Cliff Bell's debuts new chef, new menu and new artist in residence

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Downtown Detroit jazz club and restaurant Cliff Bell's is shaking off the winter blahs with a new chef, a refreshed menu and a new "stage curator." 

Chef Aaron Solley is best known to the local food scene as the former chef of West Village neighborhood favorite Craft Work, which closed in early 2020. He's in the kitchen at Cliff Bell's now, and will debut a new menu Friday. 

Chef Aaron Solley in the kitchen at Craft Work in Detroit.

Solley will craft "modern takes on classic supper club cuisine," according to the restaurant. Besides Craft Work, Solley has spent time in the kitchens of some of Detroit's most popular fine dining establishments of the past, including Opus One, Morel's and Tribute. 

Owners of the historic club also announced a new role for musician Noah Jackson: stage curator and artist in residence. The bassist, cellist and composer will choose acts for the venue, which is set to have live music about five nights a week next month. Jackson — who has played everywhere from Radio City Music Hall to the Kennedy Center — performs two sets at Cliff Bell's every Wednesday in April. 

Detroit News file photo of Cliff Bell's, a historic jazz club in Detroit.

"It is a unique situation for a working artist to curate world-class talent in a world-class venue in a world-class city.  Having the full support of Cliff Bell’s in this ambitious effort is a testament to the cultural fortitude of Detroit," said Jackson in a news release. "I look forward to charting this path of bringing true artistry to the stage at Cliff Bell’s."

Cliff Bell's is at 2030 Park in Detroit. Call (313) 961-2543 or visit to make a reservation.

Twitter: @melodybaetens