Restaurants, bars, and cafes have lives. They open, grow, and eventually close — sometimes suddenly, and sometimes simply because it’s time for their owners to move on. Welcome to The Shutter, a regularly updated roundup of Detroit and metro Detroit’s restaurant closures. The list is by no means comprehensive. Have information on another closing? Send all tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIDTOWN — Longtime stalwart Avalon Bakery has closed its flagship location (422 W. Willis) in the Cass Corridor to occupy a part of Jolly Pumpkin one block north 9 (441 W. Canfield #9). The Whitney is also due for a makeover and will be closed until TK for renovations and a menu update.
DOWNTOWN — Hudson Cafe, one of downtown’s most beloved brunch spots (1241 Woodward Ave), is closing its original location through late March or early April for a remodel, which includes some much-needed additional seating. Meanwhile, the restaurant announced its plans to expand with a second location with new menu items in Northville in February.
EASTERN MARKET — The cafe at Milano Bakery (3500 Russell) is closing temporarily for a few weeks to redo its menu.
FERNDALE — Assaggi Bistro (330 W. 9 Mile, Ferndale) This longtime Italian establishment announced in December that the restaurant would close permanently after New Year’s Eve.
DOWNTOWN — Karl’s, the cute, retro-style diner on the second floor of the Siren Hotel shuttered abruptly. The eatery was helmed by lauded chef Kate Williams. Williams’ other award-winning restaurant, Lady of the House in Corktown, closed permanently in February 2021.
BRUSH PARK — Chili Mustard Onions, the all-vegan diner that specialized in meatless coneys, burgers, and gyros, announced in October plans to close permanently, although the ownership said at the time that the business was for sale.
EASTERN MARKET — Bunny Bunny announced its closure at the beginning of September. However, in the months since the announcement, the space has continued to host a rotation of pop-up ventures, including Park Ranger and Big Girl.
HUBBARD RICHARD — The founders of Bagley Central, the swanky, yet chill cocktail bar decided not to continue their partnership with Inlaws Hospitality, the group that owns the building. Inlaws owners Jacques and Christine Driscoll have not yet announced longterm plans for the space, however, they did launch Blitzen’s on Bagley, a holiday-themed bar pop-up.
EAST SIDE — My Dad’s Bar, a stalwart east side drinking hole, closed permanently in mid-September.
VARIOUS LOCATIONS — Pop-ups come and go but in its relatively short lifetime Val’s Pizza — a pandemic-era venture founded by Val Markel and wife Erin Wilson — seemed to make appearances all over metro Detroit and gained a dedicated fanbase before the couple announced in August that they were taking an indefinite break to focus on their mental health.
MIDTOWN — Longstanding Middle Eastern cafe Harmony Garden (4704 Anthony Wayne Drive, Detroit) is calling it quits on July 25 after three decades serving falafel, gluten-free desserts, and more near Wayne State University. The owners announced the closing on Instagram, citing “lack of labor and rising expenses” as the driving factors behind the decision. Cass Cafe, another long-running go-to for vegans, also closed in July.
LIVONIA — After nearly 45 years in business, the owners of Old Mexico Cafe (28407 Five Mile Road, Livonia) declined to renew their lease, trading in restaurant life for retirement and relaxation, according the Detroit Free Press. The reliable Mexican stalwart fired its final quesadillas on Sunday, July 17.
TROY — A fire broke out in the kitchen at the Capital Grille (2800 West Big Beaver Road, Troy) at the Somerset Collection on July 11, sending black plumes of smoke through the roof, which were visible for miles, according to Click on Detroit. Fortunately, firefighters responded quickly and there were no injuries. The popular steakhouse is now temporarily closed.
SOUTHFIELD — Lana’s Bake Shop (27212 Eight Mile Road, Southfield) has iced its final German chocolate cake. Detroit’s go-to bakery for cakes and other baked goods closed its final location in July after seven years in business. The bakery’s website and social media accounts say that owner Lana Johnson has retired. At one point, Lana’s Bake Shop grew to three locations. The Jefferson Avenue outpost closed on February 1, 2022, followed by the pandemic-born third location on the Avenue of Fashion in April 2022. This final closure closes the chapter on Lana’s Bake Shop mini bakery empire. “We are honored to have served the Metro Detroit Area & are proud to have made such an impact on so many lives. Your stories will live on with us forever,” read a note from the bakery.
CASS CORRIDOR — Vegan-friendly arts oasis Cass Cafe (4620 Cass Avenue, Detroit) joined the list of Cass Corridor institutions to shutter recently. Chuck Roy opened the Midtown mainstay nearly 30 years ago, but the cafe had been “struggling for a while.” The Covid pandemic put the final nail in the coffin, and July 17 marked Cass Cafe’s final day in business. Other Cass Corridor stalwarts to shutter recently include Union Street, which closed permanently in November 2020, and most recently, Traffic Jam and Snug, which was destroyed by a fire in May.
