms, soft boiled eggs, and green onion Michelle and Chris Gerard

Ima Midtown

Location: 4870 Cass Ave.
Key Players: Mike Ransom
Projected Opening: Fall

Chef Mike Ransom’s Eater Award-winning Corktown noodle bar Ima is preparing to expand to a third restaurant inside the Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac n’ Brewz space near Wayne State University. The restaurant is expected to feature Ima’s core menu of udon noodles and rice bowls as well as an expanded list of izakaya-style options, fried foods, and grab-and-go items.

A wall filled with different sized nooks stuffed with board games in a dark room. Michelle and Chris Gerard

Detroit Axe and the Corner

Location: 1375 Michigan Ave.
Key Players: Brian Siegel and Geoff Kretchmer
Projected Opening: Late-fall/early winter

Detroit’s list of bar and entertainment venues is expanding this fall with new outposts of Detroit Axe and the Corner. The ax-throwing venue and board game bar is heading to a 7,000-square-foot property near Nemo’s in Corktown. Like their Ferndale predecessors, Detroit Axe and the Corner will feature a full bar, 16 axe-chucking lanes, and 1,000 board games. The owners are diverging slightly from the original format by hosting a full-time food truck rather than operating a kitchen.

A row of sandwiches from Frita Batidos including an egg-topped burger with french fries and a Cubano sandwich. Frita Batidos/Scott Spellman

Frita Batidos

Location: Columbia Street
Key Players: Eve Aronoff
Projected Opening: mid-July

It’s relatively rare for a burger restaurant to get too much fanfare in Detroit these days. As some have pointed out, this city has a lot of good burger restaurants already. But diners seem willing to make an exception for Frita Batidos, chef Eve Aronoff’s wildly popular Ann Arbor restaurant known for its Cuban-influenced chorizo burgers. The new outpost located near the Fox Theatre seats 96 customers inside with a 45-seat patio. Diners can expect the burgers as well as tropical milkshakes, guava-cheese empanadas, and options like chicken and salsa verde. Frita also features a full bar with shareable fishbowl cocktails.

The view of Pink Flamingo from Woodward Avenue features grass and an black building with a bright pink roof. Michelle Gerard

Pink Flamingo To-Go

Location: 17740 Woodward Ave.
Key Players: Meiko Krishok
Projected Opening: Mid-September

Catering company Guerrilla Food, which operates the charming farmside food truck Pink Flamingo in North Corktown, is opening a new carryout restaurant and commissary kitchen near Palmer Park in September. The restaurant called Pink Flamingo To-Go is located inside a former Bread Basket Deli and will offer grab-and-go items, Hyperion Coffee, a hot bar, and a juice bar year-round.

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All Coming Attractions Coverage [ED]
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Barcade

5684 York Boulevard, , CA 90042 (323) 274-4798 Visit Website

Brewery Faisan

1087 Beaufait Street, , MI 48207 (313) 290-2987 Visit Website

Fort Street Galley

160 West Fort Street, , MI 48226 (313) 230-0855 Visit Website

Tin Roof

47 E. Adams Ave., Detroit, MI Visit Website

Smith & Co.

644 Selden St., Detroit, MI Visit Website

Highlands Steakhouse

Renaissance Center 72nd Floor, Detroit, MI 48243

Pink Flamingo

2746 Vermont Street, , MI 48216 (313) 801-4423 Visit Website

Poke Burri

70 W Alexandrine St, Detroit, MI Visit Website

Hearth 71

400 Renaissance Center 71st Floor, Detroit, MI 48243

Baobab Fare

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

Paramita Sound

1517 Broadway Street, , MI 48226 Visit Website

Leila

1245 Griswold Street, , MI 48226 (313) 816-8100 Visit Website

Guerrilla Food

17740 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI Visit Website

Ivy Kitchen and Cocktails

9215 East Jefferson, , MI 48214 (313) 332-0607 Visit Website

Ima Midtown

4870 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI Visit Website

Michigan & Trumbull

1441 West Elizabeth Street, , MI 48216 (313) 637-4992 Visit Website

Magnet

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

Gabriel Hall

8002 Kercheval Ave., Detroit, MI

The Royce

76 W Adams Ave, Detroit, MI 48226 (313) 481-2160 Visit Website

Lady of the House

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

Alma Kitchen

15402 Mack Avenue, , MI 48230 (313) 771-0771 Visit Website

Pernoi

310 East Maple Road, , MI 48009 (248) 940-0000 Visit Website

Tenacity Craft

8517 2nd Avenue, , MI 48202 Visit Website

Savant

51 West Forest Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 285-9294 Visit Website

Beyond Juice

270 W Maple Rd, Birmingham, MI 48009 (248) 594-7078 Visit Website

Frita Batidos

66 West Columbia Street, , MI 48201 (313) 725-4100 Visit Website

Gathering Coffee Co.

2831 E Grand Blvd. , Detroit, MI Visit Website

Mink

1701 Trumbull Ave, Detroit, MI

Condado Tacos

401 East Liberty Street, , MI 48104 (734) 369-3172 Visit Website

High Bar

100 West Tahquitz Canyon Way, , CA 92262 (760) 904-5015 Visit Website

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