Cheers: Sister Pie raises funds by shaking buns

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

After more than two years of baking seasonal sweet and savory pies on a catering and pop-up basis, Detroit's Sister Pie is almost ready to open up a permanent space in West Village.

Formerly a hair salon, the 900-square-foot space at 8066 Kercheval still needs a lot of renovation work, and Sister Pie founder Lisa Ludwinski and her staff have come up a fun way to raise the remaining funds needed to finish the project — a 24-hour dance-a-thon.

The party starts 9 p.m. Fri. at Paramita Sound record store at 1417 Van Dyke and it won't stop until 9 p.m. Sat. The fundraiser will of course be stocked with baked goods, which can be burned off by dancing to music from DJ Rockpop, Lady Fantastic, Rocksteady Disco, Bertrand Hustle and others.

The $10 suggested donation from the dance-a-thon, coupled with funds collected through an Indiegogo page (details at will go toward turning Sister Pie's brick-and-mortar restaurant into a craft bakery and breakfast-lunch joint. The Indiegogo fundraising goal is $25,000, which will be added to the $50,000 Sister Pie received after winning last year's Hatch Detroit contest.

Valentine's Day restaurants

If you want to take your sweetie out to dinner on Valentine's Day, you better have a plan.

At MGM Grand Detroit, Wolfgang Puck Steak has a romantic five-course, fixed-price menu for $90 per person that includes caviar, spicey tuna tartare, lobster bisque and choice of entrees, including braised leg of lamb and roasted duck breast.

The five-course menu runs 5-11 p.m. Feb. 13-14 and 5-10 p.m. Feb. 15. Call (313) 465-1644 for reservations.

On Feb. 13 and 14, Ann Arbor's Slurping Turtle, 608 E. Liberty, is hosting a four- and six-course meal with optional sake pairings. Classic romance films like "Casablanca" and "Gone With the Wind" will be shown to add to the holiday fun.

The sushi and noodle restaurant will also have popcorn and cotton candy machines as well as a fondue station for post-dinner snacks. Call (734) 887-6868 for reservations.

Vodka buzz

One of the most popular booze-tasting parties of the year, Vodka Vodka was a regularly a sold-out event at the Royal Oak Farmers Market. For 2015, the Russian-themed event has expanded to the Royal Oak Music Theatre at 318 W. Fourth.

Besides more than 60 vodkas, Saturday night's event will include a fashion show by designers Camilo Pardo and Emily Thornhill, a hair show featuring area salons, food and a DJ. The party starts at 7:30 and tickets are $35, $15 for designated drivers (must be accompanied by a full-price attendee). VIP tickets, which include early entry, are $55. Part of the proceeds benefit public health organization Healthy Detroit. Visit

Deliciously brief

■Michigan Ave. hangout and rock venue Corktown Tavern has started serving affordable bar food. Besides the obligatory wings and burgers, the short menu has fried meatballs, a chicken sandwich, soft pretzels, waffle fries and tater tots. Here's the best part: Everything on the menu is just $2.

■Chicago-based franchise Falafill opened a location in Midtown last week at 4206 Woodward. The restaurant, which boasts fresh fast food made from scratch, is open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sat. Visit for the menu.

Food and beverage events

Birmingham Restaurant Week: Three-course lunches for $15 and dinner for $30 at participating restaurants, including 220, Cafe Via, Fleming's Prime, Forest Grill, Phoenicia, Social Kitchen & Bar, Toast and more. Today-Fri. Make reservations directly with the restaurant. Visit for more info.

Belgian Beer Festival at Ashley's: Now in its fifth year, this 10-day promotion features more than 200 Belgian beers from more than 80 breweries, plus Belgian food and special events like a sour beer happy hour, Valentine's Day Belgian dinner for two and a Belgian waffle brunch. Today-Feb. 15. Prices vary. 7525 Wayne, Westland. (734) 525-1667.

2015 Lost in the Woods at HopCat Detroit: A release party for New Belgium's La Folie and Transatlantique Kriek with live entertainment by the Native Howl. Other New Belgium beers are also available, and nature-themed costumes are encouraged. 7-10 p.m. Sat. $40. 4265 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 769-8828. Tickets at

Made to Eat in Michigan at Leon and Lulu: A local food market with Cooper Street Cookies, Maria's House Made Salsa and BBQ Sauce, Motown Soup, the Brinery, Imerman Cake Company and more. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Free. 96 W. 14 Mile, Clawson. (248) 288-3600.

Union Joints pop-up dinner at Jazz Cafe at Music Hall: Before a performance by jazz group the Hot Sardines, enjoy a pop-up dinner from Union Joints that features a spicy scallop fresh roll, duck confit, farro bulgogi (a Korean dish) and maple pudding. 6 p.m. dinner, 6:45 p.m. show. $60, $30 show only. (There's also a second show at 8 p.m. with no dinner.) 350 Madison, Detroit. (313) 887-8500.

Phantom Masks and Opera at Gratzi: This three-course Italian dinner is paired with live theater performed by local artists. The production is "Phantom Masks and Opera" and the menu includes salad and tiramisu with a choice of entree like salmon, chicken marsala, goat cheese ravioli and filet mignon. 6 and 8 p.m. Feb. 12. $89.95. 326 S. Main, Ann Arbor. (888) 456-3463.

Sips and and Sounds at Southfield Pavilion: South American wine tasting with Latin jazz from John Douglas and Quiet Fire, plus light appetizers. 6-8:30 p.m. Feb. 13. $25 in advance, $35 at the door. 26000 Evergreen, Southfield. (248) 796-4620.

Paczki Day Breakfast at Hamtramck Moose Lodge #1670: Fill up before a day of gallivanting around Hamtramck on Fat Tuesday. The Moose will offer egg souffle, kielbasa and paczki, plus a DJ and karaoke. 7 a.m. Feb. 17. $5. 9421 Conant, Hamtramck. (313) 871-9115.

Whiskey Business at Royal Oak Farmers Market: Products from around the world, plus expert speakers like Kent Rabish of Grand Traverse Distillery, Master of Whisky Cheryl Alagna and Marianne Barnes of Brown-Forman Corp. (Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve). The event also has food, beer and entertainment. 7:30-11 p.m. Feb. 21, VIP entry starts at 6:30 p.m. $50, $70 VIP, $15 designated drivers. 316 E. 11 Mile, Royal Oak.

Michigan Winter Beer Festival at Fifth Third Ball Park: One of the biggest beer events in the state, this 10th annual festival features 800 craft beers from 88 Michigan breweries. 3-7 p.m. Feb. 27 and 1-6 p.m. Feb. 28. $45 in advance. 4500 West River Drive Northeast, Grand Rapids.

Melody Baetens