GREENWAY — Just a month ahead of the one-year anniversary of Greenway’s Red Hook Coffee Shop (2761 East Jefferson Suite C, Detroit), a car slammed through the front of building, causing significant damage. Though the coffee shop is now closed, owner Sandi Heaselgrave says she plans to rebuild, according to Detroit Free Press.
REDFORD — The 70-year old Ackroyd Scottish Bakery has closed its doors at its 3,000-square-foot location in Redford (25566 Five Mile Road) with plans in the works to move to a space double that size at 25137 Plymouth Road, Redford. In a short video posted online, owner Megan Ackroyd explained that the 70-year old bakery had been renting that space for over 600 months. With no AC, and a building and equipment in decline, the bakery decided to move to a place it could call its own. The bakery has ended curbside pick-up as well as it makes a shift to focus on nationwide mail delivery, and wholesale as it becomes a USDA-inspected production facility. In May 2021, the bakery received a Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development grant for $50,000 to use toward the $1.2 million expansion, according to the Detroit News. “This signifies much more than a move. We are entering a new phase of our 70 plus year old business,” the bakery posted on Facebook.
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Como’s pandemic-born pizza pop-up in the Bloomfield Township (4135 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Township) permanently closed its doors at the end of June. The Detroit-style deep dish pizza hub opened the pop-up to meet carryout demand during the pandemic, according to the Detroit Free Press. Instead, fans can head to the Ferndale location (22812 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale), which is still dishing the deep dish.
NEW CENTER — The oldest LGBTQ bar in Detroit was forced to close its doors after a fire destroyed the building on June 14. William Karagas opened the Woodward (6426 Woodward Avenue, Detroit) in 1954.
CORKTOWN — Ima shuttered its original Corktown location (2015 Michigan Avenue) on May 31, and reopened it as Now Corktown, an event space booking pop-ups, music events, parties, and receptions with a full liquor license and both indoor and outdoor seating. Corktown Ima fans aren’t out of luck though: Owner Mike Ransom debuted the new Ima Izakaya just down the street (2100 Michigan Avenue) in the former home of Gold Cash Gold. Ima’s Midtown and Madison Heights locations remain open.
CASS CORRIDOR — Purported to be Michigan’s oldest brewpub, Traffic Jam & Snug caught fire under mysterious circumstances in the early morning hours of Friday, May 27. It’s now temporarily closed and boarded up, though the blaze managed to rekindle itself again several days later requiring fire crews to return and douse the building with water. According to WDIV, the cause of the fire is still under investigation. Owner Scott Lowell was out of town volunteering on the Polish border with Ukraine at the time of the fire, per to the Detroit News. In a statement to Facebook, the business writes: “We have a lot of work to do in our near future. A lot of Detroit history has been lost. The memories and friendships will endure the test of time.”
CORE CITY/CORKTOWN — May saw the end of an era in Detroit cafes as Astro Coffee and its nationally recognized sister spot Ochre Bakery closed their doors on Sunday, May 15. For many in the community, the closures felt a bit like a death in the family and many fans came out in the days leading up to the closing to pay their respects and say farewell to their favorite baristas. Owners Jessica Hicks and Dai Hughes established Astro Coffee along the main drag of Michigan Avenue in Corktown in 2011 and followed it up with their cafe and roastery, Ochre, in 2019.
DOWNTOWN — Rusted Crow Detroit, the downtown arm of the metro Detroit distillery by the same name, appears to have closed permanently. As of Tuesday, May 31, the location appeared to be vacated and the phone line disconnected. Both Google and the restaurant’s Facebook account list the location as permanently closed, and its social media was last updated in February. The restaurant opened in 2016 on the ground level of the Kales Building as the more ambitious sister operation to the Rusted Crow Distillery in Dearborn Heights. Eater has reached out to the distillery and will updated this post if more information becomes available.
CASS CORRIDOR — Following an ongoing labor dispute with workers, Great Lakes Coffee officially pulled the plug on its cafe and bar arm on Woodward Avenue. The shop shut down in January as the omicron variant spread rapidly through the community; baristas at the cafe moved to unionize over issues related to wages, equipment maintenance, and COVID-19 safety measures.
BIRMINGHAM — Serving up heaping corned beef sandwiches and Dr. Brown’s sodas since 2011, Stacked Deli bid farewell to Old Woodward Avenue on Thursday, May 12. The restaurant notified fans in a post to social media, stating that the landlord had declined to renew its lease.
ANN ARBOR — WDIV reports that BD’s Mongolian Grill has permanently shut down after 28 years in Ann Arbor. The building where the restaurant chain — which operates locations in Canton, Dearborn, Novi, and Sterling Heights — resided appears to have been labeled “unsafe for human occupancy or use” by the city. The business later confirmed to WDIV that there were serious structural issues with the building it rented.
