Greektown gets new rooftop nightclub and restaurant
Dance and mingle under the stars at Delmar Detroit, Greektown's new rooftop club, which debuted recently on Monroe at Beaubien.
The new bar sits above Friend & Associate, a chef-driven restaurant readying to open where Greek restaurant Santorini Estiatorio was before closing in October. Both are executed by the team behind the Meeting House in Rochester.
At Delmar, think DJs, bottle service, cocktails and socializing in the open air with a nearly 360-degree view of Greektown from the second-level venue.
"The ambiance alone is going to set it off," said general manager Steven Froelich. He said he's hoping Delmar Detroit can help elevate the club and nightlife scene in the city, which he's seen as having taken a dip as of late.
"In the '90s, early 2000s there were clubs all over the place, people were going out every night," he said. "Nightlife in Detroit is kind of dialed down a little bit, so hopefully we can raise the bar."
The terrace-style rooftop deck can be entered from the street or via the restaurant below. Booths line the perimeter of the club, with high tops near the bar and lounge-style seating. A black wall with a white neon "Detroit" sign is a natural place for selfies with friends.
The name is an homage to the building's past. Before it was outfitted as a restaurant, it was a deli and market named Delmar, says investor Patti Kukula.
"There's a lot of intricate technology here," she says of the new nightclub. "Aside from the great speakers, we also have lights that change, all kinds of colors and projections. You'll see 'Delmar Detroit' on the parking structure. There's intricate camera systems, too, so everything's covered well."
Kukula says for now Delmar Detroit is open 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays while the new spot gets its footing. Cover charges could range from $10 to $20 and all patrons must be 21 or older. The next phase is to roll out a happy hour at 5 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Delmar Detroit is up for grabs for rentals, private parties and special events, like the fundraiser for Detroit Dog Rescue, "Woof on the Roof," planned for 5 p.m. July 31.
While the beats are pulsing at Delmar, the ground-level restaurant Friend & Associate is hiring staff and putting finishing touches on its 4,600-square-foot dining room, which is expected to open July 24.
Chef and co-owner Christopher Johnson says he'll serve American cuisine in the form of shareable, bar-friendly plates that are seasonally-focused and ever-changing.
When it opens, Friend & Associate will serve dinner only. Sunday brunch will roll out once football season starts back up, Johnson says, and Saturday brunch may follow. Unless there is a huge demand, weekday lunch will not be served.
"We're not a sports bar, or a burger joint, or Greek," said Johnson. "But we will pay some homage to Greek (food)."
While the new tenants are not Greek, the building is still owned by the Papas family, which also owns Pegasus Taverna as well as other Greektown businesses.
Contractor and Jill-of-many-trades Kukula was the glue that made this project come together. She's known Jim Papas for nearly 40 years from her work with Wayne County.
"This is the first time Jim Papas has done anything outside the family," said Kukula. "This is the first time he's ever done something with a tenant, the rest have been family-owned."
Johnson says Friend & Associate is a nod to the team's bond. He and partner and bar manager Joel Mood and others have worked together for years, but they're also longtime friends. Another partner, Anthony Mancini (his baby is the Delmar) has a second business with Johnson, Eat Catering.
"It's about fostering relationships while working," said Johnson. "Those are like your lifelong friends. Now that I'm 25 years into cooking, all of my friends are somehow people I've worked with or guests that came in the restaurant. That's how we build our relationships is around our work."
Eventually Friend & Associate will offer a tasting menu at a chef's table, he said. The soon-to-open restaurant has a large bar area, an outdoor sidewalk cafe seating and a private space for around 50 people.
Johnson, who spent many years cooking under the wing of Metro Detroit restaurateur Bill Roberts, says they'll have around 50 employees at Friend & Associate, many from the Meeting House in Rochester.
"It's all about having the best people, and really giving people the opportunity to express themselves within the confines of what makes sense for the business," he said.
Both Delmar Detroit and Friend & Associate are at 501 Monroe in Detroit. For reservations text Delmar at (313) 355-2670.