Stache International to serve market-fresh fare

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Next month, Stache International will open in Eastern Market, grilling up sandwiches with house-smoked meats and interesting bar food.

Owners of the medium-sized restaurant – which has a few four-tops, two communal tables and counter seating – are taking advantage of their location and say they’ll use meat and produce from Eastern Market vendors as often as possible. Stache is at 1420 E. Fisher in a late 1800s building that was once a slaughter and was recently an art gallery before becoming a bike shop.

“It’s pretty straightforward, fresh-concept stuff,” says co-owner Ray Moses, who has never owned a restaurant before, but has 20 years experience in the service industry. “We want it to be stuff you want to eat when you’re drinking and tailgating, so we will be open late night and on weekends.”

One of the bar-friendly items will be an pickle that has ham and cheese wrapped around it that is then swathed in egg roll wrapper and deep fried.

“We’re trying to have a little bit of an international theme to everything since we’re in the market,” says Moses, who owns Stache with his wife Gracie and partner Steve Kay. Ray Moses and Kay met years ago when their bands – This Frequency Five and Capture the Flag, respectively – used to play together.

An example of that international flavor is Stache’s French pulled pork sandwich. The meat is smoked in-house then marinated in red wine and French onion soup. Chef Lary Pope then grills it on a baguette with aioli and grilled onions.

Kay, who started smoking meat as a hobby a few years ago, says Stache will have on its menu house-made sauerkraut, bologna, gyro corn dogs, Lebanese-style wings, Scotch deviled eggs and specialty pierogi.

“All the sauces and sausages will be made here, brats, I’ll have a Reuben sausage,” says Kay, who says the restaurant will also have specials with a new sausage, sandwich and a fried item that will rotate each month.

Also on the menu will be jams from local craft preserves maker Gus & Grey.

In spite of all the bar-friendly food, there’s no liquor license at Stache. There there is next door, however, at Thomas Magee’s Sporting House Whiskey Bar. Stache will act as the de-facto kitchen; patrons can order right from Magee’s and get table service there.

Moses says the name Stache International was inspired by his memories of cooking on Sundays with his grandmother.

“She would make all kinds of stuff from Italian to Hawaiian meatballs...most of it out of Good Housekeeping magazine,” says Moses. “As a grandma would, she’d show me family pictures and I noticed all the old Italian guys and Lebanese guys all had big, burly mustaches. And I’d sit there and cook and she’d tell me stories about uncles that I never met.”

A soft opening is planned for the first week of November.