Five new restaurants coming to Detroit's Avenue of Fashion

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

The stretch of Livernois from around Seven Mile to Eight Mile is famously known as the city's Avenue of Fashion. With all the restaurants and cafes currently on this strip and more coming soon, though, it can also be considered the avenue of good eating.

A handful of new businesses are joining recently opened restaurants like the second location of Motor City Brewing Works and longstanding Livernois hangouts Baker's Keyboard Lounge jazz club.

Trap Vegan may open as soon as next weekend with smoothies, a juice bar and a plant-based menu featuring burgers, fries, salads, desserts and more.

Many businesses, such as Bucharest Grill and Narrow Way Cafe, survived a tumultuous couple of years considering a $17 million redesign construction project to widen the sidewalks in 2019 that was shortly after followed by the global pandemic.

Newly formed B&H Consulting restaurant and hospitality group is working on two new projects on the Avenue of Fashion: Pequeño Mexican Cantina and 24 on Livernois.

The latter is a revival of chef Frank Blackman's former restaurant 24Grille, which was inside the Westin Book Cadillac. The multi-faceted space at Seven Mile and Livernois will have a restaurant similar to 24Grille, plus a cigar bar upstairs and an R&B lounge with live music on the lower level. It's expected to open in the spring.

A dish from new Avenue of Fashion restaurant Pequeño Mexican Cantina.

Pequeño Mexican Cantina, however, will start soft service this week. 

"There's a community over there that has been underserved for so long so we really want to bring an elevated experience," said Blackman's son Arrington Blackman. He adds that his father has had a longtime affinity for the area and he himself went to school around Seven Mile and Livernois from age 8 through college and remembers when there weren't as many culinary choices.

"When it comes to moving forward and the development that's on that street, we've done our research," he said. "As far as Palmer Woods, Palmer Park, per household the income is comparable to Birmingham, but the experience isn't. So when we think about what needs to go there, it can't be anything less than great."

In addition to the two B&H Consulting projects, soon this walkable neighborhood will be home to a vegan cafe, seafood spot and cocktail-forward restaurant. Here are the details:

Pequeño Mexican Cantina will have some soft service in October with a grand opening in November.

Pequeño Mexican Cantina: A Mexican restaurant and high-end tequila bar, this Ron & Roman-designed cantina will hold soft openings this month, with a grand opening to follow in November. Like the name implies, Pequeño is small: 1,400 square feet and just 42 seats inside and eventually another 20 or so on the sidewalk patio. Owners are hoping to be a neighborhood spot that's good for date night but casual enough to visit weekly. Pequeño is owned by Frank Blackman and Tara Hrobowski-Blackman of B&H Consulting and managing partner Jaclyn Slater. Arrington Blackman is the general manager. Frank Blackman was an executive chef at the original London Chop House in Detroit and Sweet Georgia Brown; he also owned 24Grille in the Westin Book Cadillac. 19329 Livernois, Detroit.

Trap Vegan: Potentially opening as soon as next weekend, this chef-driven carryout vegan spot will have burgers, salads and smoothies like the Incredible Hulk (with banana, pineapple, mango, spinach and kale) plus raw juice and organic tea from Tractor Beverage Co. Trap Vegan will also have vegan desserts like oatmeal raisin cookies and banana pudding. The goal here is to offer plant-based food that is healthy but also delicious, with some less healthy options as well like fries and tater tots. 20198 Livernois, Detroit.

Petty Cash is a new restaurant readying to open on Livernois just south of Eight Mile in Detroit.

Petty Cash: Little is known about this forthcoming neighborhood restaurant and cocktail bar in a renovated building on Livernois just south of Eight Mile. We do know that it's another project from ex-NFL player Ron Bartell, who also owns nearby Kuzzo's Chicken and Waffles. Petty Cash is in the same location where O'Quin's Shrimp House used to be. 20050 Livernois.

What's Crackin' will serve seafood on the Avenue of Fashion in Detroit.

What's Crackin': In the works for a while, this neighborhood seafood spot is a collaboration between Bartell and chef Max Hardy of Coop Detroit and Jed's Detroit. What's Crackin' is a seasoned seafood boil concept, a trend that has really taken off over the past few years. It's set to open in January. 19163 Livernois, Detroit. 

24 on Livernois: Part of the B. Siegel redevelopment at Livernois and Seven Mile, this will be a three-tiered concept also from B&H Consulting. Expect classic dishes in an upscale setting, similar to the 24Grille concept that served Downtown Detroit for many years, plus a cigar bar and live music lounge. It is projected to open this spring. Seven Mile and Livernois. 

More:Motor City Brewing Works' Livernois taproom debuts on the Avenue of Fashion

More:New Italian restaurant, Pastaio, coming to Royal Oak in former HopCat space

Twitter: @melodybaetens