Fusion Flare brings American and soul classics to west side Detroit neighborhood

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
Chef and owner Mashelle Sykes at Fusion Flare Kitchen & Cocktails in Detroit.

A cozy comfort food restaurant has opened on Detroit's west side, offering neighbors and those who work in the area a place to sit down and enjoy a meal and a cocktail. 

Fusion Flare Kitchen & Cocktails is one of few sit-down restaurants with bar service in the neighborhood south of I-96 and east of Southfield. Chef and owner Mashelle Sykes debuted her concept earlier this month at 16801 Plymouth. She and her husband were also the owner of the previous business in this space, the local watering hole Time Out Sports Bar & Grill. 

At Fusion, Sykes can be seen in her bright red chef coat cooking up a mix of classic American and soul food. Get buzzed in through the front door and seat yourself at the long bar or at one of the high- or low-top tables that fill the cozy dining area, which seems bigger than it is, thanks to a mirrored wall. 

Her menu starts with crispy and tender chicken wings, which are served as a whole fried wing and doused in your choice of buffalo or barbecue sauce ($7, or $5 if you want them plain). Other appetizers include a shrimp plate served crispy, Cajun or scampi ($9), plus standard bar snacks like onion rings and mozzarella sticks. 

The catfish sandwich at Fusion Flare is served with french fries.

Lunch is a steal here: Try the fresh catfish sandwich with golden brown cornmeal and served on sliced bread for just $9; fries included. 

Sykes really shines at dinner, though, with hearty plates of chicken or shrimp Alfredo, buttermilk fried chicken, pork chop, lamb chops or bone-in rib eye. Many entrees comes with two choices of sides, such as macaroni and cheese, greens, side salad or a variety of potatoes.  

The bar here is well-stocked with a variety of wines and classic, adult cocktails like flavored martinis, cosmopolitan, Moscow mule, margaritas and a Bloody Mary.

Try the latter with Fusion's weekend soul food brunch menu, served 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.-Sun. with French toast, chicken and waffles, salmon croquettes with rice, shrimp and grits or catfish and grits. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at Fusion Flare Kitchen & Cocktails on Jan. 15.


Twitter: @melodybaetens

Fusion Flare Kitchen & Cocktails

16801 Plymouth, Detroit

(313) 653-3700

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tues.-Thurs.; 11 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. 

Prices (approximate, subject to change): $5-$9 appetizers; $9 sandwiches; $7-$15 salads; $18-market price entrees; $3-$5 sides; $5-$10 all lunch menu items; $3-$12 all brunch menu items.

Reservations: None needed

Noise level: Quiet to moderate

Accessibility: One small step, otherwise no barriers 

Parking: Street parking and gated lot