A restaurant with pizzas and pasta by celebrity chef Fabio Viviani of “Top Chef” fame has filled the spot formerly occupied by the executive parking garage in the former Detroit News building in downtown Detroit.
The Press Room Cafe opens Wednesday. It is a combination of two concepts: The Mercato, an Italian space with a selection of made-from-scratch Napoli-style pizzas ($10-$15) and pasta dishes ($10-$12). And the Press Room Grill, with grilled sandwiches and burgers ($8-$12), deli sandwiches ($8-$9), salads ($7-$14) and soups.
“We are very excited about the opening of the new Press Room Cafe, which will add new, upscale Italian dining options to the downtown Detroit area,” Jim Kallas, central division president of Eurest, the company that is opening the restaurant, said in a statement. “The new restaurant is designed to cater to both commuters in the Detroit News Building, locals and others who work in the area.”
The restaurant will add a new component to the building at 615 W. Lafayette, which The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press moved out of in 2014. Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Detroit now owns the Albert Kahn-designed 404,000-square-foot building. Gilbert also owns the vacant Detroit Free Press building down the block.
There will be both vegetarian and meat-topped Napoli-style pizzas planned for Mercato. A vegetarian gnocchi and pasta bolognese round out the menu, which caters to those looking for a quick bite as well as a sit-down, upscale dinner, according to Viviani.
“(Mercato) will provide from-scratch menu items for those who want quality dining options but are also short on time,” said Viviani in a news release. “We’ve worked to provide a great offering of upscale Italian fare to meet the needs of those who want a premium dining experience during their work day.”
Viviani will be in town June 27 for a grand opening celebration.
Menu items for the Press Room Cafe will be made fresh. Sandwiches will be prepared over a wood-burning grill, and salads will be made with local, seasonal items and house-made dressings and toppings. Soup will be made from scratch, and there will be a coffee bar stocking pastries from Detroit’s Avalon Bakery, which recently opened a location on Woodward in another Bedrock space downtown.
The Press Room Cafe will serve breakfast and lunch weekdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. To-go items will be sold from the coffee bar until 7 p.m. weekdays.