It’s been nearly a year since craft beer bar Cøllect and sister restaurant Gather in Eastern Market closed their doors. But starting next week, fans of the two spots will once again have to opportunity to drink beers on the rooftop overlooking Gratiot Avenue. Co-owner Kyle Hunt confirms to Eater that Cøllect will reopen with some tweaks possibly as soon as Wednesday, August 26. The opening will go hand in hand with the debut of Bunny Bunny, a new Chinese restaurant in the old Gather space operated by former Voyager chefs Jennifer Jackson and Justin Tootla. Timelines for the openings aren’t firm yet, due to delays with final city inspections.
When they closed their twin businesses last October, Kyle and Lea Hunt, who also own Huddle soft serve in downtown Detroit, had planned to sell the businesses to a new owner, but original deal fell through. Then, right as the Hunts were about to close the sale with a different buyer in March, the pandemic hit, upending everyone’s lives. Once again, the buyers backed out. At that point, Tootla and Jackson expressed interest in taking over the space. The chefs struck a deal to sublet Gather on the first floor for the remaining four years of the lease, while the Hunts agreed to reopen Cøllect upstairs. “We always wanted to reopen Cøllect in the city somewhere, and were like, ‘Why not keep it where it is and change up a few things that we wanted to change?’”
Due to current executive orders placing restrictions on bars, Cøllect will only have socially distanced seating for 25 people available on its rooftop. The Hunts have also done some adjustments indoors, ripping out the bar that took up lots of space and didn’t allow for adequate social distancing and reducing the number of taps. “We went from 14 draft lines down to nine, so [we’re] really honing in and simplifying things,” Hunt says. One employee will work the bar to streamline service and reduce potential spread of COVID-19 among workers.
The bar will still specialize in self-distributed local beers and hard-to-find beers and customers can now fill 32-ounce growlers to-go. Customers will be able to order food for carryout from Bunny Bunny and take it upstairs to the roof for a slightly more dine-in experience.
Cøllect is located on the second floor of 1454 Gratiot Ave. above Bunny Bunny; the bar will operate under the same hours as the restaurant from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday.
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