Hour Detroit | May 2024

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Winery Getaways

Take a weekend or day trip to these Canadian destinations

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With their guidance, your vision, and Michigan’s most complete offering of quality, name-brand home furnishings, you can create the room – and the home – you’ve always wanted at the right price. Learn how certain fabrics work well together, how light can influence color, and how a simple change in layout can create a space that better suits you and your family. Visit us today. Let’s talk.

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PUBLISHER: Jason Hosko


EDITOR: Kate Walsh

DIGITAL EDITOR: Christina Clark

COPY EDITOR: Olivia Sedlacek



CONTRIBUTORS: Megan Anderluh, Bill Dow, Ryan Patrick Hooper, Michelle Kobernick, Geoff Koch, Mickey Lyons, Michelle Mastro, Jim McFarlin, Stephanie Steinberg, Megan Swoyer, Lauren Wethington, Dana White

INTERNS: Will Reaume, Taylor Truszkowski, Maya Zorn-Kasprzak DESIGN




GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: Keagan Coop, Kathryn Dave

CONTRIBUTORS: Sal Rodriguez, Rebecca Simonov, Brad Ziegler


ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Cynthia Barnhart, Hannah Brown, Karli Brown, Cathleen Francois, Aubrey Kapala, Donna Kassab, Lisa LaBelle, Carol Lawrence, Andrew Nolan, Mary Pantely & Associates





PRODUCTION ARTIST: Jonathan Boedecker


ACCOUNT MANAGER: Elizabeth Kowalik

IT IT DIRECTOR: Jeremy Leland


VIDEO PRODUCER: Nicole Toporowski










CIRCULATION COORDINATORS: David Benvenuto, Susan Combs, Cathy Krajenke, Rachel Moulden, Michele Wold





MARKETING & EVENTS ASSISTANTS: Crystal Baker, CeCe Neinstedt








MARKETING RESEARCH INTERNS: Natalie Brown, Caroline Johnson, Kelley Pham


CEO: Stefan Wanczyk

PRESIDENT: John Balardo




ACCOUNTING ASSOCIATES: Kate Manley, Dian Mauro, Austin Schmelzle


DISTRIBUTION: Target Distribution, Troy


TELEPHONE: 248-691-1800 FAX: 248-691-4531

EMAIL: EDITORIAL@HOURDETROIT.COM ON THE WEB: HOURDETROIT.COM To sell Hour Detroit magazine or for subscription inquiries: 248-588-1851



Whether you’re ready to play, relax or make it a night unlike any other, MGM Grand Detroit satisfies any desire.

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Top Towns

We’ve compiled some of the best metro Detroit communities to live in, according to reader-generated criteria.


Canadian Wineries

Take a stroll with us through Ontario wine country, where good times are only a weekend or day trip away.

Residents of Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, two of our top towns, have Cranbrook House & Gardens practically in their backyards.

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Up Front


We talk with a Wyandotteborn novelist, screenwriter, and New Yorker contributor.


Recent studies on sleep deprivation, soil recovery, and origami bridges.


We honor the lives of two local Jewish community members we lost last year.


World-renowned architect

Minoru Yamasaki left a lasting legacy in Detroit.



Personal stylists at Troy’s Somerset Collection can help you find your fashion fit.


Detroit is the tiki bar capital, but it’s mostly underground (in people’s basements).


An interior designer blends personal and global influences in her Berkley home.


Catch Detroit’s Movement festival in Hart Plaza this

Parades, fiestas, and plenty of tequila await you at these local Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

Solitary camping in Michigan can actually be pretty fun —

A local playwright’s tale about Plymouth’s Penn Theatre.


Lower the rudder and throw on some Steely Dan — boat drinks are back in season.

RESTAURANT REPORT Californian cuisine meets French technique in Ferndale.

A former engineer opened a bakery in Ann Arbor serving up Asian-inspired pastries.




Behind the Scenes

FOR THIS MONTH’S travel story, contributor Stephanie Steinberg takes us across the border into Canada to discover nearby wineries. She and her husband found them by searching “vineyards nearby” and were delighted to find “there are nearly 20 just right across the border. A few were on the water overlooking Lake Erie. After a relaxing weekend full of wine tastings, farm-to-table dining, and charming accommodations, she “thought more Detroiters needed to know about the area. So I returned with a friend to talk to the winery owners and learn about this up-and-coming wine region that’s perfect for a weekend escape or even day trip to Canada.”



Geoff Koch


“Portland [Oregon] has taken it on the chin in recent years, but as long as Powell’s Books stays open and the cherry blossoms arrive each spring along the Willamette River, it works for me.” Geoff Koch is a dad and writer in Oregon, emphasis on the former. He lived in Michigan in the 2000s for several years — enough time to fall for more than a few of the state’s literary icons, Tom McGuane and Jim Harrison among them.

Bill Dow


“I grew up in Dearborn and cherish my memories of attending Greenfield Village Schools from kindergarten through sixth grade. I still enjoy visiting the Village and Henry Ford Museum throughout the year.” Bill Dow is a Birminghambased freelance journalist who over two decades has written numerous feature articles for Hour Detroit, DBusiness, and the Detroit Free Press. He is a co-editor of the book Tiger Stadium: Essays and Memories of Detroit’s Historic Ballpark 1912-2009 (McFarland, 2018).




“My favorite thing about my childhood home in Mission Viejo [California] was being so close to my family — and the smell of eucalyptus, which is readily found throughout the area despite what you might expect in SoCal.”

Michelle Mastro is a freelance writer and journalist covering travel, culture, architecture, and lifestyle. Her work has appeared in numerous outlets, such as Architectural Digest, Midwest Living, Dwell, and now Hour Detroit. When she’s not writing, she’s exploring more of her new home in the Midwest. Find her on Instagram @homes_writer.



How to pitch a story to Hour Detroit

is one of the exercises we work on with our editorial interns.

Most interns have had experience writing news stories for their college newspaper or website, and the concept of a monthly city lifestyle magazine is quite foreign to them. It’s rare that we break the news, we tell them. What we can do, though, is go deeper into the story, bringing out aspects of the subject that can only be gleaned over time through research and interviews. And sometimes, we tell them, you need to wait for the right moment to tell the story.

The murder of Samantha Woll in her home in Lafayette Park on Oct. 21, 2023, was one of the most shocking and tragic events in recent Detroit history. As Detroiters and humans, we mourned; as journalists, we needed to think about how we would handle the event. Since we are not a news outlet with a team of reporters on standby to gather new information, we published a story on our website citing other media outlets and with quotes we got from a friend. We updated the story as needed, but I knew we needed to do something more, in print.

A month or so passed, and as I started planning our annual calendar for 2024, I received an email from Wayne State University with the news of the death of former professor and administrator Guy Stern at the age of 101. He was a World War II hero of Jewish faith who was the only member of his family to escape from Germany. Realizing that May was Jewish American Heritage Month, I decided a story in this issue recognizing the lives of both Stern and Woll would be a good fit. It would also give us months to work on the stories and give the families more time to grieve before we asked them for interviews.

“I knew we wanted to paint a fuller picture of who Sam was,” says writer Dana White. “And I needed her family’s help to do that.” Instead of contacting the Woll family directly, Dana asked for an interview through their rabbi. It was an approach Margo Woll, Sam’s mother, appreciated. “If you would have called yourself, I would have ignored you,” she told Dana when they spoke in early March, adding it was the first interview she had given. “I’m able to talk now. We were approached by many, many different newspapers, organizations, etc. But it was too difficult.”

Dana’s articles do exactly what we think we do best: tell the stories of metro Detroiters in a positive light and in a way that allows us to learn who they were as people and what they’ve done for our community. Samantha Woll’s profile, especially, is an example we will now include in our interns’ syllabus so we can help them develop into caring and compassionate journalists, who will cover the stories of extraordinary people like Sam Woll and Guy Stern with sensitivity and respect.

From Our Readers

“Gus’ Snug: Irish Hospitality, Detroit-Style” (March issue)

“We had such a fun and festive evening here recently! I didn’t know what a snug was till just now, … but it was definitely ‘snug,’ as in quaint and cozy.”

—@michelleeller, Instagram

“Detroit Restaurateur Max Hardy Dies at Age 40” (online) “Max will be sorely missed. This is a giant loss for the community. Prayers and condolences to the family.”

—@lomax563, Instagram

“Sexy Steak Opens in Grand Army of the Republic Building” (online) “Def a catchy name! Food is great! Ambience unbelievable! Design, sound, and lighting perfection.” @fiazpresents, Instagram

“Hour Detroit Hits 100,000 Followers on Instagram” (video) “You guys are the best!! Congrats!” @macylanedesigns, Instagram


Social districts became a thing in 2020 during pandemic shutdowns and social distancing, and those districts are still going strong. These districts in select downtowns across Michigan are licensed for businesses to sell alcohol that may then be consumed outside of the business within a designated area. As the weather gets warmer, get out and find one near you at hourdetroit.com/ socialdistricts

Follow us online at hourdetroit.com or on social media: @hourdetroit @hour_detroit @hourdetroitmagazine

Digital Extra

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Up Front

Minoru Yamasaki, the world-renowned midcentury modern architect, built his legacy in Detroit p. 30



From Academic Ignominy to Literary Icon

Thomas McGuane looks back at a lucky break 64 years ago to give college a third try at MSU


Intriguing findings from researchers across Michigan


It’s no surprise that getting too little sleep can leave you feeling irritable. In fact, according to a new study by University of Michigan and Dartmouth Health researchers, sleep deprivation intensifies mood cycles tied to your body’s internal clock. (The bad news: Even if you do get enough Z’s, you still probably won’t feel your best in the morning, as that’s when mood is

naturally lowest.) The researchers collected Fitbit data from over 2,500 physician interns to estimate circadian phase and time awake, then plotted the interns’ selfreported mood scores against those factors. They found that the participants’ mood hit its lowest point at about 5 a.m. and its highest around 5 p.m. — and that lack of sleep made moods grow worse and fluctuate more.

“The study … introduces wearable technology as an exciting new way to explore these factors in mental health issues,” says U-M Medical School professor Danny Forger.


Scientists from Michigan State University have uncovered insights into how soil recovers after a human-caused disaster.

The team, led by professor Ashley Shade, analyzed soil microbes near a Pennsylvania mine fire that has been burning since 1962. From 2015 to 2021, they sampled soil at various sites before, during, and after the fire crossed them. They then determined what bacteria were present and which were active versus dormant. While the soil microbiome recovered after the fire passed, the species of bacteria that were active

THINGS WEREN’T looking good for future novelist Thomas McGuane at the University of Michigan, where he’d begun his undergraduate studies in the late 1950s. After one particularly dire academic term, his GPA was 0.6, which is how the math worked out for his grades of two F’s, one D, and an enigmatic FN.

“It stood for ‘flagrant neglect,’” says the National Book Award finalist with a chuckle, sitting in front of one of the many bookshelves in his Montana home.

Partial redemption came at tiny Olivet College (now the University of Olivet), his next try at postsecondary education. Ever the raconteur, McGuane says he talked his way in, getting an audience with a dean and explaining his goal to be a writer.

“I told him I was reading Faulkner, and he asked me how many Faulkner novels I could name,” McGuane says. “I named all of them, and he said, ‘OK, you’re in.’”

With better grades and a desire for more options, McGuane transferred to Michigan State University, where a handful of lucky breaks and new friendships — including one of the most famous, with fellow Michigander writer Jim Harrison (Legends of the Fall) — set him on his way as a writer of novels, screenplays, and nonfiction essays on fishing. And short stories, which he has published in The New Yorker since the early 1990s.

Here, he talks about why his time in East Lansing was a lucky break, what happened when his childhood baseball hero Al Kaline found out McGuane’s brother-in-law was Jimmy Buffett, and how Harrison stacked up as a fisherman.

Those grades in Ann Arbor … were they an outlier?

My academic record was actually worse before I went to college. They were always trying to kick me out of Cranbrook, too. I’d been kind of hanging in by a thread for a long time. It was staying with that one particular passion I had, literature, that saved my bacon.

You didn’t think about the family business? Didn’t your father run a Michigan auto supplier of some sort?

He started a business that came to be known as Tom McGuane Industries, but that was a grandiose name for what it was. The company made aftermarket parts for carburetors exactly when the industry was switching over to fuel-injection engines. Nobody wanted to be in the carburetor business, so he was in sort of a fool’s paradise for at least five years and was pretty successful.

or dormant changed. Since only active microbes help the ecosystem function, these findings could help scientists devise ways to restore ecosystems impacted by ecological disturbances. “If we can understand what wakes up the dormant microbes, we can try to manage the microbiome, for example, to wake up when we need it to,” Shade says.


The principles of origami — the Japanese art of paper folding — have a much broader use than just constructing paper cranes. A group of U-M engineers has created


origami modules that can be used to build loadbearing structures such as bridges, walls, and columns. These modules, which fold compactly and can form various shapes, could allow for quicker rebuilding after natural disasters, construction in difficult places, and efficient setup of temporary structures like concert stages. Researchers have long endeavored to develop origami systems that can bear significant weight while maintaining their versatility. The key to the U-M system was increasing the thickness of the materials uniformly throughout the structure, rather than in varying spots.

Up Front

Did you ever work for the business? Superficially for one or two summers. My dad had an office on Fourth Street in Lincoln Park, and I worked there for a time basically doing shit work; then I did shit work at a Quonset hut down in Burr Oak. I just never had any interest in it. I was pretty hung up on being a writer from about the age of 14.

Do any experiences from your teen years in Michigan make it into your writing? Baseball sometimes comes up in some of your recent stories. You’re famous for fishing, but were you a baseball player as a kid?

Oh yes, we were a baseball family, especially on my mother’s side. I played several positions, but mostly third base and pitcher.

What do you mean by “baseball family”?

I had a great-uncle who played for the Boston Braves, and my mother’s first boyfriend, Birdie Tebbetts, was a catcher for several teams, including the Cleveland Indians. Later he managed the Indians. Whenever they came to town, all my little baseball buddies and I would go to Tiger Stadium, and he’d get us into the locker room to sit around with our heroes.

“If you’re a young writer, you have no reason to believe what you are doing is very important.”

Detroit Tiger George Kell is in your story “Hubcaps.” Was he one of your heroes?

I thought he was the best. Al Kaline, too. Never saw anyone fire balls into the infield like him. Several years ago, I wound up on a plane with a scout from the Tigers. We struck up a conversation, and Jimmy Buffett came up. Several weeks later, I got a letter from Al Kaline, who was on the Tigers’ administrative staff. Turns out Kaline was a huge Parrothead and wanted Buffett’s autograph.

What was your reaction?

I mean, I was, in some ways, disappointed. Here’s a guy in his 80s, a hero of mine, and he wants me to get him Jimmy’s autograph. I couldn’t put it together. It was unbelievable.

You told Jimmy in a last letter before he died to leave a little room, to leave the door ajar. What did you mean?

We all have the same craving for something else beyond all this. There is some intuition, maybe back to the Neanderthals, there is

something more. Another reporter asked me what I was hoping for when I die. I told him, “A big surprise.”

In some ways, all your success was a surprise, at least given your start at the University of Michigan. You’ve done a lot as a writer — National Book Award nominee (for Ninety-Two in the Shade), Hollywood (screenplays for films such as The Missouri Breaks starring Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson), still under contract at The New Yorker. You left Michigan long ago, but why do you say MSU was a lucky break?

I wasn’t a great student, though things got better when I could concentrate on my interests, which were literature and writing. At one point, I was trying to write but struggling, and I talked to my faculty adviser, Russell Nye, a Pulitzer winner. He saw how passionate I was and said, “There are going to be a lot of pressures on you, financial and academic, to do something different than what you want to do. But you’re going to have to find a way to protect your work.” It was a vote of faith in what I might do. If you’re a young writer, you have no reason to believe what you are doing is very important. It looks like a waste of time to most people, including your parents.

Then I started meeting other students — Ron English, who would be Aretha Franklin’s guitarist for decades; the poet J.D. Reed; Tom Bailey, who later founded Janus Capital Group and became a billionaire; and of course Jim Harrison. My education wound up being in the hands of my fellow students. I later passed through Yale and Stanford, but I never met as many creative and interesting people as I did at Michigan State.

What was Harrison like in those days? He was incredibly advanced compared to the rest of us goobers. He’d been self-educated in literature since he was very young, and we were all kind of mesmerized. Plus, he was such a fun wild man. I had an old 1953 six-cylinder Ford that I sort of outfitted as a fishing car. Every free minute we got, Harrison and I would be Up North fishing in one river or another. We would hit all the bars until they closed at 2 a.m.; then we’d go stand out in the middle of a river waiting for the sun to come up. I don’t know how we did it. We were just young and tough, or maybe still buzzed from the last bar and not hungover yet.

You guys famously stayed lifetime friends, so there was lots more fishing after those college days. Who was the better fisherman?

Oh, me by far. Carl Hiaasen says Harrison’s version of fishing was to trail a woolly bugger behind the boat, chain-smoking cigarettes and talking nonstop. That was about right. But he loved it, and in that sense, he was a good fisherman.

