Revolver, a restaurant that helped ushered in a new kind of dining in metro Detroit, has permanently closed, the Detroit Free Press reports. Owner Peter Dalinowski confirms to the paper that the communal restaurant that hosted chefs from across the city for special ticketed dining events will not return after a long pandemic-related closure in Hamtramck.
Dalinowski co-founded the restaurant with cultural critic and activist Tunde Wey in 2013, and has been the sole proprietor since 2014. During those seven years, the restaurant became a destination for chefs looking to test or tease menus for forthcoming projects as well as those who wanted to try something a little outside of their usual wheelhouse. Diners would purchase tickets, bring their own beverages, and sit across from other patrons for a shared experience — something that’s less possible now with social distancing.
As the pandemic bared down on Michigan, Revolver was still attempting to host events but eventually had to call things off when the governor’s executive order officially closed restaurants for indoor service. Its final dinner with chefs Kirsten Kirby-Shoote and Camren Stott focusing on Indigenous cuisine was held on March 15, though it was marred by cancellations due to COVID-19 safety concerns. At the time it looked like Revolver might get back on schedule by April 18, but instead the dates continued to be pushed back and were eventually cancelled.
Dalinowski did try to raise money to save the restaurant at one point by selling gift cards. For those who would like to redeem them, you may not be out of luck afterall. The owner tells the Free Press he’s working on a plan for a different restaurant with an unnamed local chef that could open by spring. He may also plan some socially distant pop-ups in the future at a different address outside of the Hamtramck space. The gift cards could be applied to either of those dining options.