Detroit considers ordinance allowing for recreational pot shops and cafes in city limits
The Detroit City Council finally announced its highly anticipated new ordinance on Monday, October 26, allowing recreational pot shops and consumption establishments (also known as cafes or lounges) within city limits, according to Metro Times. The news comes a year after recreational marijuana dispensaries became legal in Michigan.
The ordinance is designed to favor residents, and thereby account for racial and economic disparities in pot shop ownership, by calling for at least 50 percent of all licenses to go to so-called “legacy Detroiters.” People who fall within the “legacy” category have lived in Detroit for 15 of the past 30 years and the past year or if they qualify as low-income have lived in the city for 13 of the past 30 years and the past year. People who were previously incarcerated must have 10 years of documented residency in the city including the past year. For six weeks at the beginning of the licensing period, only legacy Detroiters are permitted to apply. The city will allow permits for 75 retail establishments, and 35 consumption establishments, and 35 microbusinesses. There won’t be a cap on growing, transportation, or event organizing licenses. If approved by the end of the year, applications would open in January 2021.
Restaurants temporarily close after staff exposure to COVID-19
Knight’s Steakhouse in Ann Arbor temporarily closed over the weekend after several front of house employees tested positive for COVID-19. The employees worked in the evenings on Monday, October 19 through Wednesday, October 21 at the Dexter Avenue restaurant and were not displaying symptoms at the time, per MLive. The restaurant is expected to reopen at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27, according to the restaurant’s website. Staff who were exposed to the positive cases will continue to quarantine. Meanwhile, in Clawson, Whiskey Taco Foxtrot shared on Facebook on Monday, October 26 that “several” staff members were exposed to COVID-19. The restaurant is expected to remain closed for sanitizing until Tuesday, November 3.
Wineries file joint lawsuit against Peninsula Township
Nearly a dozen wineries in Northern Michigan have filed a lawsuit against Peninsula Township claiming that an ordinance violates state law and the U.S. Constitution, according to Crain’s. The ordinance prohibits wineries from hosting events like weddings, selling branded merchandise like wine glasses, and erecting outdoor structures such as tents — a near necessity in the pandemic.
Tragically, lawmakers are missing out on free meals paid for by lobbyists
In a tale of woe, lobbyists are reporting fewer restaurant meals with state lawmakers. Lobbyist expenditures for the first half of the year fell by roughly 50 percent year over year, due to the pandemic, which halted wining and dining political leaders, Crain’s reports.
Downtown Detroit restaurant adds cocktail spot celebrating Black bartending history
The Detroit Free Press reports that a new cocktail bar from the owners of Savannah Blue in Times Square is moving onto the ground floor of the building. The lounge will “subtly paying tribute to America’s rich Black bartending history.”
Two Michigan restaurants are among the top grossing independents in the country
Two Frankenmuth restaurants ranked in the top 60 highest grossing independent restaurants in the country for 2020, according to Restaurant Business. Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn came in at 50 with $17,388,751 in sales, while Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth ranked at number 58 with $16,063,684 in sales.
Paradise Natural Foods finds a permanent space
Nezaa Bandele, the owner of Paradise Natural Foods, plans to take her vegan brand from pop-up to permanent inside the Love Building at 4731 Grand River in Core City, according to Model D. She plans to establish a more “collective” business in the building, featuring food from other local purveyors. Allied Media Projects acquired the building in 2018 and is in the process of renovating it.
New restaurant and cafe planned for Financial District
A high-rise building at 211 West Fort St. recently sold to new investors who plan to renovate and bring new businesses to the address. Among those confirmed business is a restaurant, bar, and cafe from CoffeeHaus.
Hatch Detroit finalist plans grocery store on East Jefferson
Raphael Wright, part of a duo that competed for the grand prize in the Comerica Hatch Detroit small business competition in 2018, has leased a space at 500 Manistique St. with plans to open a Black-owned neighborhood grocery store. He plans to call it Manistique Market, according to Crain’s.