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A closeup of daffodils alongside the Dequindre Cut in Detroit, Michigan.

Take a Bike Ride on the Dennis Archer Greenway, Featuring an Eastside Food and Drink Pitstop

Where Detroiters can enjoy the outdoors with a side of local flavors

Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

As summertime inches closer, Detroiters are inevitably making plans for how they’ll spend their time outdoors. While trips to Belle Isle, rooftop patios, and northern Michigan tend to be favored destinations for enjoying the sunshine and summer breezes, there are also options for getting out there without having to deal with traffic, booking reservations, or a day-long drive Up North.

Oh, and one fairly new option to check out has plenty of food options.

A promising dining destination has emerged in a small shopping center along the Dennis Archer Greenway between east Jefferson and East Vernor Highway.

A bike path called Dennis Archer Greenway, located in Detroit, Michigan.
The exterior of a building with a blue sign on it that says Empacho and a stylized frog in Detroit, Michigan.
The Dennis Archer Greenway with grass to the sides and a row of daffodils on each side in Detroit, Michigan.
A closeup of daffodils alongside the Dequindre Cut in Detroit, Michigan.

The $4.9 million renovation project was completed in 2021, connecting residents of the surrounding Elmwood Park neighborhood via 1.2 miles of restored pathways to the riverfront.

The greenway’s transformation complements the relatively recent renovation of a century-old building off Jefferson between Chene and Joseph Campau. Formerly the site of the George Harrison Phelps, Inc., one of the advertising firms that catered to the then-new automotive industry, the historic brick building has since been retrofitted to house a cluster of food and drink businesses, where folks can take a stroll and make a refreshing pitstop to and from the riverfront. Other amenities added to the greenway — which winds through the neighborhood’s many apartment complexes and the currently-under-construction Coleman A. Young Recreation Center — include raised sidewalks, benches, security cameras, and outdoor power stations.

Currently, Breadless, a Red Hook location, and an empanada shop called Empacho have taken up residency in the building. Outdoor patio seating is available in front of each space. Breadless, which celebrated its first anniversary earlier this month, has a walk-up window installed (though not currently in use), suggesting that greenway users could pull up and order one of the spot’s leafy veggie-wrapped deli sandwiches. A few weeks ago, Red Hook added an adjoining wine shop dubbed Wine Side. As the weather continues to warm up, guests will be able to order wine by the glass alongside the greenway path.

The interior of a sandwich shop called Breadless featuring green tiled and painted walls with two round tables and seating in Detroit, Michigan.
A woman preparing food from a prep station at Breadless, a sandwich shop in Detroit, Michigan.
Three dishes, one a sandwich wrapped in greens, and two bowls with ingredients in them from Breadless, a sandwich shop based in Detroit, Michigan.

Next door to Red Hook is the plaza’s newest food option, Empacho, which specializes in traditional empanadas. Owner Gonzalo Collazo tells Eater that he worked at the winery Wapisa, which is based in San Javier, Rio Negro in Patagonia so that Wine Side could carry a limited line of Argentinian wines, giving guests an opportunity to grab a box of empanadas from his spot and a bottle of wine next door.

The interior of Red Hook with a barista facing a person wearing a green sweatshirt leaning over a white and red counter next to a pastry display case in Detroit, Michigan.
A wine shop called Side Wine with a wall-length shelving unit carrying many bottles of wine at Red Hook, a cafe based in Detroit, Michigan.
The interior of Empacho, an empanada shop in Detroit, Michigan.
Three mini empanadas with sweet filling and sauces from Empacho, an empanada shop in Detroit, Michigan.

The Dennis Archer Greenway connects to a bicycle path that leads to the Robert C. Valade Park, the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater, William G. Milliken State Park — which connects to the Dequindre Cut — and Hart Plaza. Cyclists can make other pitstops, including at Atwater Brewery and Tap House, Andrew’s on the Corner, Detroit’s Original Seafood Truck, and Smokey G’s Smokehouse.

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