Three separate groups of Metro Detroit VIPs were invited for a first look at one of downtown Detroit’s hottest new rooftop bars last week. The Monarch Club is a throwback to Detroit’s 20th Century city-club heyday, paying homage to the storied rooftop venues, such as the Savoyard and Recess clubs. It is located on the 13th floor of the recently renovated Metropolitan, now called the Element, a 1925 Neo-Gothic skyscraper that had stood abandoned for nearly four decades.

There were three opening parties; Wednesday, for friends of Roxbury Group and the Means Group (the developers of the Metropolitan); Thursday was for Detroit’s political and business leaders; and Friday hosted media and social media influencers. There were about 300 guests for all three nights, including music producer Nick Speed, hip-hop MC Jamall Bufford, WDIV news anchor Devin Scillian , social media influencer Charlie G, politician Andre Spivey, and singer Mayer Hawthorne.

Guests sipped on various cocktails ranging from the Skeleton Key, featuring Old Forester 100, St. Germain with lemon Juice, ginger syrup, seltzer and Angostra Float, to an Old-Fashioned containing Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon. The menu featured several small plates, including BBQ brisket sliders with pineapple mustard aioli and pickled cabbage slaw on a brioche bun; and a cauliflower steak rubbed with turmeric and topped with salsa verde, capers and spiced pepitas.

The club offers a moody and sophisticated series of rooms, including red velvet serpentine banquettes and leather seating. The bar itself features stone tops and an elaborate wood back-bar that incorporates the building’s windows to illuminate the offerings. The Monarch Club’s outdoor patios feature comfortable seating and three cozy fire pits. Guests enjoyed vistas in 360 degrees, featuring views overlooking Comerica Park and Woodward Avenue’s historic and restored retail corridor.

The Monarch Club is now open to the public and features sweeping views of downtown Detroit’s retail and theater and entertainment districts from three outdoor terraces. It features artisan cocktails, a fully stocked bar with moderately priced and higher-end liquors and wines, and a food menu including shareable small plates created by chef Jared Bobkin, a repeat contestant on the popular TV show “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Chuck Bennett is the founder of




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