New restaurant and cafe patios to look for this season
After being cooped up inside for the long winter season, Metro Detroiters are jonesing to dine outside and soak up some rays.
Something about sunshine and warm weather makes the food taste better, the drinks go down smoother and the Instagram photos look brighter.
Maybe you have your go-to for al fresco dining — I’m partial to covered, open-air breezy spots — but here are a handful of new spaces that have either just opened or are set to debut soon.
Lumen Detroit: Of the more than 300 seats available at this new Beacon Park restaurant, more than half are outside as part of the ground level and rooftop patios. The glass walls of the 125-seat indoor dining room also open, allowing for a breeze even inside. Lumen is in the same family of restaurants as Birmingham’s Griffin Claw Brewing Company and Big Rock Chop House, so expect a focus on craft beer and wine and an eclectic menu with a European slant. 1903 Grand River, Detroit. (313) 626-5005.
Founders Taproom: The new Detroit location for this Grand Rapids-based craft brew giant has outdoor seating with communal tables, heaters, fire pits and large garage-style doors that lead into the main bar. A perfect perch for having a pint before a Detroit Tigers game or other downtown event. 456 Charlotte, Detroit. (313) 335-3440.
The Corner: Formerly Local Kitchen in downtown Ferndale, the Corner is a casual bar and restaurant just below the Detroit Axe ax-throwing facility. They’ve replaced Local’s plastic enclosure with double-sided glass doors. Sit down and share a sandwich and a few drinks over a puzzle or one of the many vintage video games the restaurant has stacked up inside. 344 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale. (248) 291-5650.
ima: Popular Corktown noodle house is attracting so many slurpers that owners have decided to expand the dining room with an all-season patio with picnic table seating. 2015 Michigan, Detroit. (313) 502-5959.
Joe Muer Seafood: The Bloomfield Hills restaurant opened in June last year, but the open air indoor/outdoor space wasn’t ready until later in the season. The patio is separated by a NanaWall system that allows for a breeze while still being covered. 39475 Woodward, Bloomfield Hills. (248) 792-9609.
District Detroit: Two restaurants at Little Caesars Arena will celebrate the opening of their patios on May 12. Mike’s Pizza Bar has an sidewalk patio extending the length of the restaurant on its Woodward side. Sports & Social Detroit has an outdoor bar with full service. Both restaurants are accessible without tickets to an LCA event. Mike’s: 2515 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 782-4589. Sports & Social: 28 Henry, Detroit. (313) 782-4778.
Prime + Proper: This new four-star steakhouse opened in the fall in a 105-year-old Capitol Park Loft building, and is helmed by the same folks behind the Townhouse restaurants in Detroit and Birmingham. This is the first sunny season for Prime’s two outdoor dining spaces, which are expected to debut this month. One is a cocktail lounge, an extension of the bar area, and the other is off the dining area. Both spaces have retractable windows connecting them to the interior, overhead coverage in case of bad weather, and both are open until 2 a.m. 1145 Griswold, Detroit. (313) 636-3100.
Lady of the House: One of the most appreciated restaurants to have opened in the last few months, Corktown’s Lady of the House is gearing up for its first spring and the debut of the backyard-style patio. 1426 Bagley, Detroit. (313) 818-0218.
Detroit Shipping Company: This 10,000-square-foot structure made of 21 shipping containers isn’t open yet, but when it makes its projected spring debut it will have a courtyard seating, a deck and an outdoor lounge. The complex will have six food outlets, including Coop, a Asian-Caribbean fusion restaurant from chef Max Hardy, plus other options like tacos, burgers, sandwiches and ice cream. 474 Peterboro, Detroit. detroitshippingcompany.com.