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Following Months of Striking, Great Lakes Coffee Is Closed Permanently

Plus, a new restaurant is coming to the David Whitney building, and another lobster food truck

A coffee shop with an exposed brick wall and chalk board with “Great Lakes Bottle Shop” written on it shelves with bottles on them and a crowd of people sitting
The interior of Great Lakes Coffee in Midtown. The cafe has closed permanently following months of unionization efforts by baristas.
GB in Detroit

It appears that Great Lakes Coffee is closed for good. The Midtown cafe and restaurant has been shuttered since January following a COVID-19 outbreak, and a bid by baristas to unionize.

An attorney who represents the shop’s coffee supplier told the Freep that the cafe’s closure is permanent and the business was unable to find people who felt comfortable working there because of the spread of the omicron variant.

According to a statement tweeted on Tuesday by UNITE HERE! Local 24, the collective bargaining representative of the 20 or so baristas who’ve been striking from Great Lakes Coffee since Feb. 16, there was testimony during a 10-day hearing that the location had been closed permanently — despite not giving notification to employees or the public. Union representatives believe that the closure was retaliation against its unionization efforts.

David Whitney restaurant

The David Whitney Building, which underwent a dramatic renovation just eight years ago, is up for a new facelift. The Roxbury Group along with TreeFort Hospitality announced on Wednesday that the site will become an Autograph Collection hotel and add new food and drink options when the project is complete in late 2023. While concrete plans aren’t expected to be revealed until the end of summer, developers say that the restaurant is supposed to be added in the building’s event space at the corner of Woodward and Park avenues.

Lobster food truck

Metro Detroiters will have another option for food truck lobster next month when Maine-based Cousins Maine Lobster expands to Dearborn next month. The food truck will launch at noon on June 3 and will be located at the site of a shuttered Andiamo restaurant at 21400 Michigan Ave. Cousins — a winner on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2012 — has franchise food trucks and brick and mortar sites in 18 states. The menu includes Maine and Connecticut lobster rolls, lobster tail served with tater tots, lobster grilled cheese, lobster tacos, and other lobster-focused items.

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