Brunch pops up at Hamtramck corner bar

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

The eclectic neighborhood of Hamtramck, a two-square-mile enclave of Detroit, has many things to offer on the dining scale within its borders, despite its small size.

This includes two regionally famous Polish restaurants that have been featured on television shows, authentic cuisine from the Middle East, Bangladesh and Eastern Europe, plus bar burgers, halal pizza and sandwich shops and hip, pop-up dining in the city’s local dive bars.

But one thing missing was a spot for a leisurely weekend brunch.

Local chef Blair Wills changed that a few weeks ago with the debut of Boboville Brunch, a weekend pop-up inside Kelly’s Bar, a no-frills corner hangout at Holbrook and Dubois known for Irish whiskey, cans of beer and, at times, karaoke and live music.

On Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wills and the Kelly’s staff serve brunch items that many folks in the neighborhood were asking for, including biscuits and gravy and eggs Benedict, plus coffee, mimosas and bloody marys.

Wills, who has culinary experience working in Portland restaurants, as well as in local kitchens including Pop’s for Italian and Craftwork, will change the Boboville Brunch menu as he sees fits, but some standards will stay. Last weekend he offered a superb “chilaquiles manifesto” with crunchy tortilla chips topped with black beans, soft-scrambled eggs (or tofu), queso blanco and a lime creme. He also crafted a Polish plate with two eggs, herbed potatoes, Polish sausage and toast. (Which is fitting, since Kelly’s is across the street from the Kowalski Sausage Co. on Holbrook.)

This is all while Kelly’s retains its local dive bar status. There are no high chairs, French presses, or reservations.

More brunch news

■Ferndale’s GreenSpace Cafe began serving brunch over the weekend. Available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the brunch menu is 100 percent vegan and includes potato hash with kale, scrambled tofu, spicy breakfast burrito and mimosas made with prosecco. GreenSpace is at 215 W. Nine Mile. Call (248) 206-7510 for carry-out orders or reservations for large parties.

■Also in Ferndale, the Black Eagle permanent pop-up at the Bosco, 22930 Woodward, is hosting a pop-up within a pop-up. Black Eagle, which serves gourmet sandwiches and loaded fries daily, is lending its kitchen to grilled cheese pop-up MELT Detroit on Nov. 20. They’re still working on the menu, but we know it’s going to be starting around 10 a.m.

■Why wait ’til the morning? The Rattlesnake, 300 River Place in Detroit, will be serving brunch for dinner Nov. 30-Dec. 3. This fine dining mainstay will have cheesy bacon puff pastry twists, chorizo and butternut hash, swiss chard baked eggs, sticky toffee monkey bread and more, alongside the regular dinner menu. Call (313) 567-4400.

Deliciously brief

■Buddy’s Pizza has announced an Ann Arbor-area location will open in late 2017. Located on Ann Arbor-Saline road in Pittsfield Township, this will be the 12th Buddy’s restaurant and the farthest from the original location at Six Mile and Conant. It will be more than 6,000 square feet and will seat 200 people, including outdoors.

■University of Michigan-themed restaurant the Pretzel Bell, 226 S. Main in Ann Arbor, has added a space for special events and private dining. The Captain’s Room is 1,000 square feet and is adorned with reclaimed wood from stadium seating and old basketball court flooring. Available now for bookings, it can seat 75 for seated dinners or 100 for standing room only. Reservations are accepted by email,

(313) 222-2402

Twitter: @melodybaetens