New York billboards tout Detroit opportunities

By Louis Aguilar
The Detroit News

Detroit — The New York City owner of a soon-to-open Thai restaurant in Corktown is touting the opportunities in the Motor City to New Yorkers in a big way. Four billboards are being put up in the Big Apple — two in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn — that declare "Detroit: Now Hiring."

The first two of four billboards went up Wednesday morning, with one going up in the SoHo neighborhood. Another two will be put up in the next few days in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood, said Courtney Henriette, one of three owners of Katoi, a restaurant in the works at 2520 Michigan Ave. Henriette wasn't sure of the location of the other Manhattan billboard that went up Wednesday.

The billboards are the brainchild of the Corktown restaurant's three owners, which include two Detroit residents and New York resident Philip Kafka. Kafka also owns the New York-based Prince Media Co. The firm is a "boutique billboard company," according to its website.

In reality, the Thai restaurant is going to hire mainly Detroiters, Henriette said. The New York billboards are more about advertising Detroit's entrepreneurial and creative opportunities, she said.

"The idea really is to spread the word about Detroit as far as we can. We love the idea of Detroit being appealing to talented people from New York or anywhere," she said.

The third owner of the planned Katoi restaurant is chef Brad Greenhill. Greenhill and Henriette recently operated a Thai food truck that was primarily stationed at Corktown's Two James distillery and tasting room. The restaurant is expected to open later this year.

Twitter: LouisAguilar_DN