Southfield’s Favorite Patriotic Elephant

How a life-size elephant statue made its way to one of metro Detroit’s busiest business routes

Since 1971, Tammy the elephant has been a favorite friend to kids of all ages who have spotted the 11-foot fiberglass statue on northbound Telegraph Road in Southfield. She sits outside the Tamaroff Honda dealership with her tusks pointed toward the busy traffic and her trunk raised, as if waving to the passersby. Marvin Tamaroff, who opened the dealership as Tamaroff Buick-Opel in 1969, was introduced to the statue (it was then painted gray) at a promotional event at the Buick headquarters in Flint a few years later.

Tamaroff had an itch for collecting items — he had a collection of 1,100 hood ornaments — and that may be why he decided to purchase the elephant, placing it in front of his dealership, where it became the dealership’s mascot and a city landmark. Painted with the colors and patterns of the American flag, the statue is often mistaken as a representation of the Republican Party, when, in fact, it was painted to celebrate the country’s bicentennial in 1976.

Tammy’s name was selected through a contest, and she has become a beloved member of a community that quickly notices whenever she goes missing. In the ’90s, Tammy was kidnapped by members of a fraternity, and a young girl called the Detroit Free Press asking where the elephant had gone. (She was returned a few days later.) But these antics haven’t happened in a while: Shortly after her return, Tammy was given cement shoes to make her a more permanent fixture.

MAY 2024 25



As the trial of Samantha Woll’s accused killer approaches, a heartbroken community honors her memory and secures her legacy of tikkun olam

THE ONE THING Samantha Woll’s family would like you to know is that Sam was the kindest person you could ever meet. “She treated everyone with respect and dignity and a smile,” says her younger sister, Dr. Monica Woll Rosen. “It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from — she was just so nice to you. If you complimented the scarf she was wearing, she would take it off and give it to you. She was very generous.”

Only now can Sam’s mother, Dr. Margo Woll, bear to discuss her older daughter again, past and present tenses colliding. “Sam was the kindest, most empathetic human being that I know. I’m not just saying that because she’s my daughter. She was as kind to a baby as she was to someone 100 years old. I got so many wonderful letters — all ages, all races, all kinds of people …” Her voice falters. “I can’t believe she’s gone. It’s just so unreal.”

The Woll family has had a six months no one would ask for. On Oct. 21, 2023, in a crime that made headlines worldwide, their daughter and sister, a 40-year-old synagogue president, political manager, and social justice activist, was stabbed to death during a predawn home invasion in Lafayette Park, a downtown neighborhood. Expressions of grief, disbelief, and shock flooded the news and the internet, from friends, co-workers, politicians. She was eulogized in the halls of Congress by U.S. Reps. Elissa Slotkin — Sam’s former boss — and Rashida Tlaib.

“Sam was a friend and ally in our social justice family,” Tlaib tells Hour Detroit “She was an inspiration to all of us, always organizing for a better world — from progressive politics to building bridges between our Jewish and Muslim communities. I will always remember her smile. We all miss her dearly, and we will continue to demand justice for Sam and her family.” Authorities insist her murder had no connection to the Israel-Hamas war.

In Judaism, there is a principle called tikkun olam, Hebrew for “healing the world.” For Sam and many other Jews, this concept of fixing society’s ills defines their faith and their actions. Sam came from a family of doctors — her father, Douglas, is a retired internist; her mother is a retired dentist; her sister an OB-GYN. But Sam applied her healing powers to social justice and political

change, the kind that wore a smile, not a scowl. Sam was laid to rest the day after she died, according to Jewish tradition. About 1,000 people attended her funeral at the Hebrew Memorial Home in Oak Park. At the cemetery, they waited turns to shovel dirt into her grave, at first using the back of the spade, also per Jewish tradition: to make it harder, to reinforce the task’s onerous nature.

They said a wrenching goodbye to a woman who lived a life of large ideas and small acts of kindness. Who ran at least a mile a day, rain or shine. Who had food allergies. Who loved music, especially opera and classical; who owned many, many books and had a giant Israeli flag tacked to her wall. Who listened as if you were the only person on Earth in that moment, her eyes fixed on yours as she nodded emphatically. Who often texted heart emojis to her close friends. Who helped start an interfaith forum where Muslims and Jews could find common ground. Who built community one person, one friendship, at a time. Her mother recalls the “special bond” people felt with her, even if they’d only just met.

Sam grew up in West Bloomfield and attended services at Congregation Beth Ahm with her family. She traveled extensively as an adult to see what the world could teach her. After college, she spent four summers working at a rape crisis center in Israel. In 2011, when she was visiting Spain, the economic protests occurred; she checked out of her hotel to join the protester encampments. This instinct to heal through helping “was something she always felt, even as a little girl,” says Margo, who traces Sam’s awakening to the third grade at Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills, when she did a school project on Martin Luther King Jr. and read his “I Have a Dream” speech.

“It really resonated with her,” Margo says. “She always felt injustices in the world, that she had a roof over her head and didn’t have to worry about food or clothes, and there were people in the world who did not have anything. And even as a little girl, that always stayed with her — that it wasn’t fair and that things needed to be done about it.”

Creative and artistic, a straight-A student, Sam attended the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts summer program and the Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School, where she wrote for the school paper. As a teenager, she volunteered for a group called the Friendship Circle, which mentored children with developmental disabilities. It is now a thriving nonprofit that aids and supports 3,000 metro Detroiters with disabilities and their families. “She always had that big heart for the less fortunate,” Margo says.

At the University of Michigan, Sam majored in medieval studies and wrote for The Michigan Daily, focusing on social justice issues in print while advocating for progressive causes in the public

Samantha Woll, 40, president of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, was killed Oct. 21, 2023.

square. In The Times of Israel, one friend, Rachel M. Roth, remembered Sam as “the very definition of life. … She wore brightly colored tie-dye t-shirts with the many causes she supported bannered across the front: flowers for battered women’s shelters, PRIDE shirts, friendship circles, danceathons, improving education in urban settings, for Israel, for Muslim-Jewish dialogue, for peace. She was an unwavering ally.”

Paul Spurgeon met Sam when both were running for student government; they became fast friends. “At the time, she had dreadlocks, so she had a very striking appearance. I mean, she was just beautiful,” he recalls. And while Sam was a feminist Zionist, she left room for — even welcomed — differing viewpoints and beliefs. And she did not shy away from taking on major corporations. In 2004, she argued that the University of Michigan Hillel, and indeed the entire university, should boycott CocaCola products because of the company’s purported human rights and environmental abuses in South America. She handed out pamphlets that read “Coke kills.” (In 2005, U-M did divest, but quickly reversed course.) This kind of full-throated advocacy landed Sam in many leadership clubs in school.

“She never wanted to tear the towers down,” Spurgeon says. “She wanted to change them from the inside.”

He offers an example. At the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue (or IADS) on Griswold Street, Sam’s religious home from 2012 until her death, the first thing she did was join the Ritual Committee. Sam was a creative, out-of-the-box thinker, but she “loved ritual above all,” Spurgeon says. “She liked the idea of participating in this activity as a piece of a larger historical, very old tradition.” And of changing it from the inside: “She made sure that the genders being used for God were not solely the masculine but the feminine, too. It was through her participation on the Ritual Committee that she made that happen.”

Some reports mistakenly called her a rabbi, but Sam could hold her own with the Torah. Since IADS had no rabbi from 2003 to 2016, Sam and other lay leaders led the services in Hebrew. Yevgeniya Gazman, an attorney and artist who met Sam at the synagogue, remembers how impressed she was by the feat: “For a normal person, it takes months of preparation” to read the scrolls, “but her fluency was at a level [where] she could pick it up with little preparation.”

Sam rose to president of the board of IADS, Detroit’s only remaining freestanding synagogue. “Sam has always believed in reviving the Jewish community of Detroit,” her sister says. “It was very important to her.” Her father, Douglas, had grown up in the city before moving to the suburbs, part of a migration that sapped the city’s Jewish population. Founded in 1921 and named for a Russian émigré, the congregation had bought the four-story building, a former men’s clothing store, in 1964. It was in rough shape: The top two floors were condemned and unused. “The hot water didn’t work,” Margo recalls, “and the elevator didn’t work. The sanctuary was on the second floor, so people with disabilities couldn’t go to the service, which really bothered Sam. The kitchen wasn’t usable. It was dilapidated and run down.”

Today, after a $5 million-plus fundraising effort and two years of construction, the synagogue has been transformed, with bright new community spaces, a children’s play area, and a functioning elevator so everyone can attend services. It looks every inch the “hub for Jewish life” Sam and the rest of the board had envisioned.

“I grew up [hearing] narratives that the city had seen its better days and it was not going to turn around,” she told BridgeDetroit in August of 2023, when the renovation was unveiled to much fanfare. “Being here and seeing all of the energy and spirit of people, there’s a new narrative in town.”

Meanwhile, Sam was also building an impressive résumé as a political consultant. She did field and volunteer work for both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and was an official Detroit organizer for Hillary Clinton’s in 2016 before helping a host of Michigan politicians win office. In 2019, Sam took a job as a staffer for U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, spending a lot of time in Lansing. When the pandemic struck, she returned to Detroit and moved into the co-op in Lafayette Park. “She loved it because she could get up every morning and run down to the river,” Margo says.

Laura De Palma knew Sam in college, where “she was one of my social justice ‘sheroes.’ I remember meeting her at a political event and was blown away by her ability to connect.” Years later, they worked together on Stephanie Chang’s state House reelection campaign and Dana Nessel’s successful run for attorney general. “Sam had this incredible gift of building the most sincere and deep and authentic relationships. … She made people feel loved and valued.”

In the early morning hours of Oct. 21, hours before she died, Sam texted

Up Front MAY 2024 27
Though she was never a rabbi, Sam often helped lead services at the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue. Douglas, Sam, and Margo Woll on a rooftop in downtown Detroit. PHOTOS JAMIE FRIEDMAN

several friends heart emojis. De Palma was one of them. She believes that Sam would “want us to continue the work to create a more socially and environmentally just, inclusive, and equitable world. She would want us to build bridges and deepen relationships, especially during times of crisis. She would want us to carry on and move toward each other, not away from each other.”

Sam turned 40 last June. She booked the outdoor dining area at Coriander Kitchen & Farm in Jefferson Chalmers and invited 30 close friends and family members to a party. Sam had reason to celebrate. She was fielding job offers and was about to embark on the next round of fundraising for IADS’s remaining renovations. After a life of moving around, she’d planted roots.

Looking back, Sam’s sister, Monica, is glad she had that party, surrounded by people who loved her and whom she loved back, for she would never have another birthday.

For the Woll family, the last six months have been a time of grief and prayer, of accepting posthumous awards on Sam’s behalf, of honoring Sam’s memory as they brace for the trial of her accused murderer, scheduled to start on June 10. It’s sure to be closely watched, but Monica is planning some counterprogramming.

“After Sam passed, in her memory, I’ve been running a mile. I started once a week with friends, and now we’re up to 6 miles. And every week, we add a little bit more. And we decided, because she did this for her mental health and her fitness, to make a run in her memory.” The 5K run, called “In Step with Sam: A Legacy Run,” takes place June 9 in Ann Arbor, with the proceeds going to a new foundation supporting the causes Sam believed in. One foot in front of the other, they will carry on.


War hero, scholar, Holocaust survivor, media star: Stern lived a long and meaningful life, but his service as a “Ritchie boy” during World War II earned him late-in-life fame

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, Guy Stern decided to write his memoir. He asked his wife, Susanna Piontek Stern, what she thought. “I only said, ‘You know, if you want to do it, you should not wait much longer because you’re already in your 90s.’”

The book was published in 2020. Stern passed away last December at the age of 101, but he left a rollicking record of his astonishing life. He called it Invisible Ink, a reference to advice his father gave him growing up in Germany in the 1920s and ’30s: “Stay hidden till we can emerge again and show ourselves as the individuals we are.”

Yet Stern was hardly invisible. Indeed, he seemed to squeeze several high-profile lifetimes’ worth of experience into one, though it was two years and change during World War II that brought him wider acclaim.

Guy Stern was born Günther Stern in Hildesheim, Germany, in 1922. As Hitler rose to power, the town’s small Jewish population saw their friends turn against them, felt the coming threat. At age 15, Stern left Germany for St. Louis

Up Front
 Professor and World War II hero Guy Stern died at 101 last December. From left: Margo, Sam, Monica, and Monica’s husband and children at the IADS grand reopening. 

to live with an aunt and uncle. Highly resilient and with a knack for English, the young émigré did well in school and had started college the year prior when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Stern was drafted, made a naturalized citizen, and selected for a top-secret intelligence program designed to create German-speaking interrogators. He and 20,000 other young men, about 10% German-born Jewish refugees, trained at Camp Ritchie in Maryland — thus the nickname “Ritchie Boys.”

On June 9, 1944, three days after D-Day, Stern and his unit landed on a Normandy beach strewn with corpses. For the remaining year of war and six months after, he moved around the Western Front extracting information from German prisoners of war that would help the Allied forces. Stern was inventive and clever, impersonating a Russian officer to intimidate the POWs into talking, for they feared Siberian prison camps above all. The Ritchie Boys accounted for more than half of the combat intelligence gathered

“[Guy’s ] experiences in the Ritchie Boys ... [were] a revelation to many of us who worked with him.”

during the war, and Stern’s detailed intelligence reports helped earn him a Bronze Star. At war’s end, he witnessed the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp and returned to his hometown. But his family was gone, murdered by Nazis.

Stern put the war behind him. He got his degrees from Columbia University and Hofstra College (now University) and became a highly respected professor of German literature and culture at universities in the U.S. and guest taught in Germany. In 1978, he came to Wayne State University as provost, the chief academic officer, but resigned two years later after refusing to implement draconian budget cuts. He remained at WSU as a distinguished professor, a title he held until retiring from teaching in 2003, at age 81.

For the last two decades of his life, he devoted himself to The Zekelman Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills and directed the center’s International Institute for the Righteous, highlighting acts of altruism and personal bravery that saved Jewish lives.

And then life took another turn. In 2004, a documentary called The Ritchie Boys, featuring Stern, lifted the lid on the once-secretive unit. In a Walter Mitty-style twist, some people were surprised by the mild-mannered professor’s previous life.

“He rarely in my experience got very specific or personal about [his service] in his teaching or even in conversation,” recalls Donald Haase, who studied under Stern at the University of Cincinnati, where Stern was a graduate dean, and taught alongside him at WSU. “It was known he’d lost his family, but Guy never dwelled on those things.” Then, “stories started to emerge about Guy’s and others’ experiences in the Ritchie Boys, and that was a revelation to many of us who worked with him.” Awards rained down, including France’s Knight of the Legion of Honor medal, though Stern found it oddly amusing “that two and a half years of my much earlier life should reverberate into my 90s.”

In 2022, at the age of 99, Stern starred in a 60 Minutes episode as one of the last surviving Ritchie Boys. The same year, Stern featured prominently in Ken Burns’s 2022 documentary miniseries The U.S. and the Holocaust. His spritely, age-defying demeanor — he swam every morning before work — enhanced his appeal. “He had so much energy, it was unbelievable,” says his wife, who is about 40 years his junior. They met in 2004 during one of his many lecture tours in Germany. “He enjoyed being in the limelight a lot.”

Every week, the Sterns attended a Torah class at Temple Shir Shalom, a Reform synagogue in West Bloomfield. “His faith came through in his determination to make something of himself and to teach what had occurred and to share enlightenment. Never to take the blessing of his own life for granted and to prove to the world he had something to offer,” says Rabbi Michael Moskowitz, who led the classes. “It carried him to that age, wanting to make the most of every single day. The blessing that he had in his life was something he could never take for granted.”

Stern passed away on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day and the first night of Hanukkah. He was buried the next day at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly. “He felt a strong connection and bond to other veterans; it was very important to him,” Susanna says. “In the end, that’s where he wanted to be.” And in Hildesheim, the German town that had once turned its back on him, flags were flown at half-mast in his honor.

From left: Stern, Walter Sears, and Fred Howard (all Ritchie Boys) celebrate V.E. Day in Germany, May 8, 1945.



In honor of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, we look back at the Detroit legacy of world-renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki

ALTHOUGH BEST remembered as the architect of the 110-story World Trade Center towers in New York City that were destroyed by the terrorist attacks on 9/11, first-generation Japanese American Minoru Yamasaki built his legacy in Detroit while designing daring and noteworthy buildings before being acknowledged as one of the greatest architects of the 20th century.

Among his important buildings in the Detroit area are four on the Wayne State University campus (McGregor Memorial Conference Center, 1958; Meyer and Anna Prentis Building, 1958; College of Education Building, 1960; and Deroy Auditorium, 1964); the Michigan Consolidated Gas Building (One Woodward), 1963; and the Temple Beth El synagogue off Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Township, 1973.

