Two new restaurants are set for Little Caesars Arena

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Sports fans and concertgoers will have refreshed dining options this fall as two new restaurants have been installed at Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. 

PointsBet Sports Bar, where Sports & Social was located, is a full-service restaurant with “betting-themed pub fare" plus loads of televisions. Fans can view integrated live odds and get real-time updates as they monitor their favorite teams. 

The Mixing Board is occupying the space where Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit restaurant used to be. There will be a Michigan-themed menu featuring flatbread pizzas, salads, sandwiches, shareable dishes, desserts and a full bar that includes craft cocktails and beer. 

Both concepts were welcoming fans Thursday ahead of the Red Wings game. 

“This is a sports bar, but it’s like a digital sports book,” said PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken in Detroit on Thursday at the PointsBet bar. “This is the first one for us in Detroit, but we’ve got another five deals around the U.S. in Denver, with the Nuggets and the Avalanche, in Indiana with the Pacers …  but this is the first one anywhere.” 

Formerly where Sports & Social was, PointsBet Sports Bar has offers pub grub, a full bar and has a  VIP lounge as well as a spacious dining area and bar seating.

The plan is to eventually open PointsBet 365 days a year as a place for those betting on sports games to gather and offer an enhanced experience. Those using the PointsBet app in the bar get access to special promotions and offers.  

"On our app, betting on those non-game days, this will be a place where you can come and watch the Red Wings or the Pistons when they’re playing away or, because of the nature of betting, maybe you come watch the Lakers play the Pacers because you’ve got some skin in the game," said Aitken. 

Both new spots —  which will at first be open only during Red Wings and Pistons home games and concerts at the arena — are operated by Delaware North, a longstanding food service company that also works with the Detroit Tigers. Hours will extend to non-event days in the future at both restaurants, which have street-side entrances. 

Delaware North also oversees Mike’s Pizza Bar, UMW District Market and other restaurants and retail areas in the District Detroit. 

“We work closely with Olympia Entertainment to continuously examine every aspect of the fan experience,” said Tim Martin, general manager for Delaware North at Little Caesars Arena. “Between focus groups with guests, fan surveys and other forms of feedback – we knew there was an opportunity to take everything we’ve heard and create something special.” 

Chef Eddie Jackson at the Mixing Board inside Little Caesars Arena shows off a plate of Corktown Nachos made with Yukon Gold potato chips, Michigan craft beer cheese, jalapeno peppers, scallions and sour cream.

Regarding the Mixing Board, Martin said they focused around “community involvement and a Michigan-first menu.”

“This is a venue for local artists to share their work — a place where the community comes together," he said.

The Mixing Board, which faces Woodward, will have a live music stage and the décor will give nods to Detroit’s automotive and musical history.

The menu showcases shareable "boards" ($23-$33) like the Neighborhood's Sausage Board featuring Italian, Polish and Irish sausages, pickled vegetables, mustards, pretzels and peppers. The Mediterranean Board has hummus, feta, tabbouleh, olives, vegetables, falafel and pita. The Mixing Board also serves sandwiches, flatbread pizza, salads and appetizers. 

The partnership between the Detroit Red Wings and PointsBet sportsbook operator was first announced in January.

In July, another global sportsbook, DraftKings, announced it would be teaming up with the Sports & Social brand to launch entertainment venues in Detroit and Nashville but did not give details on possible locations. 

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Twitter: @melodybaetens