The Press Room Cafe & Market opened Wednesday, offering what creators hope to be a customer-centric, easy lunchtime experience.
Located in the former Detroit News building on West Lafayette Boulevard in what used to be the executive parking garage, the Press Room now serves pizza and pasta from nationally renowned Chef Fabio Viviani of “Top Chef” fame. The celebrity chef is set to pay a visit during the June 27 grand opening.
The 8,000-square-foot space also has a coffee bar with breakfast sandwiches and a convenience store area with soft drinks, snacks and things you may need in a pinch during the workday.
Customers scan their items for purchase or place their food order at kiosks around the cafe. They watch their order go into a queue on monitors above the open kitchen and wait for their number to be called.
The Press Room’s kiosks are cash-less. Cash can be taken at the coffee bar if necessary.
The cafe seats about 75 at communal tables under large windows and also in a lounge area with a fireplace and leather couches.
The grab-and-go options like ready-made sandwiches and salads make The Press Room a convenient oasis for workers in the building, which include Quicken Loans employees, because that end of downtown isn’t as populated with cafes and restaurants.
Zach Eastman, who has worked at Quicken Loans since November, was one of the first customers Wednesday morning at the Press Room. He said Quicken’s offices in the Chase Building have a similar cafe, and he’s happy they have one now, too.
“The whole building is beautiful; this is awesome,” he said, adding that he was thinking of trying the burger from the menu of wood-fired grill items. “You can tell a lot about a place by what the burger is like.”
Besides a half-pound burger with white cheddar, bacon and BLT slaw, the grill also offers a salmon and potatoes dish, smoked chicken sandwich and a shaved pork sandwich. Sides are plentiful, with cajun pork rinds, steak fries, sweet potato sides, celery seed vinegar slaw and BLT slaw, plus a variety of poutine. Grill dishes are $8-$15 and sides are $2 and up.
The salads list ($7-13) includes a Southern grilled Caesar with grilled romaine, cornbread croutons and buttermilk fried chicken.
The Press Room, which serves some of its sandwiches on newsprint wrapping paper, also has deli sandwiches ($8-$9) and a soup of the day.
Look for thin-crust pizza ($12-$15) and pasta ($10-$12) from chef Vivani, including a pancetta and goat cheese pie with butter braised leeks.
About the eatery
The Press Room
615 W. Lafayette
7 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Lunch service starts at 11 a.m.