“Yama was one of the architects who defined

midcentury modernism, and he brought it to Detroit,” says former Detroit Free Press journalist John Gallagher, the author of Yamasaki in Detroit: A Search for Identity (Wayne State University Press, 2015). “He often achieved a more humanistic type of architecture based upon his great mantra, ‘Serenity, surprise, and delight.’

All of his great buildings include a connection to natural daylight, tall windows, outdoor plazas, water features, and sculpture gardens.”

By his own account, Yamasaki and his team designed over 250 buildings throughout the world, including schools, offices, churches, and homes, though he admits in his autobiography that some of them were “bad.”

Born and raised in Seattle, Yamasaki worked in Alaskan canneries during the Depression to pay for tuition at the University of Washington, where

 In 1958, Minoru Yamasaki poses with a model of Wayne State University’s College of Education Building, built full-size in 1960.

he obtained an architecture degree in 1934 before starting his career at several firms in New York City.

In 1945, he moved to Detroit when he was hired as chief designer at Smith, Hinchman & Grylls (now Smith Group).

He soon made his mark locally in 1951 with his design of the contemporary and cutting-edge eight-story Federal Reserve Building Annex covered in a glassy facade. “It was the first modernist building in Detroit, and everything built after that was really in a modernist mode,” Gallagher says. “After Albert Kahn, who had the biggest influence in Detroit, I believe Yama is second in terms of influence and what he did.”

Although he had faced discrimination for much of his life, Yamasaki especially suffered anti-Asian prejudice at the end of World War II, when real estate agents would not help him find a home for his family in Grosse Pointe, Birmingham, or Bloomfield Hills. By 1947, he was finally able to purchase a farmhouse for his family in undeveloped Troy, before designing and moving


into his own Bloomfield Township home in 1972.

In 1949, Yamasaki and colleagues George Hellmuth and Joseph Leinweber formed their own firm, where they earned national attention for Yamasaki’s celebrated arched terminal design for the Lambert Airport in St. Louis (1956) that inspired future modern airport terminals and earned the first of his three American Institute of Architects First Honor Awards.

Yamasaki garnered further national recognition with his “new formalist” design for his iconic Detroit masterpiece, the McGregor Memorial Conference Center at Wayne State University. Set on a raised platform, it embodies his “serenity” vision of using light, sculpture, and water along with what became his famous repeated geometric patterns and pointed Gothic arches. The work led to further commissions on the campus for three other buildings and a master plan that transformed the campus. In 2015, the McGregor building was designated a National Historic Landmark.

By the late ’50s, Yamasaki had started his own firm in Troy and continued to secure other notable commissions, including his first skyscraper, the 30-story Michigan Consolidated Gas Building at Woodward and Jefferson avenues, the only one he designed prior to the World Trade Center.

“There is a continuum in Yama’s work, and he would often borrow elements from one building to another. You can see how the World Trade Center design follows from the Michigan Consolidated

appeared on the cover of Time magazine published Jan. 18, 1963.

Gas Building,” Gallagher says.

Yamasaki’s prominence continued to rise with his daring design of the U.S. Science Pavilion (Pacific Science Center) built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. A year later, at age 51, he received worldwide fame when he graced the Jan. 18 cover of Time magazine, four months after receiving the commission from the New York Port Authority to build what became the World Trade Center’s twin towers. When the seven-building complex opened in 1973, the towers — One World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet, and Two World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet — were the tallest office buildings in the world.

Other notable Yamasaki projects include the Civil Air Terminal in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia (1961); the Century Plaza Towers in Los Angeles (1975); and Rainier Tower in Seattle (1977), among others.

A member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an AIA fellow, Yamasaki died of cancer at Henry Ford Hospital on Feb. 6, 1986. He left behind his wife, Teri; a daughter, Carol; and two sons, Kim and Taro.

After Yamasaki’s Troy firm closed in 2010, the company records were rescued and are now located at the Archives of Michigan in Lansing. The same year, the family donated his personal papers to the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University.

Up Front MAY 2024 31
In 1971, Yamasaki stands with a miniature of the World Trade Center, completed in 1973.
An interior designer shows us how she does things at home p. 37 MAKING THE MOST OF LIFE IN METRO DETROIT 24/Seven RETAIL p. 34 PROFILE p. 35 EYE ON DESIGN p. 37


A New Wardrobe at Your Fingertips

Finding the perfect outfit can feel impossible — and sometimes it is. But at the Somerset Collection, the Personal Stylist suite is available to help curate a personalized wardrobe selected from its large roster of stores.

WALKING INTO THE SOMERSET Collection — home to over 180 stores — and gazing up at the three-story structure filled with retailers selling apparel, accessories, and shoes of various styles and price points can be an overwhelming experience for even the most avid shopper.

And if you’re trying to curate a new wardrobe or find an outfit for an event? The only thing you’ll likely find is yourself circling the building for hours.

So, in 2016, Somerset Collection launched the Personal Stylist program to help alleviate that stress and promote a smoother shopping experience for customers, creating a unique and collaborative service. Whereas “a stylist from Saks can shop throughout Saks, our stylists can shop throughout the entire center,” says Kate Millea, general manager at the Somerset Collection, adding that this personal styling service brings new clients to the stores while also providing clients with a wider range of options with fewer limitations.

The Personal Stylist suite initially opened in a temporary space in the mall’s south end, then moved to a permanent location on the north side of Big Beaver in 2022 — on the third floor — before having its grand opening in spring 2023. The contemporary suite has three private fitting rooms, each designed with a different theme to cater to the client’s personal style, whether that’s neutral and classic, fun and colorful, or warm and cozy.

Customers are making appointments regularly, with 20 to 30 a month during the peak spring/summer/fall seasons and about 15 to 20 a month during slower times of the year. There are currently six stylists available, but the program will soon bring on two more.

Here, Millea and Samantha Shina, who oversees the Personal Stylist suite, share what you need to know about the service.

How does someone get started?

Shina: When someone inquires, I email them our offerings of an appointment, how it works, and then I send them the questionnaire. After completing the questionnaire, I’ll go over it to see which stylist they’re best suited for. I’ll forward that to the appointed stylist and have them connect. We typically book about two weeks out, and that’s to allow both the client and stylist to prepare their schedules and research. They contact the client typically 24 to 48 hours before the appointment to see if they need anything else.

The stylist then pulls items for the client the night or morning before the appointment so that the client can try everything on once they arrive.

How much does it cost?

Millea: It’s complimentary. It’s no different than going into the store. You’re just having someone help you curate the look that you’re going for.

Will the stylist stay and offer input during the fitting?

Millea: It’s very much based on what the client wants, and that’s part of the questionnaire: How much involvement do you want?

Shina: It’s also part of the stylist’s job to know the client’s comfort level. They’ll know whether to back off or maybe put themselves in more.

How does a client purchase what they want?

Millea: We do go back to the stores so that all our merchants get credit for the sale. Some stores allow purchases to be done remotely through a pay link, but most require the client to be there in person.

Stylists Amanda Fabry (left) and Tamela Clarke review a mood board. Personal styling is a free service at the Somerset Collection.
The stylist pulls clothes for a client to try on at their appointment.


Meet the maker supplying our local underground, private tiki bars

DETROIT HAS A LONG history of tiki bars. Apparently, on dull winter days, nothing seemed better to Detroiters in the 1950s and ’60s than the escapism of a tiki bar complete with palm trees and mai tais. But although the heyday of Detroit’s tiki bar scene is long past, its collections scattered to garage sales and secondhand stores, ultimately landing in home tiki bars. Which is why today, many of Detroit’s best tiki bars can’t be found on a map. Instead, they’ve gone underground, literally.

Metro Detroit has the Midwest’s best basement tiki bars, and the greatest maker of contemporary tiki statues supplying these private oases also happens to live in the area. Don Peterka of Detroit Tiki Co. makes tikis admired by tiki bar devotees, called “tikiphiles” — fans of tiki bars, all things vintage Hawaiian, and, of course, colorful cocktails.

A graphic designer, Peterka had been furloughed from his job at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to dive into making his unique cement tiki figures, a creative endeavor he had tried back in 2017. Jump to fall 2020, and Peterka was making his tikis by casting cement in a unique process that took him years to develop. While many tikis you might typically discover in commercial tiki bars are made from carved wood, Peterka wanted his statues to be able to withstand harsh Midwest winters.

“The fact that he’s working in cement is very different,” explains Ed Schroeder, a Warren-residing basement tiki bar owner. He points out that most wood versions tend to be commercialized or cartoonish in style. Peterka agrees. “I’m not a fan of the ‘party tiki,’ the smiling tiki that’s brightly colored,” he says. “I’m more into the look from the Polynesian or Cook islands.” After casting his pieces, he weathers them with a stain that patinas over time. “I want my tikis to look like you’re going through a tropical jungle and stumbled on them.”

While Peterka does combine elements that feel authentically Polynesian, he also weaves in just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek quality that coincides with Detroit’s kitschy tiki culture. For example, he spins tall tales for his pieces, saying they were unearthed at “a mud bank during the construction of the Ford Motor Company River Rouge Complex,” and at art fairs, he’ll joke with visitors to his booth: “Did you know they found tikis when they built downtown Detroit, and they still don’t know if they were brought by the glaciers or if

Polynesians paddled up through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel?” Most people realize he’s joking.

But it’s this fun quirkiness of Peterka’s work that has captured tikiphiles’ attention, including Schroeder’s. The two men first met when Peterka started selling his tikis at a local art festival, and Schroeder was so impressed with his work that he invited Peterka to stop by his basement tiki bar — “Indeed, he insisted I attend,” Peterka recalls with a chuckle.

There, Peterka, in turn, would be impressed with Schroeder’s bar. “Some [basement tiki bars] are equal to or surpass some of the tiki bars in Detroit with their vintage collections from long-gone tiki establishments,” Peterka says. “So it was a real treat getting to step inside one — plus, for home tiki bars, you know, you have to be invited by the person who owns it.”

After this visit, Peterka’s tikis became constant guests at Schroeder’s basement and many other private oases across the city and beyond. Peterka now sells his wares at tikiphile spots like the Atomic Tiki Bazaar at Max’s South Seas Hideaway in Grand Rapids and online to people as far away as Florida and California, the birthplace of tiki bars via legendary restaurant Trader Vic’s.

How far Peterka’s come isn’t lost on him. “I never thought I could turn it into a business,” he says, though he always loved tiki culture. While growing up in Livonia, he was drawn to the giant tiki statues outside Detroit’s longest-running tiki bar, Chin Tiki, perhaps best known today by many for its appearance in Eminem’s movie 8 Mile.

“When Sven Kirsten, author of Book of Tiki and godfather to the latest rebirth of tiki culture, told me how much he liked my tikis, I knew they were special.”

Today, Peterka creates tiki figures, lamps, T-shirts, and glassware, and he also sells tikiinspired jewelry crafted by his wife, Betty. Like the culture of basement tiki bars, everything he makes is playful. A “Greg Brady Must Die” T-shirt, alluding to the famous Brady Bunch Hawaiian episodes, is a bestseller. This year, Peterka will also be making a new tiki mug, large outdoor tiki figures, and an exclusive drink glass. Tikiphiles can’t wait.

For Don Peterka’s favorite tiki bars in metro Detroit, go to hourdetroit.com/tikibars.

24/Seven MAY 2024 35
 Detroit Tiki Co. makes cement tiki statues built to withstand Michigan winters.
Don Peterka is the owner of Detroit Tiki Co., a choice supplier for self-described “tikiphiles.”

Practical & Pretty

A designer’s small home in Berkley is big on style and function

INTENTIONAL SELECTION was the name of the game for Taylor Grup when she and her husband, Cody, made some interior design changes at their Berkley home. “Functional and decorative was what we were after,” Grup says. “We wanted to maximize small spaces and give them personality and functionality.”

She’s the lead designer and brand ambassador at Concetti, a Detroitbased interior design firm. The designer purchased the house a decade ago when she was attending the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. “My roommate lived in what is now our nursery” for their daughter, 10-month-old Blair, she says. In between, it was an office with a built-in closet.

Before they created the nursery, the couple updated other spaces — such as the primary bath, the living room, and the dining room — with new furnishings and window treatments. They also painted and installed new flooring throughout the 1,000-square-foot ranch-style home.

But achieving a stylish look required meticulous willpower and smarts, the designer says. “We had to be wildly intentional for things we purchased,” Grup says. “No HomeGoods runs. If it’s going to be in our house, it must be beautiful and functional.”

Here, she shares information on vintage finds, multitasking furnishings, creating a sense of space, and more.

Making a statement: Grup wanted to create drama upon entry to the home, so the dining nook, which is the first space you see, features a circular Regina Andrew Detroit light fixture, artwork from Bloomingville (one of Concetti’s vendors), and a round table centered below.

“It all perfectly aligns and is a grounding moment for when you walk in.”

Rockaby style: “A nursery is a good spot to go thematic, but there are ways to make it less overt and more contemporary,” Grup says. Blair’s space pops with a modern pink, orange, and

green palette, inspired by sunrises in Tanzania, where the couple honeymooned. Here, a Noir Trading dresser multitasks as clothes storage, a changing station, and a bookshelf.

“The dresser has gorgeous texture on the front, and it will work well for years to come.”

Goin’ on a safari!: Tanzanian vibes continue with a monkey-themed lamp (from Seletti). It was the first item the couple bought for the nursery. “I customized it by finishing it in gilded gold, and that gold makes it pop from the walls and picks up on the dresser’s hardware.” More animalia appears in the way of artwork featuring baby elephants and lions. A tiger rug is from Justina Blakeney x Loloi, and the elephant rocker was purchased from Pottery Barn.

Cue the closet: The nursery closet was converted into a nook for the crib and additional shelving for linens and totes. The crib (nestig.com) seamlessly transitions from a minicrib to a traditional crib and ultimately transforms into a toddler bed, offering versatile functionality.


Sit right down: The living room, right off the entry, maximizes seating with an oversized sectional, a storage ottoman, and poufs.

“Everything needed to be soft for the baby,” Grup says.

Deep thinker: “The living room drapery [from West Elm] is a fun hack: In an effort to make the space feel more elevated and designer, I had our workroom do a pinch pleat on them, and then we used ceiling tracks, so they go all the way to the ceiling. Anything I can do to make it look bigger is what I’m going to do.”

Made in the shade: The natural, woven living room shades pick up on the natural material used on the sideboard/credenza. “I love the warmth they provide, and I love the top-down, bottom-up style because I want to get enough light in the house.”

Go for it: The small primary bath provided an opportunity

for Grup to express herself through bold graphic tiles and textiles as well as quirky art and accessories.

She used the floral curtain (from Anthropologie) and its oranges and pinks as her jumping-off point.

“Bathrooms can be capsules of personality,” Grup says, adding that she chose orange bath linens and orange soap to echo the curtain. “We painted the ceiling black [Sherwin-Williams’s Tricorn Black]. That darkness makes it feel vast.”

No tension: Grup prefers wall-mounted shower rods over tension-style. “They’re sturdier and safer for kids. Ours is curved, so it makes the space feel larger.”

Art with heart: A “Howdy” print in the bathroom was sourced online from creativemarket.com, where artists post their graphic work. The foyer features a shiplap wall treatment that’s the perfect backdrop for the Grups’ framed wedding

flowers (from Fleur and Bloom in Clarkston). Six black-and-white photos from the couple’s travels to London, Paris, Iceland, Tanzania, and Amsterdam adorn a nearby gallery wall. “Our art is sentimental or means something to us,” Grup says.

Vintage vibes: “I’m obsessed with vintage home décor. It’s smart to find older pieces because of the quality; they’re comparable to luxury markets.” In the bathroom, an antiquated light fixture was refinished and powdercoated in a bubblegum color. In the nursery, vintage-inspired accordion wall hooks add appeal.

The dining area features a vintage, solid black marble dining table and rattan detail chairs. “The table is my favorite thrift find ever.”

Found at an estate sale, the table shares space with two vintage-inspired chairs (“I love their caning detail”) and a high chair.

Easy come, easy go: As for items that wear quickly, Grup says she doesn’t mind going online to, say, Amazon to purchase things like bath mats. “You’re going to throw it out, so no need to be too thoughtful on things like that.”


the Best Places to live in metro Detroit

MAY 2024 41
We asked and you answered. Here are your top towns in four counties
By Megan Anderluh, Jay Grossman, and Kate Walsh
With additional reporting by Christina Clark, Juliana Lumaj, Will Reaume, Olivia Sedlacek, Jack Thomas, and Taylor Truszkowski

Choosing the town in which you want to raise a family, buy your first home, or retire is a huge decision. It’s also very personal. What might be important to one resident or family is not as important to another. That’s why when determining this year’s list of the top towns in metro Detroit, we put the steering wheel in your hands.

Last November, we asked Hour Detroit readers to tell us what matters most to you when choosing a place to live. We directed you to a survey that listed 13 factors to choose from (you could select as many as you wished) and asked you to rank them from “very important” to “not important.” Those categories were crime rate/safety, diversity and inclusivity, downtown quality, health care access, housing affordability, job market, parks/green space, public schools, reputation, single-family homes, single- and multifamily homes, transportation, and walkability.

