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Newish Hazel Park bar and restaurant Joebar is preparing for its next evolution. 

The restaurant is closed now and will reopen on Jan. 22 as Latido at Joebar. 

Owners Joe and Cari Vaughn are still at the reins, but they're handing the kitchen over to two new chefs: Michael Barrera, former culinary director for Prime + Proper and Townhouse restaurants, and Moses Fishman, who used to be in the kitchen at Ferndale's Axle Brewing Company. 

These chefs will change the menu to a Latin American concept with steaks, small plates, a burger and other items which owner Joe Vaughn assures will be "approachable." 

"Take everything you loved about Joebar and apply an elevated version of Latin food in a casual atmosphere," said Vaughn. Both Cari and Joe Vaughn insist that the neighborhood pub vibe of Joebar won't change.

"It's still Joebar," said Cari Vaughn. "It's still low lights and hanging out and friends and gathering ... it's still casual." 

"If you go to Argentina you're going into very approachable, casual places that are super unassuming, and you're having the best meal of your life," adds Joe Vaughn. "And that's more of this approach." 

Vaughn says the Argentinean steak may be the most expensive item on the menu at $20-something, and most items will be $7-$14. 

He says chef Fishman's parents are Romanian Jews who immigrated to Peru, so he's been immersed in South American cuisine. 

"It's very interesting, it's like the perfect example of the Detroit melting pot," he said. 

Popular weekend brunch service will return to the space under the Latido influence starting in February. 

The restaurant incubator and pop-up dining space in the back of Joebar, Frame, will remain the same. Chef Rebecca LaMalfa, who had created Joebar's most recent pub fare menu, will continue to oversee operations at Frame.

Another faction of Joebar, Chicago's Dark Matter Coffee, will end its weekly morning service, but will still be served at brunch and included in the cocktail program. 

The Vaughns say that while Frame is more of a weekly incubator, allowing a different chef to come in and take over each week, they see Joebar as more of the "longer scope, the yearly incubator." 

"We're more on the creative side and we like reinventing." he said. "We want to encourage chefs and talented people to look at the building as a place that they can express themselves." 

Joebar is closed now, and will reopen as Latido at Joebar on Jan. 22 at 23839 John R in Hazel Park. Call (248) 291-5711.

Additionally, the restaurant is hiring servers, hosts and bartenders. Interested parties should e-mail joebar@joebar.com. 

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens

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