Hazel Park continues to grow as a nightlife destination as joebar opens Wednesday on John R just north of Nine Mile next to popular restaurant Mabel Gray.

The bar and restaurant has the hip decor, craft cocktails and on-trend menu items that one would expect from a new restaurant, but with a price point that fits with the blue collar neighborhood.

A 60-seat venue that faces John R and has a 23-seat, street side patio. A television, pinball machine and an arcade game offer a few distractions. Look for space-y wall murals by Detroit artist Glenn Barr.

Owner Joe Vaughn says that while he’s not from Hazel Park, he wants his place to fit in with the neighborhood.

“My father worked on the line at Chrysler on Mound Road Engine so I’m from a blue collar, working class family,” he said. “It’s important to me that when you come into a neighborhood you don’t create this gentrified, hipster scenario.”

Vaughn, who is a notable photographer, says he expects joebar to be busy for a while because it’s new, but once things relax he wants it to be “a neighborhood bar and a neighborhood hang out.”

“It’s going to be a little crazy for a while, but when things settle down that’s what, at the core, we want to be, so that’s why the prices (are lower). The mentality is good, from-scratch food to start creating that kind of energy for the neighborhood.”

A variety of domestic beers can be procured for $2 and up, and many of the craft cocktails run $5-$6, instead of the usual $10-$12 range.

Starters and bar snacks ($4-$9) include Bloody Mary spiced tomato soup, wedge salad, fried pickles, sweet potato fries and chicken wings. A sandwich list ($9-$14) features a JoeDip made with 16-hour slow-roasted prime rib, a shrimp po’ boy and a sandwich named “Dad Jokes” because it’s “super cheesy” with two kinds of cheddar, provolone and Gouda.

There’s also frozen Spanish coffees, elephant ears, pie and Jones Soda floats.

This food will come out of an open kitchen behind the bar. A second area of joebar called Frame has a 48-seat dining area and separate kitchen that will be lent out to Katoi chef Brad Greenhill, who recently got back from a trip to Thailand. Katoi’s Corktown restaurant is temporarily shuttered following a fire last month.

Ticket go on sale Thursday for the Katoi residency, which will offer seatings at 6 and 9 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and 6 p.m. Sun. starting later this month.

“They’re very welcome here and we’re excited to have them,” said Vaughn of Katoi’s kitchen staff. “Brad just got back from Thailand so there will be a lot of things on the menu that weren’t on the Katoi menu, and the menu will change every week so if you want co come multiple times you’re not going to have the same experience.”

Vaughn says that after a month they’ll take a look at where Katoi is with its rebuilding process at the Corktown location and talk about the future at that point. He also has national and local chefs lined up to cook and serve food at Frame.

“We have both national chefs and a lot of local things lined up that are kind of previews. There’s going to be some very fun things.”

Vaughn adds that while the Frame experience will a fixed-price, chef-driven ride, the front of joebar will be more casual and relaxed.

joebar is located at 23839 John R in Hazel Park. Open 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Wed.-Fri. and noon-2 a.m. Sat.-Sun. Closed Mon.-Tues. Call (248) 291-5711 or visit

Tickets for the Katoi pop-up at Frame will go on sale Thursday at

(313) 222-2402

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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