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Flowers in a garden at Detroit Abloom in Jefferson Chalmers.

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13 Detroit Restaurant and Bar Openings to Look Forward to in 2020

From New Orleans-style restaurants to mezcal bars to canalside farm-to-table spots, here’s where Detroiters will very likely be eating this year

The Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood is expected to gain several new restaurants in 2020.
| Stock Detroit

Thanks to the restaurant boom of the past decade, Detroit diners have more options for eating out in the city and the competition is increasingly stiff. Finding affordable space is more challenging, hiring staff is difficult, and inspections get backed up easily. As a whole, diners in Detroit are expecting a lot more out of a meal. It’s a lot of pressure on new owners to bring projects through to the finish line.

Still, restaurateurs are continuing to dive into the industry in 2020 and there are lots of exciting new establishments on the horizon in neighborhoods like Milwaukee Junction and Jefferson Chalmers. From New Orleans-style restaurants to mezcal bars to canalside farm-to-table spots, here’s where Detroiters will very likely be eating this year.


A bunch of plates with green salads and nasturtium flowers on them. Alexandre Da Viega [Courtesy photo]

Coriander Kitchen & Farm

Location: 14601 Riverside Blvd.
Key Players: Gwen Meyer and Alison Heeres
Projected Opening: 2020

Following a successful Patronicity campaign last fall, Coriander Kitchen & Farms’ partners are preparing to start construction on their canalside restaurant and bar in the former Fisherman’s Marina in Jefferson Chalmers. Gwen Meyer and Alison Heeres teamed up in 2014 to start their business and currently operate a small farm and catering business with seasonal pop-ups hosted by Detroit River Sports. The pair were finalists in the Hatch Detroit competition in 2016. The farm-to-table restaurant will feature affordable cuisine with a relaxing patio along the canal. RL Concetti is working with Meyer and Heeres on the interior design.

Gabriel Hall

Location: 8002 Kercheval Ave.
Key Players: Dameon Gabriel and Ederique Goudia
Projected Opening: Maybe summer

Detroit has been patiently waiting for Gabriel Hall to make its home in West Village for closing in on six years. The Cajun restaurant, bar, and music venue from Dameon Gabriel and Louisiana-born chef Ederique Goudia has been brewing since the 2014 Hatch Detroit competition in which fellow West Village spot Sister Pie took the grand prize. Gabriel Hall is currently under construction in a house at the corner of Kercheval and Van Dyke. In the meantime, Goudia is continuing to host her New Orleans-style pop-ups around town.

A red neon pizza sign hanging on a metal cage. Gerard + Belevender

Michigan & Trumbull

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

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 last summer from Pittsburgh in order to open a full-service pizzeria devoted to square slices. The Corktown restaurant, designed by Five/Eighths architecture, features a rooftop deck and an expanded menu with fried calzones, roasted veggies, and more.

Chef Doug Hewitt at Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails using tweezers to plate a dish. Michelle and Chris Gerard

Freya & Dragonfly

Location: 2929 East Grand Blvd.
Key Players: Sandy Levine, chef Doug Hewitt, pastry chef Ben Robison
Projected Opening: 2020

Demolition is underway at Freya & Dragonfly, a dual restaurant and cocktail bar project from the owners of Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails. At Freya, chef Doug Hewitt and pastry chef Ben Robison aim to offer a tasting menu in a 40 to 50-seat restaurant with an open kitchen. Dragonfly will seat around 60 people and serve a mix of cocktails, wine, sherry, and bar snacks. It’s yet another promising development for the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood.

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: Spring/Summer

The Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood is gaining a casual fusion restaurant called Alma Kitchen this year 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.

Molly Mitchell fills paczki behind the counter at Rose’s Fine Food. Gerard + Belevender

Poppies

Location: Undetermined
Key Players: Molly Mitchell and Eggy Ding
Projected Opening: Maybe 2020

One of the most anticipated restaurants of 2019 fizzled out just as it was nearing the finish line in West Village, but Rose’s Fine Food owner Molly Mitchell hasn’t yet given up on her vision for Poppies. After briefly bringing dinner to Rose’s last fall, Mitchell suspended service in order to refocus her efforts on bringing Poppies, a Polish cafe and bakery, to life. More details on the new restaurant location are expected to be revealed soon.

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. With a little luck the restaurant could open this year.

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: Spring/Summer

Beloved Detroit taco pop-up Esto’s Garage is aiming to debut in the first half of 2020 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.