Over two months, 449 people took the survey. We then took the factors with the highest scores, where 70% of respondents or more selected “very important” or “important,” and considered those the most important categories to you, our readers. Those categories are crime rate/safety, parks/green space, health care access, and quality of public schools. Next, we looked up the 20 or more* most populous municipalities in each of the four counties (Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne) and gathered the data for those factors. We also included cities that our readers mentioned specifically when we asked on the survey, “What three cities do you consider top towns?”

On these pages, you will see charts for the top towns in each category for all of metro Detroit and one chart for the top 40 with the highest overall scores. The town descriptions that follow cover a selection of the municipalities on the charts, due to space constraints. We hope that the charts will help get you started on doing your own research, based on what factors you find most important.

*Since Oakland and Wayne are much more populous than the other two counties, we included more than 20 of their towns in our research.

Oakland County


Berkley is one of those cities that remind you of the quintessential Small Town, USA. Many kids walk to school; ice cream shops, a record store, and a bowling alley are near the schools; and the city has a carnival to kick off summer vacation (as well as several more fairs throughout the summer). Berkley’s downtown is also great for adults, with both mom-and-pop and upscale shops, plus a variety of bars and restaurants, like The Rind wine bar and Casa Amado Taqueria, a 2023 James Beard Award semifinalist. According to City Manager Matthew Baumgarten, “Berkley’s best asset is how it blends downtown with suburban living, with the access to the greater metropolitan area.” Berkley High School is in the top 5% of the state’s high schools, and the district has been recognized 12 years in a row as one of the best music communities in the nation. “It’s not just the academics portion of it but arts, … giving students a whole-scale, well-rounded, robust start to wherever their lives take them,” Baumgarten says.


This wealthy Oakland County city of 20,000 seems to have it all, except perhaps affordability. Its charming downtown is considered one of the best shopping districts in metro Detroit, with nearly 300 boutiques, spas, eateries, galleries, and more. Retail spaces range from locally owned clothing stores like Tender to a 6,000-square-foot CB2, Crate & Barrel’s sister brand. There are also two movie complexes and a theater company downtown. Birmingham, where the median home price is more than $1 million, has beautiful residential streets that include new builds and houses dating back to the 19th and early 20th centuries. The city also has 230 acres of parkland, including nature trails along the Rouge River. The Birmingham school district is top-rated (its two high schools are both in the top 25 of the state), but it’s not all about test scores. “Part of what we believe is having true academic excellence is also a strong focus on emotional wellness,” says Birmingham Public Schools Superintendent Embekka Roberson. “Students spend a lot of their day here at school, and so we have to also attend to their emotional well-being so that they are better able to learn.”

 Berkley is a city with plenty to offer, including summer festivals, great schools, and various bars and restaurants.

The Village of Lake Orion has a historic downtown with a central park. 


Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township

Spacious wooded lots, scenic roadways, and stately buildings mark the landscape of Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township, two of Oakland County’s more sought-after locales. About 5 square miles, Bloomfield Hills is one of the wealthiest communities in the country, with million-dollar homes and lots of privacy. At 26 square miles, Bloomfield Township is “not just a beautiful township with a lot of lakes and golf courses, but we’re about 95% residential,” says Township Supervisor Dani Walsh. “We do have a little bit of commercial interspersed throughout, but it’s truly based on community and what’s best for our neighborhoods.” Both communities boast excellent schools, attracting families who value top-notch education. There is plenty to do here, from exploring the arts and sciences at the world-famous Cranbrook Educational Community to spending the day at the 1830s-era Franklin Cider Mill. You can also check out wildlife at the Johnson Nature Center or visit Bowers Farm, where sheep, goats, and cattle graze in the pastures.

 Those who love shopping and selfcare will appreciate the nearly 300 boutiques, spas, and eateries that Birmingham has to offer.

Commerce Township

Living in Commerce Township is like enjoying a crisp breath of fresh air. Stretching about 30 square miles on the western part of Oakland County, the township offers activities for all ages, from hiking and fishing at the Robert H. Long Nature Park to mountain biking at Hickory Glen Park. Altogether, the township boasts over 1,200 acres of parkland, walking trails, and athletic fields. In 2023, NeighborhoodScout ranked Commerce Township as the 38th safest community in America. You can buy fresh asparagus, peas, and sweet corn at the Long Family Orchard & Farm or explore history at Byers Homestead Park, which has original buildings dating back to 1825. Want to stretch and relax? Take part in the annual Barefoot and Free Yoga Festival held at Proud Lake Recreation Area in August.

Orion Township and Village of Lake Orion

Life is a beach! Just ask the residents of Orion Township. “Our motto is we’re living as a vacation,” says Township Supervisor Chris Barnett. “In our 36 square miles, we have 42 lakes that are larger than 5 acres. We have two regional trails that connect to the Iron Belle Trail system.” Nestled toward the northern border of Oakland County, the township offers miles of open space and private lakefront property, and the Village of Lake Orion has a historic downtown filled with unique stores and services. Nearly 20% of the township, over 4,200 acres, is parkland. You can hike the Polly Ann Trail, explore Camp Agawam, or snowmobile at Bald Mountain Recreation Area. History buffs can travel back in time here, as many of the landmarks date back to the early 1800s. The Blue Ribbon-awarded Lake Orion Community Schools is a major draw for families, and there’s always something fun happening here. Fill your calendar with events like the Dragon on the Lake Festival, the Art & Flower Fair, the Michigan Fall Festival, or a springtime flashlight egg hunt for the kids.

MAY 2024 43

Rochester and Rochester Hills

Rochester and Rochester Hills offer a charming small-town vibe with a big-city feel. Downtown Rochester bustles with more than 350 mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, and service providers, while Rochester Hills boasts 14 community parks and over 140 acres of protected open space. Both communities enjoy an extremely low crime rate. “We’re the safest city in Michigan for the last seven years among cities our size, according to the FBI,” says Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett. Residents enjoy easy access to nature trails along the Clinton River and Paint Creek or through Bloomer Park. And downtown Rochester’s Main Street plays host to The Big, Bright Light Show every holiday season. Immerse yourself in the region’s rich agricultural history at the Rochester Hills Museum or explore the elegance of Meadow Brook Hall, a national treasure built in the 1920s. With the school district boasting three of the toprated high schools in Michigan, Rochester and Rochester Hills are also a great place for young families.

Royal Oak

Royal Oak has a reputation as a dining, nightlife, and independent retail store hub, with plenty of options in its ever-expanding walkable downtown. Mayor Mike Fournier agrees but adds, “What truly sets us apart, known perhaps only to our residents, is our dedication to green spaces and community living. … Royal Oak offers a unique blend of urban convenience and suburban tranquility.” The city has one of the best farmers markets in metro Detroit (it’s open year-round and has composting bins), and Royal Oak was one of the first cities in Michigan to be given Tree City USA status by the Arbor Day Foundation for efforts to promote and care for public trees. Of the city’s 51 parks, one of the newest is Centennial Commons, which has an outdoor ice rink in the winter and a “sprayground” in the summer. It’s host to events such as Winter Blast and a Juneteenth celebration. Music is also big: The four-day Arts, Beats, and Eats festival occurs every Labor Day weekend, and the Royal Oak Music Theatre has hosted acts like Adele, Lady Gaga, and Ed Sheeran.

West Bloomfield Township

One of Michigan’s most vibrant bedroom communities, West Bloomfield Township is a haven for water lovers. It is a boater’s paradise, featuring 24 lakes covering over 2,800 acres. And “we work hard to be environmentally sound,” says Township Supervisor Steve Kaplan. “We have very rigorous woodlands and wetlands ordinances and were the first in the state to adopt wetland protections.” West Bloomfield’s nearly 600 acres of public parkland, featuring a 6.8-mile walking and biking trail, offer ample space for outdoors enthusiasts. Looking for some family fun? You can find beekeeping programs, archery classes, pickleball, a splash pad, and a host of other activities in the township. The 31-square-mile township is also home to several unique businesses, such as the state’s only Ferrari dealership and Planterra Conservatory, a wedding venue named one of America’s best by Brides magazine. NeighborhoodScout ranks West Bloomfield as the 22nd safest community in the country.

White Lake Township

White Lake Township is a paradise for people who like to stay active and enjoy the great outdoors. More than 28% of the township’s land — or approximately 6,000 acres — is dedicated to open space. “The natural features here are a big part of the community,” says Township Supervisor Rik Kowall. Hike miles of rustic trails year-round at Highland State Recreation Area. Embrace the winter with a day of snowboarding or skiing at Alpine Valley. Explore nature at Indian Springs Metropark, known for its towering trees and wetlands. Or splash around at one of the many lakes located across the 37-square-mile township. Young families and retirees will appreciate White Lake’s tight-knit neighborhoods and low crime rate — NeighborhoodScout ranked it as the 15th safest community in America in 2023.

 The Village of Rochester Hills is a bustling shopping district home to over 40 stores.
 The Royal Oak Farmers Market is a great place to pick up fresh fruits and veggies on the weekend.

Macomb County

Clinton Township

With a population of over 100,000 and an area of almost 30 square miles, Clinton Charter Township is one of the largest and most populous towns in Michigan. It’s home to two Michigan icons, the Sanders chocolate factory and acclaimed rapper Eminem. Clinton Township is also known for The Mall at Partridge Creek, which in addition to boasting 90 restaurants and stores is also dog-friendly. And it’s one of metro Detroit’s safest communities. Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon boasts about the township’s many parks — especially the fact that it has “the only inclusive ball field in the state of Michigan, and we have a second one going in. They’re both diamonds for children that have handicaps, and they’re located at the Neil Reid Park.” The Clinton River, a great place to kayak, canoe, and paddleboard, also flows through the township before emptying into Lake St. Clair.


Within an area of under 2 square miles, Utica offers many of the pleasures of small-town life, from a petite but charming historic district to verdant paths through the Clinton River Heritage and River Bends parks. These and other attractive green spaces put Utica in our top four for percetage of park acerage among metro Detroit’s top towns. Local attractions include Jimmy John’s Field, where United Shore Professional Baseball League games are played and lots of family fun is had, and The Reptarium reptile zoo and soon-to-open LegaSea Aquarium. The downtown district (home to restaurants like Host and the Shamrock Pub) may soon undergo a big upheaval: There is a proposal to bring a multifamily development, a boutique hotel, a brewery, and more downtown. Mayor Gus Calandrino takes pride in Utica’s public safety organizations. “For a small city, we’ve been able to maintain our own independent police and fire departments, which is kind of a cool thing.”

MAY 2024 45 1 Ann Arbor 80 90 100 100 370 Washtenaw 119,875 1 Birmingham 90 80 100 100 370 Oakland 21,715 1 Commerce Township 100 80 90 100 370 Oakland 43,165 1 Scio Township 80 100 100 90 370 Washtenaw 17,526 1 White Lake Township 100 100 90 80 370 Oakland 31,043 6 Grosse Ile 100 70 95 100 365 Wayne 10,598 7 Ann Arbor Township 90 70 100 100 360 Washtenaw 4,893 7 Berkley 100 70 90 100 360 Oakland 14,961 7 Huntington Woods 100 70 90 100 360 Oakland 6,280 7 Novi 100 80 100 80 360 Oakland 66,372 7 The Grosse Pointes 90 70 100 100 360 Wayne 45,633 12 Royal Oak 100 70 85 100 355 Oakland 57,495 13 Bloomfield Township 100 60 100 90 350 Oakland 43,798 13 Northville 100 70 100 80 350 Wayne 6,009 13 Northville Township 100 70 100 80 350 Wayne 31,506 13 Rochester 100 60 100 90 350 Oakland 12,832 13 Rochester Hills 100 60 100 90 350 Oakland 75,936 13 South Lyon 100 80 90 80 350 Oakland 11,827 13 Troy 90 70 100 90 350 Oakland 87,201 13 Webster Township 100 70 100 80 350 Washtenaw 6,544 13 West Bloomfield Township 100 70 80 100 350 Oakland 65,206 22 Dexter Township 100 80 95 70 345 Washtenaw 4,529 22 Macomb Township 90 70 85 100 345 Macomb 92,298 22 Orion Township 100 90 85 70 345 Oakland 38,392 22 Pittsfield Township 80 80 95 90 345 Washtenaw 39,200 22 Saline 90 80 95 80 345 Washtenaw 8,900 22 York Township 100 70 95 80 345 Washtenaw 9,119 28 Salem Township 90 70 100 80 340 Washtenaw 6,961 29 Bloomfield Hills 100 60 95 80 335 Oakland 4,381 29 Dexter 80 80 95 80 335 Washtenaw 4,529 29 Lima Township 100 60 95 80 335 Washtenaw 4,007 32 Lodi Township 90 60 100 80 330 Washtenaw 6,334 32 Lyon Township 100 70 90 70 330 Oakland 24,813 32 Utica 70 90 70 100 330 Macomb 5,144 35 Dearborn 80 70 75 100 325 Wayne 107,710 35 Plymouth 90 70 95 70 325 Wayne 9,362 35 Romeo 100 90 65 70 325 Macomb 3,727 38 Allen Park 80 70 70 100 320 Wayne 28,040 38 Clawson 100 70 50 100 320 Oakland 11,204 38 Clinton Township 100 70 50 100 320 Macomb 99,448 TOP 40 Crime Parks Schools Health Total County Population Care
ILLUSTRATIONS ADOBE STOCK The numbers in the columns are the scores the towns received according to our grading system, with 100 being the best (for example, lowest crime or best public schools). For more information about our grading system and how the towns performed in each of the categories, see the other charts in this feature.


Residents can watch foreign, documentary, American independent, and many more types of films at the Michigan Theater, located in downtown Ann Arbor.

Washtenaw County

Ann Arbor and Scio Township

Well known for its association with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor has so much going for it besides, considered one of the most livable cities in the state and even the nation. Perhaps no surprise given the city’s proximity to the university and its hospital system, Ann Arbor’s Skyline High School and health care access land among the top 10 in Hour Detroit’s rankings. “Our quality of life rests on our values: pluralism, education, and sustainability,” says Mayor Christopher Taylor. The area also boasts beautiful parks like the beloved Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

Ann Arbor’s vibrant, walkable downtown is a destination for music, dining, and the arts. Artists travel from across


the country for events like the Ann Arbor Art Fair and the Ann Arbor Folk Festival. Standout restaurants Miss Kim and Spencer recently received national attention when they were nominated for 2024 James Beard Awards.

Situated between Ann Arbor and Dexter, Scio Township “is lucky to have superlative public school districts … as well as excellent charter and private school options,” says Township Supervisor Will Hathaway. “The Washtenaw Intermediate School District is located within the township and hosts a school for students with special needs at its High Point campus. The community support for education is fueled by the proximity to the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, and Washtenaw Community College. These three institutions each serve as economic engines that directly or indirectly employ many Scio Township residents.”

Dexter, Dexter Township, and Webster Township

About a 20-minute drive northwest of Ann Arbor, downtown Dexter looks a bit like a small-town film set, reminiscent of Gilmore Girls’ Stars Hollow or Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show. The town celebrates its 200th anniversary this year, and charming 19th-century buildings still line the main street, housing thriving restaurants and businesses. The ever-growing Border to Border Trail lines the picturesque Huron River within the town limits, as does the Dexter Cider Mill, Michigan’s oldest continuously operating cider mill. In Hour Detroit’s rankings, Dexter placed high for its low crime rate and the top-rated Dexter High School. Dexter Township, to the northwest of Dexter, is home to Hudson Mills Metropark, “and we provide free passes to our residents to enjoy the park,” says Township Supervisor Karen Sikkenga. “We’re also only a 20-minute drive from Ann Arbor, so there are tons of shops and cultural events that we can access pretty easily.” To the north and northwest is Webster Township. Supervisor John Kingsley says


MAY 2024 47
1 White Lake Township 28.06 2 Romeo 20.70 3 Orion Township 19.79 4 Utica 18.73 5 Inkster 13.75 6 Ann Arbor 12.12 7 South Lyon 8.30 8 Livonia 7.87 9 Dexter Township 7.72 10 Birmingham 7.50 11 Novi 7.23 12 Saline 6.87 13 Commerce Township 6.80 14 Detroit 6.30 15 Lincoln Park 5.91 16 Pittsfield Township 5.85 17 Shelby Township 5.44 18 Waterford Township 5.09 19 New Baltimore 4.75 20 Mount Clemens 4.73 Percentage of total acreage with parks Data: The number represents the percentage of the municipality’s acreage that consists of public parks or parks available to its residents. Grading: 28.06% = 100 points, 20-10 = 90, 9-5 = 80, 4-1 = 70, 0 = 60 Data: The number is the distance in miles between the municipality’s government building, such as the city clerk’s office, and the closest hospital on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the top 13 hospitals in metro Detroit. Those hospitals are University of Michigan Health in Ann Arbor, Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Beaumont in Troy, Trinity Health Ann Arbor in Ypsilanti, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Beaumont in Grosse Pointe, Ascension Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc, Ascension in Southfield, Beaumont in Dearborn, Beaumont in Trenton, Henry Ford West Bloomfield, Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit, and Henry Ford Macomb in Clinton Township. Grading: 1-5 miles = 100 points, 6-9 = 90, 10-15 = 80, 16-20 = 70, over 20 = 60 Miles to hospital 1 The Grosse Pointes 0.4 2 Oak Park 0.8 3 Ann Arbor 1.3 4 Berkley 1.5 5 Dearborn 2.1 6 Clinton Township 2.4 7 Huntington Woods 2.9 8 Birmingham 3.2 9 Allen Park 3.3 10 West Bloomfield Township 3.5 10 Clawson 3.5 12 Ann Arbor Township 3.6 12 Ypsilanti 3.6 12 Ypsilanti Township 3.6 15 Southfield 3.7 16 Ferndale 3.9 17 Royal Oak 4.1 18 Commerce Township 4.4 19 Madison Heights 4.5 20 Mount Clemens 4.7 21 Grosse Ile 5.0 21 Lincoln Park 5.0 23 Macomb Township 5.2 23 Sterling Heights 5.2 23 Utica 5.2 26 Inkster 5.3
At Hudson Mills Metropark, you can hike, bike, kayak, and much more.
Saline’s 54-acre Mill Pond Park includes this playground, a favorite of local kids.


it’s a great place to live because “we’re a rural-looking community despite being a bedroom community for the city of Ann Arbor. Residents have great access to Hudson Mills Park in neighboring Dexter Township, as well.”

