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New restaurant Olin to open in former PuppetART Theatre in downtown Detroit

Restaurateur and Michigan native Holly McClain is opening the American restaurant with Mediterranean and Spanish influences this fall, followed by a walk-up soft pretzel concept, Twist

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Marionettes make way for Mediterranean dishes as new restaurant Olin Bar and Kitchen prepares to open next month in downtown Detroit near the Shinola Hotel's Parker's Alley in the former PuppetART space. 

Described as an American restaurant with Mediterranean and Spanish influences, the forthcoming spot belongs to restaurateur Holly McClain. She's part of the team behind the Highlands atop the Renaissance Center, which she opened in late 2019 with her husband, James Beard Award-winning chef Shawn McClain. 

Michigan native Holly McClain stands in front of her new downtown Detroit restaurant Olin Bar and Kitchen, opening this fall where PuppetART Theatre was.

Olin — which refers to the Middle English word for "evergreen" — has been completely renovated and will have a 13-seat bar, room for 20 in a lounge area and a dining room that seats 100, including a chef's table and an open kitchen. The plan is to start with dinner and Sunday brunch, and lunch down the line. 

McClain, who grew up Downriver, has enlisted chef Andrew Shedden to run the kitchen, which includes a full cheese program. Some dishes highlighted in a recent media alert tease potato and artichoke bravas, steak frites and grilled octopus with romesco sauce and chorizo. 

"As soon as I was introduced to the space, I knew immediately that this was the location that I had been looking for — it just felt right," said McClain. "I am very excited to introduce Olin to Detroit, as a vibrant neighborhood brasserie that is fun, energetic and approachable."

A rendering of Olin in downtown Detroit, set to open this fall at 25 E. Grand River.

This neighborhood is part of Parker's Alley, a dining, cocktail and retail destination from Shinola. Here, McClain will also open Twist, a walk-up window selling soft pretzels with gourmet dips and cocktails to-go. 

Olin is expected to open in September at 25 E. Grand River in Detroit. Visit olindetroit.com

PuppetART Theatre left the space 2017 after nearly 20 years of whimsical, creative shows for children. It moved to Southfield, but is temporarily closed until further notice. 

mbaetens@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @melodybaetens