French café Le Petit Zinc reopens in Midtown
Le Petit Zinc is now open in Midtown after moving from its Corktown home late last summer.
The café, which originally opened in 2009, brings an authentic slice of Parisian flair to the corridor.
“My mission was to recreate the Paris experience,” said Le petit Zinc owner Karima Sorel. She’s done that by studying what she sees in Paris, where she lives most of the time.
“Seeing how people are served, how the interactions with the servers are, what’s important ... what are the essential pieces, visually and atmosphere-wise.”
Known for its quaint vibes and French menu of crêpes, quiches and sandwiches, Le Petit Zinc opened in Corktown in 2009. After the landlord decided to sell the building at 1055 Trumbull, the cafe owners had to find a new home, and an outpouring of support on social media helped confirm the decision.
About six months later, Le Petit Zinc is open for business in a new location at 70 W. Alexandrine in the Strathmore Apartments building. It’s filling the space that was for a short time occupied by Dangerously Delicious Pies.
The menu is largely the same, with some additions such as an oven-roasted goat cheese plate with tomato and honey with baguette, and more pâtisserie items like colorful macarons. Classics like quiche Lorraine, Nicoise salad and ratatouille remain.
Sorel, who runs Le Petit Zinc with business partner Scott Rutterbush, says their new location has more foot traffic and more professionals than their tucked-away Corktown spot, so she is also adding some grab-and-go menu items.
This summer she’ll work on a sidewalk patio and garden scape with French-style bistro chairs. There’s also plans to add an espresso bar with a zinc top.
“It’s completely different,” she said, comparing the Midtown spot to Corktown. With the Parisian energy, day-friendly menu and relaxed vibe, heart of the business, though, is still the Zinc that celebrates the Detroit-Paris connection.
“When we opened (in Corktown), we were called gentrifiers. It was weird because we’re community people, and I’m a native Detroiter,” she said. “We were part of this initial first wave of businesses that opened. Now suddenly we’re like an old school Detroit spot.”
Le Petit Zinc is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at 70 W. Alexandrine in Detroit. Call (313) 963-2805 or visit lepetitzincdetroit.com.