Greektown’s new ramen spot and food hall opens Tuesday

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
  • Noodle Art ramen restaurant has Japanese cuisine and cocktails
  • Six fast-casual options are in Monroe Market food hall
  • These restaurants are open to all ages daily, and officials say there will be options available 24/7
  • Greektown Casino will transition to it’s new name – JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel – later this summer

Monroe Market, a new multi-cuisine food hall, will open Tuesday at Greektown Casino-Hotel.

In addition to six food counters, the new dining additions also include Noodle Art, a Japanese restaurant and bar within the 11,000-square-foot market.

The Monroe Market and Noodle Art – accessible to people of all ages and not directly inside the casino – is part of a $15 million renovation and were designed by Detroit-based firm Rossetti Associates Inc. It's in the space formerly known as the Market District eatery.

Noodle Art offers Japanese ramen dishes with pork, chicken and soy broths that are made in-house. Large pork dumplings, tuna shashimi, Japanese fried chicken and other rice and noodle bowls are also part of the fare, as is a full bar with a focus on Asian spirits, such as a Suntory whiskey Manhattan.

Noodle Art is a restaurant within the Monroe Market space and has a sophisticated, modern look and enclosed seating and bar area from the rest of the food hall.

Six other food options are offered throughout the setting that is made to resemble an outdoor food court with communal seating and a 280-square-foot green “living wall” with foliage.

“It is more of a casual atmosphere, but sophisticated in look,” said Greektown Casino Hotel’s chief executive officer Jason Gregorec, adding that they worked for more than a year on each food outlet’s menu design. “Everything is made from scratch. We wanted something that was unique in quality and something that stands us apart.”

Gregorec says Monroe Market is “not just a food court,” and says there is a high level of service and variety.

“Each venue has its own look and feel, so we wanted to definitely offer variety, whereas nowhere else in the city are you going to get this in one location.”

American Burger Bar gets cheeky with a breakfast sandwich served on your choice of a glazed doughnut or brioche bun. Wrap your mitts around a burger – with a beef or Impossible burger vegan patty – or a Detroit-style coney dog.

Counter clockwise from there, Basil Leaf serves Neapolitan pizza made to order and fired up in a 900-degree stone oven. Tia Loca has customizable tacos and signature dishes like “tostilocos,” a walking taco made with your choice of Fritos or Doritos.

In a can’t-miss-it silver Airstream-style trailer, Pit Boss serves barbecue favorites like pulled pork, brisket, ribs, chicken and Polish sausage.

Southern Fry is billed as a spot where “Detroit meets the South” and has fried chicken, wings, chicken cracklins and sides like collard greens, mac and cheese, cole slaw and sweet potato pie.

The entrance to Monroe Market is home to Josephine Bakery, serving sweets, gelato and specialty coffees. It was named after a longtime Greektown Casino employee. (Although you won’t find Josephine working here; she’s a casino host.)

Prices at the six counters are fairly low for a casino and hotel. A basic hot dog from American Burger Bar is $4 and the aforementioned walking taco is $12. Pizzas from Basil Leaf are $7-$10.

These restaurants are open daily, and officials say Monroe Market will have food options 24/7.

Dan Gilbert’s company took control of Greektown Casino Hotel in 2013, and in early 2016 announced it would be rebranded as a JACK Entertainment property. Greektown Casino will transition to its new name – JACK Detroit Casino-Hotel – later this summer.

In March, the casino and 400-room hotel was given a AAA Four Diamond Award.

Those who have visited other JACK properties may find some of these six eateries familiar. The JACK Cincinnati Casino has a Basil Leaf Pizza and there is an American Burger Bar at the JACK Thistledown Racino also in Ohio.

In addition to offering players comps at the casino restaurants, Jack Entertainment has relationships with 20 Greektown-area restaurants so guest can enjoy rewards throughout the Greektown area. The casino is also part of the Greektown Preservation Society.

Twitter: @melodybaetens