Saline and York Township

About 10 miles southwest of Ann Arbor, the little town of Saline (population around 9,000) punches above its weight with its beautiful surrounding countryside and charming Main Street vibe. It’s home to 12 parks, the top-rated Saline High School, thriving shops and restaurants, and celebrations including the Celtic Festival, which honors the town’s sister city of Brecon, Wales.

“I’ve lived in the Saline community my entire life — it is an exceptional and special place,” says Mayor Brian Marl, mentioning “wonderful schools, a charming downtown, ample parks and green space, and an active and engaged citizenry.” Marl also notes Saline’s “great geographic location” — the town was named for the 600-million-year-old salt springs that were a valuable resource for Native Americans and ultimately Europeans who settled the area in the 19th century.

Nearby York Township is a rural and residential community that is also “pretty close to the urban centers,” says Township Supervisor Chuck Tellas. It also has “a nice mix of old and new families.” Its parks include Sandra J. Richardson Park, Mary McCann Park, and the Leslee Niethammer Saline River Preserve.

Wayne County

Grosse Ile Township

Grosse Ile Township is one of the most remarkable municipalities in metro Detroit. The township’s main island, Grosse Ile, is the largest island in the Detroit River and is only accessible by boat or via two bridges built in the first half of the 20th century. The population of the township — about 10,700 — is spread out across the main island’s 9 square miles of land, plus more than a dozen similar islands. What Grosse Ile lacks in a dense downtown, it makes up for with recreational waterfront access and tons of protected parks and green spaces. “My favorite thing about living on Grosse Ile is the peace and ease of living here,” says Township Supervisor James Budny. “I come across the bridge onto Grosse Ile and the community is quiet and peaceful.” Grosse Ile is considered one of metro Detroit’s safest towns, with equally excellent access to health care

and great schools, including Grosse Ile High School, which is ranked No. 40 out of Michigan’s 1,166 public high schools.

The Grosse Pointes

Five adjacent towns — Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Shores, and Grosse Pointe Woods — make up this picturesque northern suburb of Detroit, known for its tight-knit communities and wellkept parks. Charming architecture ranges from quaint, historic single-family cottages to opulent waterfront estates like the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, now a popular museum, to famed recreational retreats like the Lochmoor Club, home to an 18-hole championship golf course, and Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. Over their combined 10.4 square miles, the Grosse Pointes have multiple thriving central business districts with bars, restaurants, and shops that have been beloved by generations of residents.

Grosse Pointe Woods Mayor Arthur W. Bryant is excited about a new fenced-in small-children’s park within CheneTrombley Park, which has ADA-compliant features. “For instance, we have a merry-go-round [where] you can roll right up to it and roll onto it. We have a special set of swings that an adult or another child could ride with somebody else, specifically for kids with special needs.” Grosse Pointe Farms Mayor Louis Theros applauds the town’s “tremendous public safety team that does a wonderful job. At any given time, the most you have to wait for a police officer is 30 seconds to a minute, because we’re a small community.”


Northville and Northville Township

A petite, upscale town of about 2 square miles and home to just over 6,000, Northville is located right on the northwestern border of Wayne County. With its well-kept downtown, top-10-ranked Northville High School, and proximity to Maybury State Park (it’s in Northville Township), it’s no wonder Northville is considered one of the best places to live in metro Detroit. Another draw to Northville is the Mill Race Village, where various historic buildings have been relocated and preserved to show visitors what the area might have been like in the 1800s.

Regarding Northville Township’s desirability, Supervisor Mark J. Abbo says, “We’re 30 minutes from downtown Detroit, 20 minutes from Ann Arbor, and 20 minutes from the airport. If a business is looking to locate somewhere, they want to be close to their customers, [and] they want to be close to their suppliers. They want to have culture available for their children and for them. And that’s all Northville. We provide all of that, even if not within Northville.” The township’s students also attend Northville High School.

Per 1,000 people

LOWEST CRIME 1 Armada Township 1.5 2 Clinton Township 1.8 3 Oxford Township 3.3 4 Grosse Ile 3.5 4 Lima Township 3.5 6 Augusta Township 4.3 7 New Baltimore 4.6 7 Romeo 4.6 9 Lenox Township 5.0 10 Bruce Township 5.2 10 Commerce Township 5.2 12 Lyon Township 5.5 13 Orion Township 5.7 14 Richmond 5.8 14 York Township 5.8 16 Rochester 5.9 17 Clawson 6.6 17 South Lyon 6.6 17 White Lake Township 6.6 20 Webster Township 6.9 21 Berkley 7.1 21 Huntington Woods 7.1 21 West Bloomfield Township 7.1 24 Independence Township 7.4 25 Northville Township 7.8 26 Rochester Hills 7.9 27 Bloomfield Township 8.5 27 Northville 8.5 29 Shelby Township 9.0 Data: The total of all violent crime, property crime, and other larceny was collected from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime Data Explorer’s most recent data (2022) and from local government entities with data from towns not found in the Explorer, including those in Macomb and Washtenaw counties. We then calculated the crime rate per 1,000 residents. Grading: 1-10 crimes per 1,000 residents = 100 points; 11-20 = 90, 21-30 = 80, 31-40 = 70, 41-50 = 60, 51-60 = 50, 60+ = 40 ILLUSTRATION ADOBE STOCK STUDENTS COURTESY GPPSS MURAL GROSSE ILE TOWNSHIP
MAY 2024 49
 Students in the Grosse Pointe Public School System conducting a science experiment.



Troy High School

Rochester Adams High School

Novi High School

Pioneer High School

Northville High School

Grosse Pointe South High School

Athens High School

Ernest W. Seaholm High School

Stoney Creek High School

Canton High School

Wylie E. Groves High School

Bloomfield Hills High School

Huron High School


Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Township, Scio Township, Webster Township

Rochester, Rochester Hills


Ann Arbor, Lodi Township

Northville, Northville Township, Salem Township

Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park


Birmingham, Bloomfield Township

Rochester Hills

Canton, Plymouth, and Salem townships

Birmingham, Bloomfield Township

Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township

Ann Arbor, Salem Township, Superior Township

Lodi Township, Pittsfield Township, Saline, York Township

Dexter, Dexter Township, Lima Township, Scio Township, Webster Township

Canton, Plymouth, and Salem townships



Canton, Plymouth, and Salem townships

Troy School District

Ann Arbor Public Schools

Rochester Community Schools

Novi Community School District

Ann Arbor Public Schools

Northville Public Schools

Grosse Pointe Public School System

Troy School District

Birmingham Public Schools

Rochester Community School District

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools

Birmingham Public Schools

Bloomfield Hills Schools

Ann Arbor Public Schools

Saline Area Schools

Dexter Community Schools

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools

Chelsea School District

Rochester Community Schools

Plymouth-Canton Community Schools

News High School Towns Serviced District ranking Data: We referred to U.S. News & World Report’s most recent list of 1,166 traditional public high schools in Michigan. We did not include schools that have a lottery system like the International Academies or schools for which you need to test to apply such as University High School Academy in Southfield. Grading: 1-20 ranking = 100 points, 21-40 = 95, 41-60 = 90, 61-80 = 85, 81-100 = 80, 101-120 = 75, 121-140 = 70, 141-160 = 65, 161-180 = 60, 181-200 = 55, 201-651 = 50
Skyline High School
Saline High School Dexter High School Salem High School Chelsea High School Rochester High School Plymouth High School 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 17 19 21 24 26 27 28 29 31 32 35 37 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Business Spotlights

City Of Pontiac:

Open for Business and Promoting Growth in the Heart of Oakland County!

City of Pontiac administrators and officials have begun implementing several extensive and monumental multimilliondollar projects, along with smaller, equally important plans, that will not only transform the landscape and feel of the city but attract new businesses and residents to downtown and local neighborhoods.

“It’s a very exciting time with many projects and initiatives already underway that will help the city retain existing businesses and attract new ones while improving our neighborhoods, streets and parks,” Said Deborah Younger, the city’s economic development manager.

Two of the major changes will occur in the downtown infrastructure with benefits for businesses, residents, and visitors.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (M-DOT) will eliminate the Woodward “Loop” and turn Woodward Avenue into “a pedestrian-friendly boulevard reconnecting neighborhoods to downtown. An added benefit will be the slower traffic speeds inviting motorists to “stop, shop and dine”.

Another major infrastructure change will also have a huge impact on the flow of traffic downtown--demolition of the Phoenix Center. The building was among several parcels purchased by Oakland County last year including the Ottawa Towers at 51111 Woodward and the former General Motors Building at 31 E. Judson.

The purchase was the basis of the Michigan Legislature appropriating $50 million of the state budget for the Downtown Pontiac Redevelopment Project, a partnership between Oakland County and the City of Pontiac. Oakland County intends to move between 500 and 600 county employees downtown to create a significant county presence on its newest campus in downtown Pontiac, the “heart” of Oakland County.

“Right now, the Phoenix Center cuts off Saginaw Street downtown, and the County is going to demolish the building and rehabilitate the other two buildings,” Younger said. “While this is a massive project, they are talking about having those employees in as early as 2025, but definitely by 2026. This will really open up downtown.”

There also are many other projects underway and on the drawing board that city officials hope will bring new businesses and residents to the area including projects involving Pontiac’s tallest building and the former Oakland Press building.

Pontiac’s tallest building, the 15-story former Pontiac State Bank at 28 N. Saginaw Street in downtown (pictured), is being redeveloped into a residential and retail space with 99

new loft-style apartments, 20 new executivestyle offices and 25 new salon suites.

Alan Bishop, founder of Mr. Alan’s sports apparel retail chain, is part of a group developing several properties through a Transformational Brownfield Plan (TBP), that will have a “transformational impact on local economic development and community revitalization.”

The properties include the 75,000-squarefoot former Oakland Press building and the building at 91 N. Saginaw. The former OP building will be renovated and turned into restaurants and retail. Younger hopes the project, which also will include a multi-family housing development and a parking deck, will get the final approval from the state by as early as September to begin work.

“Our city government has cut red tape and streamlined permitting. We have rolled out the welcome mat for investment,” said Mayor Tim Greimel. “Pontiac is open for business.”

Pontiac has numerous initiatives it considers mission critical underway including:

• A $3.3 million home-improvement project utilizing ARPA funds allows qualified homeowners to use up to $25,000 in grant money for home such as a new roof or other upgrades to the home. “We anticipate completing about 80 homes per year and hope to extend the program into next year as well,” Younger said.

• The City is investing $6 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money to improve existing parks and neighborhood parks.

• A series of programs launched this year to provide technical assistance, loans and grant funding to assist owners with expanding their businesses.

• Plans are underway on a 16-residential unit project at 46 N. Saginaw along with commercial/retail space on the first floor.

• Pontiac recently received a $16-million grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation for a project that will connect the Clinton River Trail to downtown along Pike Street and should be completed by 2026.

• Sunset Island (a bar/restaurant) is opening soon at 7 N. Saginaw in downtown where another popular eatery and bar--Kegger Burger—recently opened.

City Of Pontiac

Deborah Younger Economic Development Manager (248) 758-3034


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Where to Wine Down Across the Border

Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery is Canada’s only beachaccessible winery on Lake Erie, according to the owners. PHOTO JOANNA WOJEWO
No need to fly to Napa or drive Up North to visit wine country. Instead, visit the Lake Erie North Shore region in Canada.

Metro Detroiters who enjoy weekend wine getaways typically trek four hours Up North to the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas or perhaps cross the state to explore wineries in western Michigan. And yet, nearly 20 wineries are practically in our backyard. Drive 40 minutes from the Ambassador Bridge, and you’ll wind up in Essex County, Ontario — where grape growing originated in Canada. In fact, the first commercial winery in the country, Vin Villa, opened on Pelee Island in 1866.

Known as Lake Erie North Shore, the region features 1,000 acres of grapes, and it’s the perfect place for a weekend getaway or day trip for wine lovers. The locals consider it an up-and-coming Niagara-on-the-Lake, where you’ll find boutique hotels, charming bed-and-breakfasts, cool Airbnbs, farm-to-table restaurants, and all the libations your heart desires at the cideries, breweries, distilleries, and wineries. Between the vineyard tours and fruit stands — which you can cycle to along new bike lanes — there’s no shortage of agritourism experiences in this southernmost part of Canada.

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 Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery

7258 County Road 50 W., Harrow, Ontario

If sipping wine on a beach with a picnic basket full of cheese and meats is your version of paradise, make a stop at Sprucewood Shores. It’s Canada’s only beach-accessible winery on Lake Erie, according to the owners. In warmer months, the 20-year-old winery serves drinks from a beach hut overlooking Lake Erie. Winemaker Tanya Mitchell says beautiful beach glass often washes up from Lake Erie shipwrecks. The glass inspired the winery’s Beach Glass series featuring mosaicwrapped bottles. Its premium Hawk’s Flight Reserve brand is named after the hawks that migrate through the area in the fall.

Mitchell’s 2020 Merlot in the Hawk’s Flight line won two gold medals last year and a 2023 Ontario Lieutenant Governor’s Award of Excellence — an honor bestowed on nine wines out of 600 in the competition.

Mitchell runs the winery with her brothers Stephen and Jake. Their parents bought the property 40-some years ago and kick-started the winery about 20 years ago after her dad retired from the automotive industry. She was 10 when they planted their first acre.

7457 County Road 18 RR No. 4, Harrow, Ontario

When visiting the Lake Erie North Shore region, you’ll find many of the wineries along County Road 50. But there’s one off the beaten path. In fact, when you pull up the long driveway, you may think your GPS mistakenly took you to someone’s redbrick home. That’s because Muscedere Vineyards is a house. Visitors taste wines in the cozy retail shop in the lower level. A pathway leads to an outdoor gazebo where you can enjoy wood-fired pizzas from May through October.

It’s a true family-run business, where you’ll see Pat Muscedere shuffling off to make pizza with asparagus straight from their farm in the spring.

 Muscedere Vineyards
Muscedere Vineyards is run by an Italian family of five that serves pizzas with ingredients straight from the garden.

(Try the seasonal corn-and-potatoes pizza in the fall.) Her husband, Mario, worked for 30 years in automotive before they started the vineyard. “He now does more work than he ever did working in the automotive plant,” daughter Melissa Muscedere says with a laugh.

The Muscederes — an Italian family of five — opened the vineyard in 2006 after planting their first grapes on their 163-acre property in 2002. “We planted a little bit of everything just to see how everything would grow,” Melissa says, adding that reds won.

Leslie Meloche, sommelier of North 42 Degrees Estate Winery, says Muscedere Vineyards has some of the best reds in the region. Its 2021 Cabernet Franc — a perfect pizza-pairing wine — won gold at the 2023 All Canadian Wine Championships and silver at the 2023 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada.

You’ll see Cab Franc on most winery menus in the region because it grows well here. “We’re technically on the same latitude as France, Italy, [and] California — the 42nd parallel,” Melissa says, adding that they get more days of sun than other Ontario wine regions. “What you’re going to notice is a lot of the wines are going to be fresher; the reds will be fruitier.”

Paglione Estate


724 County Road 50 E., Harrow, Ontario

When Sam Paglione was growing up in Molise, Italy, it was his boyhood dream to run a vineyard. After immigrating to Ontario and becoming a masonry artist, he built Pelee Island Winery and added his touch to Sprucewood Shores. His own vineyard journey began when a friend took him to a grape farm that was for sale. “He came home that day and he said to my mom, ‘I bought a grape farm.’ And she was like, ‘You did what?’ After that, we became instant farmers,” says his daughter Sandra Paglione.

