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Empire Kitchen & Cocktails to open in May at The Scott

Developed by BAC Holdings, Empire Kitchen & Cocktails will open on the ground floor of the five-story apartment building in Brush Park

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
  • Empire Kitchen & Cocktails is expected to open in May
  • Owners also run 31 Five Guys burger franchises in Michigan
  • Once open, the restaurant will only serve dinner, followed by brunch and lunch later on
  • A long, 30-foot bar will have a focus on craft cocktails

Empire Kitchen & Cocktails is an American bistro opening in May on the ground level of The Scott at Brush Park apartment building.

The 3,150-square-foot restaurant is on the northwestern corner of the five-story residential complex and is expected to attract diners with a 30-foot-long bar, a patio and large garage doors for an al fresco feel inside as well.

Co-owner Michael Abrams told The Detroit News of the then-unnamed project in 2016, and this week revealed details of Empire, which he co-owns with his childhood friend Brian Adelman and their partner Dave Pittaway. The partners – BAC Holdings, which own 31 Michigan locations of the burger chain Five Guys – were looking for a way to contribute to the growth of the city.

“We have been looking for the right opportunity to join in the revitalization of Detroit, and we know that this is it,” said Adelman in an e-mail message. “Watching Detroit’s comeback for the past few years has been inspirational, and we wanted to be a part of it.”

The group has tapped chef Aaron Lowen, a Farmington Hills native and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, to run the kitchen and develop the bistro’s menu. Details of the fare are still under wraps, but Lowen said the food will be made-from-scratch from quality ingredients, and the bar will focus on craft cocktails.

Adelman said he envisions Empire as being a place for food and drink, yet appropriate for carry-out meals or family friendly dinners. The come-as-you-are dress code aims to make diners feel comfortable whether stopping in after work or heading to a game downtown.

The Scott at Brush Park opened in 2016. Some units are still available at the complex, which includes a second-floor pool, rooftop terrace, fitness center, library, a pet-grooming station and a place to store and repair your bicycle. Broder & Sachse Real Estate CEO Richard Broder said they were looking for a “dynamic restaurant concept” to compliment the developing neighborhood.

“Mike’s extensive experience in the hospitality space is an asset as he prepares to open Empire Kitchen & Cocktails, which we expect will become the next hot spot for fantastic food, drink and entertainment in downtown Detroit,” Broder said in a statement.

Located at 3150 Woodward, The Scott and Empire Kitchen & Cocktails is bordering Brush Park and Midtown, making it walkable to popular destinations in both Cass Corridor and downtown Detroit.

Empire, which will hire 30-50 new employees, will be open for dinner at first and then add weekend brunch, followed by lunch. An opening date is expected to be announced next month.


Twitter: @melodybaetens