A yellow cocktail in a coup with grilled pineapple garnish. Toma [Official photo]

Toma Detroit

Location: 1830 Michigan Ave.
Key Players: Tony Lopez, Corey McIntosh, Jose Maldonado, and Eddie Vargas
Projected Opening: 2020

Following the opening of Peso last spring, the partners behind 2018 Hatch Detroit winner Toma are finally making moves towards opening their Corktown tequila and mezcal bar. The Michigan Avenue spot is destined for the former Casey’s Pub space and is expected to serve a small Latin American menu.

Detroit Axe targets in lanes at the Ferndale location. Michelle and Chris Gerard

Detroit Axe and the Corner

Location: 1375 Michigan Ave.
Key Players: Brian Siegel and Geoff Kretchmer
Projected Opening: 2020

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 its 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.

The unrenovated brick exterior of Ladder House 4 fire station on a sunny day. Brenna Houck

Ladder 4 Detroit

Location: 3396 Vinewood St.
Key Players: Sons of Banat, LLC
Projected Opening: 2020

Not many details are available about this forthcoming wine bar project in Southwest Detroit being developed by Sons of Banat, LLC in an old fire house on Vinewood. It was initially rumored to be a new location of Great Lakes Coffee. Co-owner James Cadariu is developing the bar, which is expected to focus on natural wines, with live music and a rooftop patio. Five/Eighths architecture is involved in the build out, which got underway last fall.

The drawing features a brick building with a sign for Sauce written in cursive, a bricked-in patio with pink umbrellas, and an annex with garage-door windows. McIntosh Poris/Heirloom Hospitality [Official image]

Sauce

Location: 4120 2nd Ave.
Key Players: Heirloom Hospitality
Projected Opening: Spring/Summer

Heirloom Hospitality, the group behind Townhouse and Prime + Proper is bringing yet another pizza option to Cass Corridor with the opening of Sauce. The kitchen will be headed by Otus Supply opening chef Myles McVay with seats for upwards of 300 people, a patio, and a takeout window inside the former Will Leather Goods/Tomboy Market building.

The green exterior and signage for Lagerhaus No. 5 in Eastern Market. Brenna Houck

Lagerhaus No. 5

Location: 1529 Adelaide
Key Players: Curt Wimmer, Scott King, James Ryder
Projected Opening: 2020

A new beer hall, brewery, and bottle shop is in the works in Eastern Market. Villages Bier & Weingarten co-founder Curt Wimmer, former Axle Brewing Co. and King Brewing Co. brewer Scott King, and paramedic James Ryder are behind the 80-seat brewpub project, which will make beer using a 22-barrel system. The restaurant is expected to offer German and Hungarian food.

Also Tracking:

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All Coming Attractions Coverage [ED]
All Eater Tracking Coverage [ED]

Gathering Coffee Co.

2831 E Grand Blvd. , Detroit, MI Visit Website

Oak and Reel

2921 East Grand Boulevard, Ste 100, Detroit, MI Visit Website

Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails

15 East Kirby Street, , MI 48202 (313) 818-3915 Visit Website

Toma Detroit

1830 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI Visit Website

Vecino

4100 3rd Avenue, Detroit, MI

Michigan & Trumbull

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

Lagerhaus No. 5

1529 Adelaide Street, , MI 48207 (313) 285-9350 Visit Website

Yellow Light Coffee & Donuts

14447 E Jefferson Ave., Detroit, MI 48209 Visit Website

Barcade

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

Milwaukee Caffe

447 East Milwaukee Avenue, , MI 48202 (313) 262-6223 Visit Website

New Center Eatery

3100 West Grand Boulevard, , MI 48202 (313) 875-0088 Visit Website

Bucharest Grill

436 West Columbia Street, , MI 48201 (313) 965-3111 Visit Website

James Oliver Coffee Co.

3040 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 313-265-0897 Visit Website

Supino Pizzeria

2457 Russell Street, , MI 48207 (313) 567-7879 Visit Website

Tenacity Craft

8517 2nd Avenue, , MI 48202 Visit Website

The Corner

100 Townsend St, Birmingham, MI 48009 (248) 594-6272

Gabriel Hall

8002 Kercheval Ave., Detroit, MI

Poppies

1400 Van Dyke, Detroit, MI Visit Website

Freya & Dragonfly

2929 East Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI

Sauce

4120 2nd Ave, Detroit, MI Visit Website

Alma Kitchen

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

Selden Standard

3921 2nd Avenue, , MI 48201 (313) 438-5055 Visit Website

Baobab Fare

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

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