In 2013, Sam built the winery in Tuscan Old World style — with Renaissance-like painted ceilings, a clay tile roof, a turret, a cupola, and an outdoor wood-burning oven, where he’d make 200 pizzas a day, rain or shine. He serenaded guests with his squeeze-box and give out shots of grappa in the cellar.

When Sam passed in 2015, Sandra, who is now president and co-owner, stepped in with her husband, Robin, and sister and co-owner, Rebecca Beetham. They revamped the mom-and-pop winery, positioning it for growth. They brought on Jan Schulte-Bisping, a German winemaker who has worked in South Africa and California. He overhauled their wine portfolio, and they started winning awards. Their Josephine sparkling with notes of mango, peach, and honey took gold at the Great American International Wine Competition

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Italian Influence Between 1925 and the 1990s, Italians from the southern regions of Lazio, Molise, and Sicily immigrated to Leamington, Ontario. “Many of them knew each other in the old country, and they know each other here today,” Sandra Paglione says. Besides wine, many got into agriculture, growing everything from tomatoes to hydroponic vegetables and fruits.
Paglione Estate Winery’s Josephine sparkling wine took gold at the Great American International Wine Competition in 2020.

in 2020. And their Cabernet Sauvignon is a bestseller. They built a gelato stand and redid the menu, except for the pizzas. “We try to keep a lot of the things the same,” Sandra says. “We didn’t want to be the kids who came in and changed everything.”

You Don’t Have to Leave

Make Paglione your last stop of the day to indulge in as much food and wine as you’d like, and then stay overnight in the Owner’s Suite above the winery. Guests enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine, take in sunset views from the terrace, and retire in a luxury king bed. The 1,100-square-foot space includes a fully equipped kitchen, but cooking isn’t necessary when you can order pizzas and charcuterie boards from the winery’s kitchen below.

The majority of wineries in the region belong to the association EPIC, which stands for Essex Pelee Island Coast. The wineries organize an annual March Mac’ness (featuring wine and macaroni pairings), a Winemakers Dinner Series, and more. Visit epicwineries.com for tickets.

Paglione Estate Winery has a cozy suite you can stay in overnight above the winery.
The Grove Motel (left) and The Grove Hotel (right) both offer rooms designed with different themes, like chill beach vibes and urban music revival. BLUE

Where To Stay

The Little White Church 7860 County Road 20, Amherstburg, Ontario

Detroiters will feel right at home in the Detroit Suite of The Little White Church. The loft-style suite features a portrait of Bob Seger and décor like Michigan license plates. The Methodist church built in 1845 was recently renovated into a themed-room boutique hotel. It’s a good lodging option to avoid drinking and driving. The church is a five-minute walk from Dancing Swallows Vineyard as well as GL Heritage Brewing Co. Every Saturday from May through October, you can stop by the Amherstburg Farmers Market on the brewery’s patio for local shopping, fresh coffee, and live music.

The Grove Hotel and The Grove Motel

12 Main Street E., Kingsville, Ontario

96 County Road 50 W., Colchester, Ontario

Many of the wineries in the area recommend The Grove Hotel, a funky boutique hotel, as the No. 1 place to stay. And they’re not wrong. Tripadvisor has ranked it among the top 25 small hotels in Canada since 2019. Each room has a different theme — from “A Room with a Brew” featuring décor for craft beer lovers to “We Love to Font It” with letter wallpaper and an old-fashioned typewriter. Located in the heart of downtown Kingsville, the historic 1854 building is within walking distance of momand-pop shops, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. A Joe. Hot + Cold café is attached to the hotel.

The newly built Grove Motel, closer to the lake and the wineries along County Road 50, has even more spunk. There’s a campingthemed room with beds built into the floor. Part discotheque, part boudoir, the motel’s Any-Moon Suite features a bright red heartshaped tub.

Magnolia Ranch

178 County Road 50 E., Harrow, Ontario

This modern, chic bed-and-breakfast is a must-stay for a romantic getaway or weekend respite with friends. Renovated in 2019 by two friends, the four rooms in the Victorian home have vintage-inspired charm with gold-rimmed mirrors, velvet sofas, and roses. You’ll wake up to a gourmet breakfast that will pad your stomach for wine tasting. On a recent visit, co-owner Linda Jeffery made a spread of frittatas, Canadian bacon, potatoes au gratin, and yogurt parfait. The Magnolia Room — with a soaking tub and a fireplace — has a breathtaking view of Lake Erie and Viewpointe Estate Winery across the street. Take your morning coffee on the wraparound porch, or enjoy a bottle of wine around the outdoor firepit. Named after the property’s gorgeous magnolia trees, Magnolia Ranch is a popular spot for weddings, bridal showers, and wellness retreats, so book early.

Pelee Island Winery

20 E. West Road, Pelee Island, Ontario 455 Seacliff Drive, Kingsville, Ontario

In the mood for an adventurous wine trip? Hop on a 90-minute ferry ride to Pelee Island, which has grown grapes since the 1850s. Regarded as “the birthplace of winemaking in Canada,” Pelee Island Winery’s 700 acres sit on former marshland. “That’s why the island is so fertile to grow agriculture,” says Michael Lauzon, retail manager at Pelee Island Winery. The island has only 200some residents, but there are a few Airbnbs and inns and a campground if you want to plan an overnight trip for a tour and tasting. Just check the weather before you go. If the water is too rough, the ferry won’t sail, Lauzon warns.

You can also stay put on the mainland and visit Pelee Island Winery’s Kingsville location, which hosts Summer Sundays with live music and pizza on the patio. The shop has shelves lined with over 70 types of wines sporting medals like Olympic winners. The winery’s Lola sparkling rosé that was released about seven years ago was the No. 1-selling rosé in Ontario, Lauzon says. And the Lola Light, which has half the sugar and a little less alcohol, has won double gold at Finger Lakes International Wine & Spirits Competition in New York.

North 42 Degrees Estate Winery

130 County Road 50 E., Colchester, Ontario

When Martin Gorski set out to build a winery, he had two instructions for his architect: One, build it out of stone, wood, and glass; and two, bring the outside in. The result was a sustainably minded building that lets natural light flood in and resembles an upscale cabin. The upper deck looks over a mile of tree line. On a clear day, you can see Detroit’s Renaissance Center, Gorski says.

One of the few wineries in the area open seven days a week, North 42 also includes a restaurant, Bistro 42, that has a farm-to-table focus, featuring seasonal culinary creations from the property’s organic farm. “That’s one of our missions: Connect the ground to the table to the consciousness,” Gorski says, clutching a glass of brut rosé with soil-stained fingers.

His father bought the 120 acres that are home to North 42 in 1990 to grow seed corn. But Gorski, who has a master’s in molecular biology, had a lifelong goal to plant a vineyard. So he went to Washington State University to become a certified winemaker. His first fermentation was in 2011. The next year, he took double gold at the Shores of Erie International Wine Festival for a Pinot Noir that’s developed a reputation. Last year alone, North 42 won 10 medals in wine competitions, including

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gold at the All Canadian Wine Championships for its 2019 Cab Franc reserve.

Besides the wine, North 42 offers immersive experiences like Hike 42 on Saturday mornings. You can hike through the property’s Carolinian forest searching for wildflowers and end with a campfire meal and wine tasting. Whatever you do, don’t leave without trying the blueberry lavender cheesecake, garnished with lavender from Serenity Lavender Farm next door, also owned by Gorski and his wife, Suzanne Dajczak.

Oxley Estate


533 County Road 50 E., Harrow, Ontario

If you want to go where the locals go, check out Oxley Estate Winery. During a Merlot tasting outdoors last fall, Canadians who lived minutes away filled the table. They come for the wine, but also the ambiance. You can enjoy a glass of wine in a rustic 1920 barn, renovated with modern blackand-white décor and windows that pour in natural light. The winery’s seasonal and locally sourced menu — more upscale than others nearby — suggests wines to pair with quiche or Lake Erie perch. If it’s on the dessert menu, don’t miss the flourless chocolate torte with dark chocolate ganache and raspberry puree infused with Merlot. Ann and Murray Wilson bought what was a pepper farm in 2009. Their grandson and winemaker Andrew Wilson, 27, jokes about getting pulled into staking vines and hoeing at 13. “I hated it,” he recalls. “At the end of the summer, it was funny because my dad said, ‘Well, you learned something great this summer. You learned what you don’t want to do.’”

But an interest in biology and chemistry eventually led him back to winemaking. His first semester at Niagara College, “I was like, ‘This is it.’ That’s when I really fell in love with the entire industry.” In Brock University’s Oenology and Viticulture honors program, Andrew wrote his thesis on the Auxerrois grape, which grows well at Oxley. He describes the grape as “one of the most widely planted and least understood grape varieties in the world.” The wine made from Auxerrois “is a beautiful wine,” he says, adding it’s similar to Chardonnay, with delicate and crisp flavors. “It’s something unique if you’re coming here.” He also recommends the white-peppery Syrah. Think of it like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, he says. “They have these very distinct conditions to make a wine that’s unique and special. That’s what I see here with Syrah.”

While his grandparents are “trying to retire,” Andrew isn’t afraid to use his “Call a Grandpa” card — as he did yesterday. “One of our wines finished fermenting, and I just said, ‘I need you to come in and taste because I need help finding my direction on this wine,’” he says.

Inside a century-old barn, you’ll find Oxley Estate Winery, which offers an upscale seasonal and locally sourced menu.

Niagara-on-the-Lake vs.

Lake Erie North Shore

Lake Erie North Shore is the closest Canadian wine region to Detroit, but if you drive another 3.5 hours, you’ll hit Ontario’s most popular wine destination: Niagara-on-theLake. With over 50 wineries, Niagara is home to some of Ontario’s biggest and oldest wine producers.

Over the past four decades, the region has developed a reputation for producing Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, and Cabernet Franc. Grapes to grapes, it’s tough to compare them with Lake Erie North Shore wines.

Lake Erie North Shore is a full degree of latitude south of Niagara-on-the-Lake, which means it gets more heat and sunlight over

the growing season, explains Stephen Mitchell, president of Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery off Lake Erie. “We are also near a different lake,” he points out, with different weather patterns, which impacts the grapes. And it wouldn’t be fair to judge quality by the international medal count. Wineries focused on export (like many in Niagara-onthe-Lake) tend to enter more international wine competitions, while all types of wineries participate in Canadian wine competitions.

Niagara’s proximity to Toronto and Niagara Falls makes it a more bustling region with plentiful shopping, dining, and theater options. It’s why Canadians seeking a rural wine country experience tend to travel “down south” to the newer craft wineries in Essex County, where the wine bottles also have friendlier price tags.

At Niagra-on-the-Lake, you’ll find over 50 wineries, which include some of Ontario’s oldest wine producers.

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Search Results You Can Count On

Google searches are among the most common ways people get their answers to every question imaginable. While Taylor Swift is understandably the most “googled” person, one of the most commonly “googled” questions is how many weeks in a year. Really? People don’t know that there are 52 weeks in a year - hold on, let me double check - yes, Google confirms 52 weeks, well 52.1429. Sure, Google and Siri and Alexa are convenient and can provide plenty of answers to plenty of questions, but some questions require a little more expertise, knowledge and experience behind the answers. Welcome to Hour Detroit’s Trusted Advisors. Making an important personal, professional, financial or healthrelated decision in today’s and tomorrow’s reality begins with asking the right questions to a reliable and trusted expert. It’s important to weed through the weeds of misinformation, unfounded data and biased opinions to get to the facts of the matter. Our trusted advisers offer not only expert information but include a phone number and email in case you need more information or have more questions. ■

Q: What can I do about grinding/clenching my teeth and the headaches I get?

A: Headaches, grinding and clenching teeth are related to the forces of biting. Some people have such severe grinding and clenching that they get migraines and even ringing in their ears. Some with mouthguards specifically for this and their TMJ symptoms still get no relief. Many people clench teeth during the day and wearing an occlusal guard is not an option. All these can be very debilitating. One choice that has been successful has been placing Botox into the jaw muscle to relieve the forces. It does not affect that muscle in the same fashion as Botox for cosmetics, where there is no movement. Many people who went this route find that they get relief within one to two days. Grinding and clenching teeth also can cause fractures to then necessitate having teeth removed and implants or other options placed. Considering Botox for teeth grinding and clenching is a very good option.

Royal Oak Smiles

Dr. Dolores Baran, D.D.S.

1103 N. Main St., Suite A Royal Oak, MI 48067 248-548-1440 royaloaksmiles.com

Q: How do I limit costly mistakes when furnishing my home?

A: To limit costly mistakes when furnishing your home, it’s important to plan ahead. You might start by establishing a budget. Avoid making impulsive purchases and take your time to make informed decisions. By prioritizing quality over quantity, you will avoid more frequent replacement issues. If you are only replacing one or two pieces, make sure to measure what you are replacing and have that as a guide when you go shopping. Pictures and measurements of your space also are helpful when working with professional designers in a retail space.

Last, but certainly not least, don’t be shy about getting professional help! At Gorman’s we have professional designers on staff who are qualified to assist you with your project with no extra design fee.

One of my goals is to help my customers get the look they want without making costly mistakes. If my customer is happy, I’m happy!

Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design

Nancy Eveslage, Interior Designer Gorman’s Troy 248-649-2070 gormans.com

Q: Why is today the best time to be a seller?

A: The best time to sell your house often depends on supply and demand. For example, for the past few years there has been an extremely high demand for homes along the shorelines of the many beautiful lakes in Northern Michigan. Inventory for these homes is at an all-time low and there is a big demand for homes on the water, not only because they are good financial investments but because people want to create special memories.

I have been in Northern Michigan for 25 years and have never seen demand like this for homes near or on the water.

Another reason why now is the time to sell is because if the buyer can get in the house this summer they may be willing to pay even more. So now is the time to get the home listed and on the market. Remember, if you are looking to buy or sell a home, it’s very important to work with one of the top realtors in that town who knows the local market and community.

Kidd & Leavy Real Estate

Patrick Leavy, Owner 231-838-6700 patleavy.com

Company Milestones


Milestones in business are magical and are becoming as rare and difficult to achieve as pulling a rabbit out of a hat. In 2020, the average lifespan of a company on Standard and Poor's 500 Index was just over 21 years, compared with 32 years in 1965.

MHere in these pages of Hour Detroit, you will find a number of local companies celebrating impressive milestones. These companies not only make money and are successful but also employ people, support their local communities and provide a sense of pride with not only their own employees but their clients, customers, suppliers and associates.

Success can be measured in many ways but it can only be achieved through hard work and creating a team atmosphere where everyone is working towards the same goal. Consider what Charles Gleeson II, CEO of C.E. Gleeson Contractors Inc., recently said about his company’s 100 years in the construction business.

“Our relationships are built on trust and loyalty and not just with our clients and customers but with our employees,” Gleeson II says. “The best way to be successful starts from within. You have to treat your employees as a team and share profits and successes with them. If you create that philosophy within your team then your team implements that with the client.”


Company Milestones

Joe Vicari Restaurant Group/Andiamo /Joe Muer Restaurants, and more

While restaurants come and go, and others have struggled through the many challenges of the recent pandemic, one longtime Detroit area establishment has not only survived, but has thrived and even expanded. Over the past 35 years, Joseph Vicari has established multiple MetroDetroit Andiamo restaurants with the belief that success begins in the kitchen, which led him to a meeting with Master Chef Aldo Ottaviani in 1989.

Chef Aldo, who had recently retired from owning his own Italian restaurant (Aldo’s on Detroit’s East side), agreed to come work with Vicari. For the next 22 years, the two created the award-winning and legendary Andiamo restaurants built on authentic Italian cuisine, the finest ingredients, and Chef Aldo’s creative recipes.

A lot has changed over the past 35 years, but what was created during that initial meeting and over the early years of Michigan-based Andiamo remains the cornerstone of their incredible success story.

Andiamo Corporate Executive Chef Jim Oppat continues to instill the principles of the late Chef Aldo. All Andiamo soups and sauces are made from scratch, only the freshest seasonal ingredients are used, and they still rely on hundreds of Chef Aldo’s original recipes.

Part of the Andiamo team includes the restaurant’s renowned “pasta ladies” - Anna, Tanya, and Angelina. They continue to be the cornerstone of the Vicari’s mission by making fresh pasta daily by hand for all their restaurants.


“Our passion is quality products,” says Chef Jim. “When great food is paired with excellent service and ambiance, lasting memories are created.”

Andiamo has been longtime good neighbors to their communities, supporting and giving back to numerous charitable organizations such as the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Gleaners Food Bank, Henry Ford Hospital, Hermelin Brain Tumor Center, and The Saint Louis Center in Chelsea, Michigan.

Vicari, founder and CEO, has built Andiamo on three simple Italian principles: Great food, family, and a zest for life. He still operates his business based on a personal belief that if you treat people well, they will stay with you and be a part of your success.

“We are committed to our team who aim to provide first class customer service and are the heart of Andiamo,” he says. “Many team members have been with us since the beginning, their professional growth is a symbol of our growth as a Metro Detroit business.”

The company continues to grow and expand, including a Joe Muer Seafood recently opened in Nashville and a new Andiamo opening this summer at Partridge Creek Mall.