NORTHWEST DETROIT — Neighborhood favorite Connie & Barbara’s Soul Food has closed. Fortunately for fans, the West McNichols brunch spot will live on under the stewardship of a longtime employee Donna Peake with a new name, D&D.
HAMTRAMCK — A fixture in Hamtramck since 1925 and a popular destination for paczki seekers on Fat Tuesday, New Martha Washington on Jos Campau permanently closed in April, according to the Detroit News. Owner Sunca “Sandy” Bakic, whose parents purchased the bakery in 1973, cited health issues as a reason for the closing. The property went on to be purchased by the owners of neighbor, Dos Locos Tacos, which remodeled the retail space into a spacious dining room.
EASTERN MARKET — Longtime Eastern Market restaurant Sala Thai bid farewell to the neighborhood on Saturday, April 9. “We will miss all the memories and good times that everyone has shared with us over the years of being here,” the owners write in a post to Facebook. “Please come visit us at our other location in Sterling Heights.”
TROY — Hippo’s Hot Dogs, a favorite metro Detroit destination for Chicago-style dogs has thrown in the towel. The restaurant announced on Facebook on Thursday, April 28, that it would not be reopening in order to “focus on our health and family.” Alongside the post, the Lukas family shared a GoFundMe for the business’s founder Scott Lukas who is battling cancer. There’s some hope still for Hippo’s. A follow up post on Friday, April 29, suggests that the business may yet live on under different ownership.
STATE FAIR GROUNDS — The indefinite closure of Dutch Girl Donuts is beginning to look more permanent. The beloved doughnut shop closed due to staffing shortages in September 2021. Shortly after, owner Gene Timmer died at age 75, though there was some hope that his son might return to the business. Deadline Detroit reports that the phones have been disconnected and the Detroit Buildings, Safety Engineering, and Environmental Department posted a “vacant property registration” notice in March at the property.
PLYMOUTH — Citing skyrocketing rent, vegan restaurant Shimmy Shack has departed from its permanent location in Plymouth on Friday, March 11. The shop originally put down roots in the space in 2018. Fans can still find Shimmy Shack around town. The restaurant has returned to its food truck roots and offers baked goods at several local markets.
CASS CORRIDOR — Vegan comfort food restaurant Street Beet called it quits on Sunday, February 20, after four years of mega-popular pop-ups and restaurant residency at 3rd Street Bar in Detroit. “We know deep down that this is the right thing to do, and as individuals we are ready for the next chapter in our lives,” co-founders Nina Paletta and Meghan Shaw wrote to followers in a joint statement on Instagram.
YPSILANTI — After half a decade in Ypsi, Cultivate Coffee & Tap House closed indefinitely on Saturday, February 5. In a statement on Instagram, the business cited barriers to continuing operations including the ongoing pandemic, which in February was in the throes of yet another surge in cases. Limited indoor seating and a lack of approvals to provide a covered outdoor seating area in the winter contributed to the closure. The business left open the door to a possible return, but didn’t offer any specifics.
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Fattoush Grill and Catering on Hayes closed down the dining portion of its business on Monday, February 28, in order to focus solely on catering. The owners continue to operate a second location, Fattoush Express, at 15 Mile and Mound Road.
GREEKTOWN — PizzaPapalis’ Greektown location closed.
WEST VILLAGE — Dashing hopes of the revival of its original location, Detroit Vegan Soul permanently closed its Agnes Street location on Friday, December 31. The restaurant announced the shutter on Facebook on Sunday, January 9: “In 2013 we first opened our doors on Agnes to a full house and a line down the street and around the corner. The first business to open on an empty block and the only 100% plant-based restaurant in Detroit at the time, we took a huge risk and we do not regret one moment,” the post reads. “...We had two missions — to help people live healthier lives and revitalize the commercial viability of the neighborhood. We’re proud that we accomplished our goals.” While it’s certainly a loss for West Village, the space has already been scooped up by Yumvillage, who plans to establish a second outpost on the premises near their former food truck stomping grounds.
DOWNTOWN — After briefly relocating to downtown Detroit, Le Culture Cafe shut its doors for good in January, citing the pandemic. In a statement on Instagram, owner Drew Matthews stated that another Le Culture Cafe could return to Detroit potentially in 2023 and redirected customers to visit a carryout-only spinoff on Eight Mile, Culture Soul Detroit.
DOWNTOWN — Michael Symon’s Roast shook the Detroit restaurant industry, when it closed permanently in January. An early beacon of Detroit’s burgeoning dining scene, Roast opened in 2008 and became a proving ground for many local hospitality fixtures including chefs Andy Hollyday of Selden Standard and Brendon Edwards of the Metropolitan. A hub for many celebratory dinners, perhaps its most lasting legacy will be the iconic happy hour burger.
SOUTHWEST — Taqueria El Rey is temporarily shutdown due to a fire that damaged the grilling area and interior of the building on West Vernor. Luckily, fans can still support the local taqueria. The restaurant is popping up weekly at Batch Brewing Company in Corktown.