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The Saddest Detroit Restaurant Closures of 2023, According to Local Dining Experts

From a beloved eastside diner to a community-minded pizzeria, these restaurants left an imprint on the city’s restaurant scene

a neapolitan pizza with mozzarella, red sauce, and fresh basil leaves in the center. Michelle and Chris Gerard
Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

Detroit’s local media dishes on their favorite moments of 2023 as part of Eater’s ongoing tradition of polling the city’s pros for their year-end takes. Here, our panel discussed their saddest restaurant closures of the year.

Jena Brooker, reporter, BridgeDetroit: Michigan and Trumbull is my favorite Detroit-style pizza so I was devastated when they closed their Corktown location and equally as joyous when they re-opened later in the year.

Serena Maria Daniels, Detroit City Editor, Eater: PizzaPlex without a doubt was a huge loss. I spent my last birthday before the pandemic hit at a karaoke night there. That night alone was special. But it was more than just the way the pizzeria knew how to throw a party. Between the affordable, but incredibly flavorful pizzas that came out of the oven, the way the ownership valued each team member, and how organically PizzaPlex ingrained itself in the community, this was truly a special place.

Lyndsay Green, restaurant and dining critic, Detroit Free Press: The news of a few closings this year came as a tough blow. First, there was PizzaPlex. I was disappointed to see the Southwest Detroit Neapolitan-style pizza spot with big ambitions to operate as a triple-bottom-line business go. We need those community-minded establishments to stick around. Then, there was Rose’s Fine Food and Wine – another spot whose impact was felt far beyond its excellent baked goods and selection of quality wines. And finally, Garrido’s Bistro. The Grosse Pointe Woods Venezuelan restaurant was a go-to spot for authentic Latin flavors and hot chocolate desserts piled high with brownies, ice cream and other decadent treats. As an Afro-Latina with a sweet tooth, Garrido’s was a place I’d always go for an edible pick-me-up. All of these places will be missed.

Randiah Camille Green, staff writer, Detroit Metro Times: It’s not a restaurant but when eastside Detroit indoor farm Planted Detroit abruptly closed, I was crushed. Buying their salad mixes and greens at Eastern Market or Dearborn Farmer’s Market after a morning of shopping was a weekend ritual I looked forward to. Their greens were the best and most fresh being grown right in Detroit. Plus, they always had great collaborations with local chefs like Chef Ederique Goudia’s Louisiana-inspired Paradise Valley Salad. The other day I forgot they had gone out of business and pulled up to Detroit’s Rivertown Market on Jefferson with my heart set on Planted Detroit’s Belle Isle salad for lunch. I was heartbroken all over again when I could’t find it on the shelves and remembered they no longer exist.

Joe Guillen, Axios Local Detroit reporter: Orchid Thai, Norma G’s.

Mark Kurlyandchik, filmmaker, former Detroit Free Press restaurant critic: I didn’t make it to any of them as often as I would have liked — and perhaps that’s telling — but I was sad to see the end of Rose’s Fine Food & Wine, Norma G’s, and PizzaPlex. All three were community-driven beacons in their respective neighborhoods that opened during the pre-COVID Detroit restaurant boom, and each will leave a gaping hole in the fabric of the city’s hospitality industry.

Mickey Lyons, contributor, Eater Detroit; freelance writer: For me, it’s a toss-up between Third Street and Ferndale’s Hilton Road Cafe. Third Street: they just don’t make them like they used to, with easygoing vibes and tons of great bar games. I lost a good portion of Summer 2015 playing ring toss and shuffleboard at that place. In all my years of going to Hilton Road Cafe, I never had a bad meal, and their servers were some of the kindest people I’d ever met.

Amber Ogden, contributor, Eater Detroit; freelance writer: Pizzaplex and Angelo’s Restaurant, so many good memories at both. My writing group used to meet at Pizzaplex before the pandemic, and Angleos had the best pancakes ever!

Carlos Parisi, owner of Aunt Nee’s, host: I really felt the devastation of Michigan and Trumbull closing. However, they were able to pop up and then open back up in a new location within the year.