Lovers Only, the latest restaurant to join downtown’s lively Capitol Park neighborhood, is an interesting hybrid. Want to grab a burger, a sandwich, a cocktail or a Mexican Coke? This spot has you covered. It’s dining pared down to a minimal list.

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The menu is posted at the entrance. Stop and make your choices before sitting down in the dining room with high ceilings and windows revealing the street scene. A friendly server then takes over, and brings food and drinks to the table, where paper napkins, silverware and condiments are in a cardboard container on the bare wood tabletop.

The menu is to the point. Just four variations of the burger, four sandwiches and two salad choices, fries, of course, and onion rings comprise the offerings, along with an idiosyncratic list of beverages that includes basil lemonade, Vernors ginger ale, specific cocktails, and two wine choices — red or white. The burger options include a vegan version, appropriately named the Green Street.

It’s important to note the price structure. There is no sticker shock here. Nothing on the menu is higher than $10, and that’s the vegan burger. And food quality is high.

The beef is Michigan-raised and the patties are 6 ounces and served variously on buns, toasted rye and English muffins, another of those little details that set this place apart from the crowd. The downside here is the high decibel level, and the size of the plates, much too small to keep the food corralled, particularly the salads.

Lovers Only is the brain-child of Eli Boyer and chefs Justin Tootla and Jennifer Jackson of Ferndale’s highly successful Voyager. This effort is not as ambitious, but it adds a casual option to the restaurant variety in the neighborhood.

Lovers Only

34 W. Grand River at Griswold, Detroit


Rating: ★★

Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri. Sat., 11 a.m. –9 p.m. Sun.

Prices: Burgers $7-$10, sandwiches $7-$8, salads $6-$7, sides $3-$4,, desserts $5.

Credit cards: All major

Liquor: Yes

Noise level: High

Wheelchair access: No barriers

Parking: Street and nearby structure

What the ratings mean

★ — routine ★★ — good

★★ 1/2 — very good

★★★ — excellent

★★★★ — outstanding

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