“Our brand has a great deal of longevity,” he says. “There’s not a lot of restaurants that have been around as long as we have.” Andiamo started in the kitchen 35 years ago and will continue to serve our community for decades to come.

Locations: Detroit Riverfront, Bloomfield, Livonia, Warren, Detroit Metro Airport, Fenton & Las Vegas andiamoitalia.com vicarirestaurants.com


Joe Vicari Rosalie Vicari Dominic Vicari John Vicari Peter Gray Chef James Oppat
••• PROMOTIONAL CONTENT 35 YEARS ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★

Company Milestones

Roman Village and Antonio’s Cucina Italiana

“We go the extra mile to bring real authentic Italian to the table”.

For six decades - and counting - the Rugiero family has worked hard preparing fresh, authentic Italian dishes including awardwinning pizzas, calzones, Lasagna, veal dishes, soups and, of course, their famous fresh baked bread. Everything is made the old fashion way “Fata in Casa” (in house) and the pasta at all five locations is made fresh daily. Andrea Bocelli prepared Spaghetti Carbonara in their kitchen, but nothing beats Mama Rita’s gnocchi with Rita sauce.

Antonio Francisco Rugiero Sr., a native of Calabria, Italy, came to America in 1960 and realized his version of the American Dream when he opened his own restaurant, Roman Village, in Dearborn where he met his wife Enrica that soon became his greatest asset. Their sons have established the familiar name, Antonio’s Cucina Italiana, in multiple locations and all feature authentic Italian dining combined with Rugiero family hospitality.

“The quality is in the details,” says Anthony Rugiero, also known as Antonio Jr. “We go the extra mile to bring real authentic Italian to the table”. Like a great dish of pasta, it starts with simple fresh ingredients. A business needs a simple, but effective protocol that everyone supports to achieve 60 years of success and a lot of hard work.

There is always a family member at the restaurants, including the new generation overseeing the day-to-day operations, and their extended family of 300 staff, many of whom have been part of the 60-year journey. This is quite a leap, considering the beginning when Antonio Sr. employed four people, including himself.

The Rugiero’s have been blessed over the past 60 years with the number of wonderful people that have walked through their doors to break bread with them and host many celebrations held at their restaurants. They want to thank you for being part of their journey.

Established 1964

Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Farmington Hills, Canton, and Livonia antoniosrestaurants.com

60 YEARS ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ PROMOTIONAL CONTENT
Mama, RITA, Vice President Anthony Rugiero , CEO/president Lamb shank

Company Milestones

Holiday Market Inc.

Tom Violante, who along with his wife Janet started the famous Holiday Market in Royal Oak in 1954, was known for his legendary catch phrases over the years. But one that really defined what the Market was all about was this one: “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it … but we will get it for you.”

It’s been a recipe of success over the past seven decades that has seen Holiday Market expand and diversify over the years while holding true to the Violante’s core values of hard work, customer service and providing only the best and highest quality food choices.

The business has remained family-owned and operated over the 70 years and is now being managed by the next generation, Tom Jr. and Gina Mangold and her husband Craig. Holiday Market has continued to be voted as one of the best markets in Metro Detroit.

Over the last 20 years, Holiday has expanded to 60,000 square feet and increased their offerings to include, Holiday Catering, a full array of Chefprepared entrees and sides to-go, Mirepoix Cooking School, and Holiday Market Select in Birmingham. They continue the commitment of Tom and Janet in giving customers exactly what they want and contributing to the community.

Holiday Market is still committed to providing quality, service and variety to its customers, and, of course, “if we don’t have it, you don’t need it … but we will get it for you.”


Established 1954

1203 S. Main St. Royal Oak, MI 48067 248-541-1414 holiday-market.com

Tom Violante Jr, Gina Mangold, and Craig Mangold are the Managing partners of Holiday Market.

70 YEARS ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ PROMOTIONAL CONTENT

The War Memorial

The War Memorial, located in Grosse Pointe Farms, serves as a gathering place for southeast Michigan that honors and celebrates military veterans and supports arts and enrichment activities for the betterment of the surrounding area. Housed inside the former mansion of the Alger family, originally named The Moorings, the architectural marvel and community landmark is recognized as a Michigan State Historic Site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

As The War Memorial celebrates their 75th anniversary as a community nonprofit, they are filled with a re-energized determination to be a regional driver of arts, learning, patriotism, hospitality, and connectivity.

The magnificently constructed Fred M. Alger Center, newly opened at the end of 2022, is a state-of-the-art event space with the capacity to host up to 600 guests. The floor-toceiling windows of the ballroom provide stunning views of Lake St. Clair and Les Braves II: At Water’s Edge.

Les Braves II: At Water’s Edge , the sculpture that adorns the back lawn, is dedicated to the D-Day Operation of WWII. This sculpture is the sister to the original work that lives on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. The original work was made to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the mission.

Outside of the veteran programs and celebrations, The War Memorial also hosts live music and culture-related events, and classes for adults and children to learn new skills and make lasting memories.

The facility boasts multiple different sized event spaces to host private, public, and corporate events in both the house and the Fred M. Alger Center.


Maria Miller President & CEO

Nikki Charbonneau COO

Leah Celebi Vice President of Community Engagement and Programming

Established 1949

32 Lake Shore Drive Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236 warmemorial.org

Kelly Oliver Senior Director of Development

Jennifer Sutton Director of Public Programs and Special Events

Brett Pulte Director of Marketing and Communications

75 YEARS ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ PROMOTIONAL CONTENT
Company Milestones

C.E. Gleeson Constructors Inc.

In 1924, Clarence M. Gleeson, who emigrated from Canada as a mason contractor, founded what is today known as C.E. Gleeson Constructors Inc., one of the nation’s oldest and most respected General Contractor and Construction Management firms in the country.

From humble beginnings in Michigan to establishing a national presence, the company’s success has been shaped by the dedication of an amazing team, the support of dedicated and professional partners, and the trust of their valued clients.

One hundred years later, the company has constructed over 50 million square feet with over $2 billion in contracted projects.

“When we started out our backyard was about 30-60 miles and now it’s 39 states and still growing,” says Charles E. Gleeson II, President/CEO. “The keys have always been constant communication, building strong relationships that last, and providing quality results that add to an already strong and respected reputation in the industry. You are only as good as your last job.”

C.E. Gleeson Constructors Inc., which offers complete preconstruction services, general construction, construction management and design-build services tailored to the exact needs of the project, draw upon their rich heritage of old-school integrity, along with cutting-edge innovation in materials, technologies, processes, and methods, to meet 21st Century building challenges.

“To be successful in life and in business, it isn’t about ego or the profits, it’s about the relationships you make and the loyalty, trust and the respect you earn in creating those relationships,” Gleeson says. 100 years - and counting.


Charles E. Gleeson II

Established 1924

984 Livernois Road Troy, MI 48083 248-647-5500


Karen Bowman President/CEO Chief Financial Officer

Brad Baker

Dan Edick

Vice President of Operations Vice President of Estimating

Steven Sigmon

Charles E. Gleeson III Vice President of Southeast Division Director of Business Development

100 YEARS ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★
Company Milestones

Company Milestones

Sean D Gardella & Associates

One of SDGA’s recent milestones was winning a national award from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for what’s known as a well home. In a world where energy and building codes have made homes significantly tighter and time spent in our homes has increased due to the increase in working remotely, builders are faced with developing spaces that are healthy and focus on wellness.

This project’s architects, Young & Young, and builder have seen their share of green and environmentally friendly homes, but the concept of being “well” takes the responsibility of these two professions to the next level. LEED and Energy Star have made their way into energy and building codes, and become standard practices.

The lakefront residence offers numerous well features for the mind, body, and soul, encompassing air, water, light, and sound. The outstanding indoor air quality is the result of UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation) filters, an energy recovery ventilator, HEPA air filters, and a passive radon mitigation system. Water wellness is achieved with a wholehouse water filtration system and reverse osmosis water for drinking. Light attenuation is achieved with an interior circadian lighting system, while sound attenuation is made possible through use of resilient channels, formaldehydefree soundproofing, and insulation.

Other key features that make this award-winning home a place for wellness include a yoga studio, infrared sauna, lake vistas, private terraces for meditation, and its soothing color palette and architecture.

When it comes to building custom residential, SDGA has seen it, done it, and loves it!




4248 Delemere Court Royal Oak, Michigan 48073
★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★★ ★ ★ ★ PROMOTIONAL CONTENT
Healthy Home Award Winner
Photos by James Haefner




to go and how to be safe — a local woman’s experience and tips from Pure Michigan. p. 75

Culture Calendar

C’mon, give Movement a try

I spend a lot of my time trying to convince friends, family, and strangers of all shapes and sizes to dive into Detroit’s cultural scene. It doesn’t always work. If you’re not super into theater — or have never gone to a live theater production — it’s a challenge to get you into the seat. It’s intimidating! There’s a cost! I totally get it! But crossing that threshold into something new is critical and could change your life — as it did mine.

I’ve covered the Movement music festival for years, since back when I was convinced that the music wasn’t really for me. But in that first year, I found myself completely absorbed, dancing along to the beat, feeling the bass in my chest, and understanding the concept that this music is a lifestyle. Just look at the outfits, the vibe of the patrons, and the fact that the afterparties that are spread throughout the city have almost become a bigger deal than the official festival grounds themselves.

I think about this idea every time Movement rolls around. It’s one of the largest festivals in the world dedicated to electronic music — a vague, massive, sweeping

musical genre that gobbles up so many bands and performers that it’s impossible to pin down. And whatever idea you have of what it is should be thrown out the window when Movement takes over Hart Plaza over Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27).

Detroit is one of the birthplaces of this music. That connection and built-in local pride is what I always hope switches people over to giving it a chance. I have to make this same argument for the Detroit Jazz Festival, too. I’ve watched people get hooked when they give it a try (and the jazz festival is free and the risk threshold arguably much lower for someone exploring something new in their hometown).

Movement is expensive. A three-day pass can run you over $300; a single-day ticket over $150. But it offers a lot of festival for the price: more than 115 acts across six stages, with the Detroit skyline as your backdrop and the Detroit River bringing a welcoming cool breeze to often blazing-hot days in Hart Plaza’s concrete jungle.

The variety of music is astonishing. It’s a shame that all of Movement gets unfairly lumped into an umbrella term like “electronic music.” And I’m not here to complicate things by sorting through subgenres and breaking them down for you.

But there’s mainstream appeal here. The rapper Ludacris is set to perform. Fatboy Slim has at least 10 hits you’ll recognize from the radio (albeit from years ago). Indie heartthrob James Blake is doing a DJ set (don’t expect to hear him sing during this).


Save the dates for comedy shows, film screenings, performances, and more COMPILED BY LAUREN WETHINGTON



Primus, Puscifier, and A Perfect Circle: Three titans of alt-rock and metal will join forces for a North American tour this spring in celebration of the 60th birthday of Maynard James Keenan. The revered singer-songwriter fronts both Puscifier and A Perfect Circle, which, along with Primus, will perform full individual sets on the same bill. Musicians

from each band also plan to dabble in each other’s performances, crafting a truly unique live music experience for rock fans new and old. $49+. Pine Knob Music Theatre, Clarkston; 313presents.com

MAY 3-5


Annie: One of the most enduring and beloved stage productions of all time, this musical by Tony Award winners Charles Strouse, Thomas Meehan, and Martin Charnin

tells the story of an orphaned 11-year-old girl desperate to find her family in Great Depression-era New York City. Directed by Jenn Thompson, the sunny show will charm audiences of all ages with sensationally catchy songs and a touching message about what it really means to have a family. $30+. Fox Theatre, Detroit; 313presents.com



Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Comedians Greg Proops, Ryan Stiles, Je B. Davis, and Joel Murray will bring the hilarious, unscripted comedy to the Michigan Theater stage this month. The celebrated show — now in its 20th season — is credited with introduc-

ing improv comedy to a new generation during its initial run in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Since then, the show has featured various hosts and performers, but two things have remained constant: Everything’s made up, and the points don’t matter. $55+. Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor; michigantheater.org

MAY 11


Marc Maron: The New Jerseybased comedian, writer, actor, and podcaster cut his teeth on the late-night talk show circuit in the ’90s, famously appearing on Late Night with Conan O’Brien more than 40 times. Since then, he’s hosted shows on Comedy Central and VH1, starred in his own IFC comedy

series, and launched WTF with Marc Maron — a podcast he hosts twice weekly. In his stand-up routines, Maron is known for combining earnest self-reflection with nuanced cultural critique, dissecting his own romantic relationships, friendships, and professional experiences along the way. $49+. Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak; royaloakmusictheatre.com

MAY 11-12


Art Birmingham: Now in its 43rd year, this annual street fair in downtown Birmingham’s Shain Park invites local and national fine artists to present works in paint, sculpture, metal, photography, glass, and many other

The Movement music festival is a three-day event that takes place in Hart Plaza. Goldie will perform at Movement on Monday, May 27.

Detroit is always well represented. Even as the festival has aimed for bigger-name acts, its organizers have never abandoned using it as a marquee event for local talent. Detroit techno forefathers like Juan Atkins, Carl Craig, and Kevin Saunderson (performing alongside DJ-turned-actor Idris Elba) are the masters of their craft.

The music discovery is what thrills me the most. I love stumbling over to a stage with a name I’ve never heard before and going in blind. It’s like seeing the cool cover of an album at a record store and buying it simply for its aesthetic. And most of the time, I’m blown away. This year, I’ve got my eye on Avalon Emerson, Channel Tres, Goldie and his live band (he’s a legend, but I can’t imagine how intense it will be with live musicians accompanying his high-energy drum-and-bass sound), and dreamcastmoe.

There’s something special here that happens offstage, too. When you’re in a group of people committed to something that’s inherently always going to be a bit underground, a sense of camaraderie is built. We’re at something together and losing ourselves in the music. You don’t have to dance (I hardly do), but I promise you, if you give it a shot, you’ll find yourself on the dance floor, surprised you’re there at all but so happy that you gave this unique Detroit production a chance in the first place.

Ryan Patrick Hooper is the host of In the Groove on 101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR station (weekdays from noon to 3 p.m.).

mediums. Visitors can also expect to enjoy live music performances, food trucks, and art activities for kids. Last year’s event boasted 150 juryselected artists and attracted around 80,000 attendees. No cost. Shain Park, Birmingham; theguild.org

MAY 11-19


The Cunning Little Vixen: Witness the Detroit premiere of this Czech-language opera about a brilliant fox’s mission

to outsmart her captors. Talented singers combine with colorful projections and bespoke animations to recall the tale’s humble origins as an early 20thcentury comic strip. The result is a playful, immersive, and visually stunning production that will engage adults as well as children older than 6 years. $90+ for the public; $15 for students. Detroit Opera House, Detroit; detroitopera.org

MAY 14


Sean Paul: Packing a catalog of party-ready hits like “Get Busy” and “Temperature,” Jamaican singer and rapper Sean Paul will make a Detroit

stop during his upcoming Greatesttour. Hailed as one of the most prolific artists in the dancehall and reggae genres, Paul boasts a Grammy Awardnominated solo discography as well as collaborations with some of pop’s biggest stars, including Beyoncé and Sia. $64+. The Fillmore, Detroit; livenation.com

MAY 17


Kenny Wayne Shepherd: The blues songwriter and guitarist

will showcase songs from his latest album — last year’s Dirt on My Diamonds — when he brings his band to Detroit’s Music Hall this month. After storming onto the blues scene at only 18 years old in 1995, Shepherd went on to sell more than 2 million albums — including Grammy-nominated Trouble Is …, which holds the record for the longest-running album on the Billboard blues chart. $50+. Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Detroit; musichall.org

MAY 17


Wanda Sykes: Comedy fans are likely to recognize Sykes from her prolific television career, which includes recurring roles on Curb

Your Enthusiasm The New Adventures of Old Christine and The Upshaws. The writer, comedian, and actor has also lent her voice to the Ice Age animated film franchise and guest-starred in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Black-ish, both of which landed her an Emmy Award nomination for outstanding guest actress. As a stand-up entertainer, Sykes deftly and hilariously discusses her personal life, politics, and everything in between. $64+. The Fillmore, Detroit; livenation.com



Death of a Driver: An American engineer named Sarah moves to Kenya and befriends Kennedy, her charismatic East African driver, in this new play by Will Snider. As the two work together to transform Kenya’s rural countryside, political adversity drives a wedge between them, forcing Sarah to reckon with the realities of trying to “do good” in a country and culture she doesn’t fully understand. $28. Theatre Nova, Ann Arbor; theatrenova.org

MAY 19-21


Motor City Comic Con: Comic book, anime, and pop culture fans gather to meet over 250 comic book creators, writers, and artists along with special celebrity guests like Charlie Hunnam and Cristina Vee. In addition, guests are encouraged to dress in their best cosplay for the cosplay contest, watch anime screenings, sit in on panel talks, and much more. $30-$249 for adults; $10-$20 for kids 12 and under. Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi; motorcitycomicon.com

MAY 21


Heart: Led by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, this rock powerhouse released a smattering of smash hits in the ’70s and 80s, including “Magic Man,” “Barracuda,” “Crazy on You,” and “Alone.” Fans will hear those beloved tracks

and more when the band celebrates its storied 50-year career on its upcoming Royal Flush tour, which features support from fellow 70s rockers Cheap Trick. $44.50+. Little Caesars Arena, Detroit; 313presents.com

MAY 24-26


Evil Does Not Exist: The peace and serenity of a rural Japanese village is threatened when it becomes the site of a posh new “glamping” resort in this thought-provoking film by Academy Award-winning director Ryusuke Hamaguchi. Straddling the physical world and the metaphysical one, the film’s haunting and poignant messages promise to stick with viewers long after the movie ends. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles. $8+. Detroit Film Theatre, Detroit; dia.org

MAY 25-27


Kensington Metropark

Art Fair: Browse paintings, ceramics, photography, jewelry, sculptures, and more as you enjoy the scenic backdrop of Kent Lake at this annual art fair. Expect to see more than 100 juried artists sharing their works, along with a curated selection of food trucks, local vendors, live music, and hands-on arts and crafts projects. No cost. Kensington Metropark, Milford; kensingtonartfair.com

MAY 31


Hozier: Irish singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne became a household name when his debut single, “Take Me to Church,” surged to No. 2 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart in 2014. Blending elements of blues, rock, soul, folk, and R&B, Hozier uses his music as a vehicle for his passionate activism. His 2023 album Unreal Unearth was named one of the best albums of the year by Billboard Esquire Hu Post, and several other publications. $49+. Pine Knob Music Theatre, Clarkston; 313presents.com

The Movement music festival is one of the world’s longest-running dance music events.

