Cork & Gabel now open in Corktown with European cuisine

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Cork & Gabel opened this week in Corktown.

Cork & Gabel, a new restaurant with a modern spin on European cuisine, has opened in Corktown. 

The kitchen is run by chef Matt McGrail, a graduate of Schoolcraft College who has worked at the Carpathia Club and at the Great Lakes Culinary Center. He has created a menu that touches on Irish, Italian and German cuisine. "Gabel" is German for "fork." 

The one-page menu starts with appetizers like spiced chicken wings, a Bavarian pretzel dish, fried Dubliner cheese and a variety of charcuterie boards.

Main courses range from a $14 house burger with Guinness caramelized onions to a more delicate seared scallops dish with apple and cabbage mustard seed slaw and red pepper potato puree ($28). Three salads and three desserts are also offered. 

Look for local products on the bar and kitchen menus, including Corridor Sausage and nearby Two James Spirits (next door). 

Enter the bar and restaurant through a rustic metal door to a graffiti-ed vestibule that leads to the restaurant's warm exposed brick dining area.

Under a high ceiling, the bar area is front and center with low and high dining tables all around, some with a view of the nearby Michigan Central Depot and Ambassador Bridge through tall windows. A chef's table sits in the back near the open kitchen. 

Outside, take note of the 50-foot clock tower, a custom-made peak that aims to mimic the building's original structure. 

The concept and location of Cork & Gabel was first announced more than a year ago. The original plan was to open in the spring, but as many businesses do, McGrail and building owner Joe Mifsud experienced delays.

After some soft service evenings earlier in the week, the restaurant opened Wednesday. 

Cork & Gabel is at 2415 Michigan in Detroit. Reservations for large tables or for the chef's table can be made by calling (313) 638-2262. Visit for information.

Twitter: @melodybaetens