Restaurant report: Summer openings and recent closings
Upscale Lebanese, sushi burritos, piano karaoke, tacos and more are on deck to join the dining scene this summer
During the past few weeks, there have been some surprising closings from the dining scene, but that isn't stopping the avalanche of new bars and restaurants set to open in the second half of 2019.
There was a shuffle at Fort Street Galley the past two months, with Korean concept Pursue and globally influenced Allenby Detroit leaving for more sure bets. Comfort food vendor Table is in place now, and Michigan & Trumbull moves in temporarily next week serving deep-dish pizza.
In June, two very different restaurants called it quits: Axle Brewing and its Livernois Tap beer hall in Ferndale and Japanese pub and restaurant Katsu Detroit in the Woodbridge neighborhood. Also closed earlier this spring: Pasquale's in Royal Oak, Farmers Restaurant in Eastern Market and Le Petit Zinc in Midtown.
It's natural to wonder if maybe this is the anticipated restaurant bubble bursting. There are as many different reasons for closing as there are restaurants that have closed so far this year: price points, dearth of customers, construction, lack of interest and the owners simply retiring.
Many new restaurants, bars and cafes are planning to open in the next few months — whether the market needs them or not. Here's a smattering, from the most anticipated to places that weren't even on your radar.
Leila: The family behind the popular Middle Eastern restaurant Phoenicia is preparing to open Leila in the historic Farwell Building in Detroit's Capitol Park. Billed as a "cosmopolitan Lebanese" restaurant, Leila is in the hiring phase and is expected to open this summer. 1245 Griswold, Detroit. leiladetroit.com.
Green Room Salad Bar: The sweet, sweet return of downtown's favorite quick/cheap/healthy lunch option is finally growing near. After getting booted from the building at 120 W. Congress, the Green Room is resurfacing as soon as this month inside the Guardian Building's retail promenade. 500 Griswold, Detroit. greenroomdetroit.com.
Sid Gold's Request Room: This gorgeous, retro-cool lounge where you can sing karaoke to a live piano player is sure to be the bar hit of the summer in downtown Detroit. The second location outside of the one in New York City, Sid Gold's is landing locally any day now inside the devastatingly cool Siren Hotel. There's no food served here, but there's plenty in the vicinity. This will soon include forthcoming Karl's, a diner from Lady of the House's chef/owner Kate Williams, which will serve American classics on the second floor of the boutique hotel. 1509 Broadway, Detroit. (313) 277-4736.
Friend & Associate: A new restaurant from the team behind the Meeting House in Rochester, this American chef-driven restaurant will post up in Greektown where Santorini Greektown was. It's one less Greek restaurant for the popular strip, but the building is still owned by the Papas family that has many other properties in Greektown. 501 Monroe, Detroit. facebook.com/friendandassociate.
Poke Burri: We're hoping this fun sushi-burrito chain will have better luck in this location, which has seen a few eateries come and go, most recently French café Le Petit Zinc. Besides burritos filled with sushi rice, fish, vegetables and sauces, Atlanta-based Poke Burri has a secret menu, with fish-and-rice dishes in the shapes of doughnuts, pizza and corn dogs. 70 W. Alexandrine, Detroit. Instagram: @pokeburridetroit.
Ivy Kitchen + Cocktails: This new American fusion restaurant and bar is owned and operated by Nya Marshall, who along with chef Robert DeLaura is preparing for a late summer opening on the east side. 9205 E. Jefferson, Detroit.
Guerrilla Food: Known for waving the "food is medicine" flag, founder Meiko Krishok is readying a carryout-only spot for her farm-to-table, healthful concept. She operates out of the Pink Flamingo trailer in a community garden Thursday evenings at 2746 Vermont. The Guerrilla Food brick and mortar is opening this month near Palmer Park in a former Bread Basket location. 17740 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 801-4423.
Condado Tacos: Michael Symon's B Spot Burgers is out, and this Midwest build-your-own-taco chain is on the way at this downtown Royal Oak address. Order off the menu, or create your own highly customizable feast using a "Scantron-style" sheet. There's also expected to be a full bar serving mini margarita flights. Target opening date is Aug. 8. 310 S. Main, Royal Oak. condadotacos.com.
Pernoi: It's a collaboration of epic proportions. Chefs Takashi Yagihashi and Luciano DelSignore — a James Beard Award winner and multi-nominee, respectively — are teaming up for this fine dining experience that blends French, Italian and Japanese cuisines. Located where Cafe Via was in Birmingham, Pernoi, which takes its name from the Italian phrase "for us," is looking at a late summer opening. 310 E. Maple, Birmingham. pernoibirmingham.com.
Shores Tequileria y Cocina: A Mexican restaurant with a focus on tequila will take over where longstanding pizza joint G. Willies Pub used to be. 31230 Harper, St. Clair Shores. facebook.com/shorestequileria.
Bar Verona: Nationally known chef Fabio Vivani, who has restaurants across the country, is opening two upscale-casual trattorias in Metro Detroit suburbs. A Bar Verona is open now serving craft cocktails and locally sourced food in Commerce Township (500 Loop), and a second restaurant is expected to debut later this summer in Washington Township (59145 Van Dyke). barverona.com.
Magnet Detroit: Whenever I write one of these "coming soon" restaurant round ups, there are always a few familiar names of places that were in the last list that still haven't emerged for various reasons. Magnet Detroit is one of those. A second project by Takoi's chef Brad Greenhill, Magnet will focus on open-flame cooking and is set to open as early as August in Detroit's Core City neighborhood. 4848 Grand River, Detroit.