Fort Street Galley restaurant line up announced; includes chef Jimmy Schmidt
Celebrated chef Jimmy Schmidt will return to the Detroit food scene when his new restaurant, Lucky's Noble BBQ, opens this fall as one of four concepts inside the Fort Street Galley food hall in downtown Detroit.
The fourth project by Pittsburgh-based Galley Group (which has two operations there and one in Ohio), Fort Street Galley will also house Filipino restaurant Isla, sandwich shop Allenby, and Pursue, a Korean- and Japanese-inspired concept.
This is just the starting lineup. It is expected that new chefs will rotate in on a regular basis. The concept of the Fort Street Galley is to allow restaurant start-ups to operate in a low-risk, high-volume environment.
The Galley Group provides the chefs with front-of-house staff and they hire their own team for their kitchen. The Fort Street Galley will serve lunch, dinner and brunch and will have a full bar. The 8,646-square-foot Fort Street Galley at 160 W. Fort, still under construction, will have an open floor plan.
These four businesses were chosen out of 50 applicants, who were narrowed down to eight. Those eight went through a "Shark Tank"-style pitch session earlier this year in Detroit to help Galley Group founders Ben Mantica and Tyler Benson make their final choices. A small group of people familiar with Detroit's restaurant scene (including this reporter) sat in on the panel to give the Galley Group feedback.
Of the first four chefs chosen to serve out of the Detroit food hall, Schmidt is the most high profile. For Lucky's, he's teamed up with his longtime friend Brian Recor. This is not a brand-spanking-new concept, but something they've been working on in Las Vegas. They also have a spice brand called Lucky's Spice Blend.
Schmidt was the first Detroit chef to win a national James Beard Foundation and has won three overall. He was named the James Beard Foundation “Best Chef Midwest” in 1993 for his work at The Rattlesnake Club. He also was part of Detroit London Chop House in the 1980s and has won national awards for the restaurants he has run across the country. This is his first restaurant in Detroit in more than a decade.
Another concept incubating at Fort Street Galley is Isla, from chefs JP Garcia and Jacqueline Diño. The married couple will serve dishes that showcase their French culinary training and Filipino heritage. Metro Detroit has a dearth of Filipino restaurants.
At Allenby, chefs Michael Goldberg and Katie Nelson will serve sandwiches inspired in part by Goldberg's trip to Tel Aviv, Israel. The pair met while working at Selden Standard in Detroit. They'll also serve small plates and entrees, along with the sandwiches.
Chef Mike Han is bringing what he's learned working at some of the top Japanese restaurants in the world to his kitchen inside the Galley, Pursue. Here, he plans to use American ingredients to make healthy Korean and Japanese food including sushi and sashimi with vegan and vegetarian options.
Fort Street Galley is expected to open in the fall in the Federal Reserve Building in Detroit.