CINCO DE MAYO IS OFTEN mistaken for Mexico’s Independence Day, but really, the holiday commemorates Mexico’s victory over the French during the Battle of Puebla (Batalla de Puebla) and has become a time during which Mexican Americans celebrate their rich culture and heritage. From the annual Cinco de Mayo parade in Southwest Detroit and We Are Culture Creators’ Fiesta Detroit to lucha libre wresting and a tequila festival in Royal Oak, there’s no shortage of events happening in our area. Here’s a look at five standouts for you to enjoy responsibly and respectfully.

59th Annual Cinco de Mayo Parade & Fiesta

The Mexican Patriotic Committee of Metro Detroit is hosting its annual Cinco de Mayo celebration at West Vernor Highway and 21st Street all weekend long. The fiesta runs Saturday and Sunday with traditional music and cultural activities and in the past has included vendors, mariachis, and food. The 3-mile parade on Sunday is the big draw with spectacularly decorated floats, talented performers, and more. May 4-5. No cost to view the parade; other fees may apply. Southwest Detroit area; mpcdetroit.org

Fiesta Detroit

Somos Culture Creators, a subsidiary of local collective We Are Culture Creators that services Detroit’s Latino art community, hosts several days of Cinco de Mayo events starting on Friday and leading up to the big day on Sunday. Spread across seven active areas in the Mexicantown and Bagley Street areas, this event is expected to host 75 influencers and performers, including live music across five stages; an artisan market featuring more than 100 vendors; wrestling; a beer garden; and much more. Select days May 3-May 5. No cost for the street fair; $15-$20 cover for the concerts. El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Highway, Detroit, and the surrounding area; weareculturecreators.com

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

Five metro Detroit events you don’t want to miss.

Painting, Stickers & Mariachi

The Detroit Public Library is encouraging kids and families to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by coming together and creating art pieces that honor the holiday using supplies such as bric-a-brac, paint, and stickers. May 4. No cost. Detroit Public Library, Jefferson Branch, 12350 E. Outer Drive, Detroit; detroitpubliclibrary.org

Lucha Boom

Sanctuary Fight Club teams up with We Are Culture Creators to bring an evening of lucha libre wrestling, along with ethnic food and other cultural fun, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. The event, which is a part of the larger Fiesta Detroit, will start at 7 p.m. on May 3. $25-$75. Big Pink, 6440 Wight St., Detroit; sanctuaryfightclub.com

Royal Oak Tequila Fest

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by exploring the agavebased Mexican spirit at this year’s festival. Guests at the event will sample a variety of tequila brands, tequila liqueurs, crèmes, mezcals, and more alongside handcrafted margaritas and other cocktails. In addition, find taco trucks, live music, games, and shopping. May 4. $49-$69. Royal Oak Farmers Market, 316 E. 11 Mile Road, Royal Oak; eventbrite.com

Find Mexican-owned restaurants to support on Cinco de Mayo and all year long at hourdetroit. com/mexicanrestaurants.

 
The 3-mile parade in Southwest Detroit features floats, performers, and more. The Mexican Patriotic Committee of Metro Detroit is holding its 59th annual Cinco de Mayo parade and fiesta this year.

Where should people solo camp?


A few things to know before you embark on your adventure for one

Here, Nerbonne offers some solo-camping advice, including which campgrounds to visit and how to stay safe. RECREATION

THE THOUGHT OF camping alone in the dark woods can be frightening, but for Stevensville resident Meagan Francis, a mother of five, her solo camping trip in 2019 was a time to enjoy the outdoors alone and map out her experiences without having to accommodate others. “I love my family, I love traveling with them, but I was like, ‘I just want to be alone. I want to do all of this by myself, in the quiet, and choose where I want to go and not wait for anybody else,’” Francis says.

She’s not alone. The Dyrt, a popular app and online platform for camping information and booking, noted a 28% increase in solo campers across the country from 2021 to 2022 in its 2023 Camping Report, adding that many of them were women.

“It showed me something that I was capable of,” says Francis, who camped in the Upper Peninsula in the Munising and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore areas. “There’s so much value in getting out into nature. … I think I learned a lot about what my limits were and how to get right up against them and challenge myself, but not challenge myself too much.”

Nick Nerbonne, the media, digital, and industry relations director at Pure Michigan, agrees that solo camping can be an excellent experience for those who are comfortable with the idea. “Some of the things that we’ve seen are that people are really into exploring themselves,” Nerbonne says. “They want to connect with their emotions and connect with nature on their own so they can form their own perspectives and relationship with the surroundings.”

I think anyone should feel safe camping at a Michigan state park. [They] are staffed with park rangers; they have infrastructure with welllit bathrooms and showers and other facilities. There are about 103 Michigan state parks. In southwest Michigan, Warren Dunes State Park is a large-scale dunescape with forested trails, so you can enjoy the Lake Michigan beach but also go hiking. And, it’s got a great campground there. Further up the coast is Holland State Park, which is fantastic, and then around Muskegon are P.J. Hoffmaster State Park and Muskegon State Park. Those four are absolutely gorgeous.

In what ways should a solo camper be cautious?

Make sure you’re always aware of your surroundings. Take a look at the weather forecast before you go, no matter where you’re going, no matter what time of year. There can be storm systems that pop up. Also, make sure that your food is stored in a secure area that’s not going to attract animals. Michigan does have black bears and other animals that can come in and look for that food. If you have a car nearby, keep your food inside the car at night.

What types of equipment should solo campers bring with them?

The best part about camping is to get that rest that you get in the outdoors. That starts with a good tent that has a rain fly, which is an extra layer of protective material that deflects the moisture as it falls so your tent doesn’t get wet. And then also a good sleeping bag and a sleeping pad, which can be made of foam and many other different materials.

You also need a method of preparing food. If you’re backpacking, it’s not always possible to have a cooler. So having food that can be prepared with a small camp stove is great. And there’s always the option of cooking over an open fire; in Michigan state parks, there’s a firepit in every campsite.

How can solo campers be on the lookout for exciting outdoor opportunities?

We always recommend taking a look at what’s around the area where you’re planning to travel. For example, if you went to Port Crescent State Park [in Port Austin], there are a couple different outfitters that do trips where you can paddle out to Turnip Rock. It’s a very scenic and photogenic location. There are books and guidebooks and online websites where you can find more information [so you can] get out and explore.

 Stevensville resident Meagan Francis went on a six-day solo camping trip and explored the Munising and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore areas in the Upper Peninsula.

MAY 2024 75 Agenda
Solo camping has grown in popularity as people seek to explore nature and themselves.

A Tribute to Mom

Breeda Kelly Miller brings her mother’s story to the Penn Theatre in Plymouth, this Mother’s Day and for many more

AFTER COMPLETING the first live stage performance at the 83-year-old downtown Plymouth Penn Theatre since Friends of the Penn helped reopen it in 2006, actor-playwright Breeda Kelly Miller stared wistfully at its rafters last November and declared, “I wish this could be my home theater.”

To which Ellen Elliott, executive director of Friends of the Penn, the 501(c)(3) organization that operates the classic single-screen movie theater, replied, “It could be! You want it to be? Let’s talk.”

Must be the luck of the Irish. So it is that Lincoln Park native Miller’s poignant, powerful one-woman play about her mother, Mrs. Kelly’s Journey Home, came to be staged at the Penn. The play documents her mom’s journey from Ireland through the end of her life when she was living with dementia. The play, which Miller wrote and stars in, will be presented three times this Mother’s Day weekend — Miller’s idea, Elliott notes — and every succeeding Mother’s Day for as long as she can tread the boards.

“Ninety-nine percent of the ideas people bring to us for fundraising won’t work for one reason or another, but I listen anyway because you never know,” Elliott says. “One of our donors called and said, ‘We just saw this play — it’s amazing; Breeda Miller wants to do it as a fundraiser, and Penn would be the perfect venue.’ I wanted Breeda to see the space because this is a movie theater, so I said, ‘Ask her to call me.’ Twenty minutes later, Breeda was on the phone.”

Miller describes herself as an “accidental caregiver,” after taking her mother, Mary Kelly, into her home when Kelly developed vascular dementia and no longer could care for herself. She lived with Miller and Miller’s husband and three children for nearly six years before passing away in 2011 at age 86. Miller funneled her long-term feelings of exhaustion, frustration, and stress into a twoact script that, after 10 rewrites with acclaimed Ann Arbor-based director Brian Cox, became Mrs. Kelly’s Journey Home.

Mrs. Kelly’s Journey Home is a one-woman show about the journey from Ireland to America made by the performer’s mother, who was later diagnosed with dementia.

Changing only her vocal inflections, Miller portrays four characters: her mother, her mother’s best friend, her father, and herself. By her count, she has performed the play 26 times to date in 17 cities, seven states, and two countries: the U.S. and her parents’ native Ireland.

“It was the most daunting experience, performing in front of Irish people, many of whom I was related to, doing an Irish accent,” she recalls. “The opportunities for failure were huge. But after the play, one of my cousins said to me, ‘Breeda, the buzz in the lobby was so positive.’ They could relate to it, and they loved it.”

She reflects. “When I originally wrote this piece, I thought, ‘Who’s gonna like this?’ I thought I had two audiences: Irish people who like Irish stories, and people interested in elder or dementia care. And I’m so delighted to say I was completely wrong. Nobody thinks a play about dementia is going to be a good time, but just as dementia didn’t define Mary Kelly, it doesn’t define this play. This show transcends ethnicity, race, religion, age. It’s affirming, and I am so proud of it.”

Mrs. Kelly’s Journey Home will be staged at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10, and in 2 p.m. matinees Saturday, May 11, and Sunday, May 12, at the Penn Theatre at 760 Penniman Ave. in Plymouth. Go to penntheatre.com or breedamiller.com, or email info@friendsofthepenn.org, for more information.

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P r o f i l e s

Mark Savaya has pioneered a distinctive cannabis enterprise in Michigan, carving a niche unlike any other. Amidst the vast array of cannabis offerings, few individuals boast their own brand-label cannabis. Enter the Mark Savaya Collection, a hybrid strain meticulously bred by Savaya himself and exclusively available at Leaf & Bud. Leaf & Bud stands as a burgeoning network of centers across Michigan, catering to both medical and recreational cannabis enthusiasts.

In his role as co-founder and CEO of Future Grow Solutions, Savaya orchestrates a seamlessly integrated system akin to Henry Ford’s assembly line, devoted to the production of medical and recreational marijuana products. “Future Grow Solutions is deeply rooted in Michigan, with a mission to empower the cannabis industry to optimize profitability and craft exceptional products,” Savaya explains. “In an ever-evolving landscape of regulations and technologies, our team at Future Grow Solutions provides comprehensive consulting services across all facets of the cannabis industry.”

Leaf & Bud Provisioning Center, an extension of their endeavors aimed at retailing products from their several locations in Detroit, Centerline, Hazel Park, Ann Arbor and many other locations coming soon. “Leaf & Bud emerged organically from the foundation laid by Future Grow Solutions,” Savaya notes. “Our brand prides itself on employing premium nutrients and meticulously handcrafting a diverse range of products, including edibles, concentrates, topicals, oils, and more.”

The journey to introduce Leaf & Bud to the Detroit community has been nothing short of remarkable, according to Savaya. “We’ve meticulously designed our locations to offer a sleek, inviting, and futuristic ambiance,” he shares. “Our cannabis consultants are well-versed in our offerings and prioritize understanding the unique needs of each customer, whether for medical or recreational purposes.”

With oversight spanning multiple cannabis complexes across Michigan, Savaya boasts a 16-year tenure devoted to cultivating an ambitious and innovative cannabis growth and retail business. Drawing upon his extensive experience as both a successful startup investor and operations manager, Savaya has spearheaded a paradigm shift within Michigan’s medicinal and recreational marijuana market through Future Grow Solutions.

“Our indoor grow facilities employ soil organic growth techniques, enabling us to cultivate over 50 different strains,” Savaya explains. “This method ensures high-yield crops to meet the demands of consumers seeking premium products.” Specializing in exotic, high-quality offerings, Future Grow Solutions harnesses cutting-edge technology that is both economically viable and environmentally sustainable, with computer management systems meticulously monitoring every aspect of the cultivation process to optimize outcomes.

Looking ahead, Savaya anticipates continued expansion for Leaf & Bud in tandem with the escalating demand and medical necessity for cannabis products in Michigan. His commitment to making a positive impact within the community and beyond underscores his passion for the industry. “When you’re passionate about what you do, it ceases to feel like work,” Savaya reflects. “I derive immense satisfaction from aiding growers and investors navigate the complexities of the cannabis business, from securing real estate and financing to ensuring compliance and fostering talent recruitment.”

In addition to overseeing daily operations and providing training and support for grow operations, Savaya remains committed to expanding his business footprint by establishing more Leaf & Bud locations and distributing their quality products. This includes the renowned Mark Savaya Collection, a testament to his unwavering dedication to excellence in the cannabis industry. n

Future Grow Solutions/Leaf & Bud

500 S. Old Woodward, 2nd Floor Birmingham, MI 48009

Canna-Business Profiles

Just over two years ago, DeHydr8 came to market, revolutionizing the cannabis industry by leveraging patented technology to make cannabinoids more bioavailable, predictable, and accurate. Since its inception, the business has morphed into three distinct segments — Dehydr8, High TeHC and CannaBrandz Mfg — and continuing to grow! While DeHydr8 is processing THC powder in eight states (MI, MD, MA, MO, IL, OR, DE, NJ) providing premium products to cannabis users, the new entities High TeHC and CannaBrandz are taking the Michigan market to the next level.

High TeHC is an edible line found in several dispensaries across Michigan with “Indication” based products. These are products that consumers may typically seek when they speak to the budtender, “I’d like something to help me: sleep, relax, or energize.” The High TeHC product line includes gummies, infused (N’fuse) THC powder for drink and food enhancement, or simply a pixie-style use. Most recently added to the lineup are dissolvable tablets, swallow tablets, and chewing gum (YES-Chewing Gum).

CannaBrandz Manufacturing has recently begun operating a licensed processing facility which historically had been a Co-Manufacturer for Gummies only. Under CrannaBrandz, this operation now o ers white label or co-man opportunities to over 30 SKU’s in the Licensed Michigan operating market. The CannaBrandz operation currently works with retailers that desire their own brand of products, cultivators that want new ways to lever their extracted plant oils, and processors who wish to utilize their extraction methods into edible products. This newly owned facility o ers everything from value-line solutions to premium-level production. The CannaBrandz Kitchen is considered one of the

premier edible manufacturing facilities in Michigan with its state-of-the-art production and packaging lines, along with its dedicated and creative team of employees. CannaBrandz is fully focused on becoming one of a few cGMP manufacturers in the Michigan Cannabis Market.

Jessica Webber, co-founder of DeHydr8, High TeHC, and CannaBrandz, has been instrumental in helping to build and drive success for these three “budding” businesses and brands.

“Each of these entities has its own unique lane in the cannabis industry,” Webber said. “It’s been an exciting journey beginning with the Intellectual Property (IP) itself, to creating new products entering the market, to o ering R&D and licensing options expanding into in eight states, to most recently operating one of the premier commercial cannabis kitchens in the state.”

This multi-faceted company now has more than 30 SKU’s and over 40 flavor profiles in the infused edible space in Michigan alone. Brooke Lavender, the group’s Chief Food Science O cer, is not only making edible products for their own brands but also is co-manufacturing for a handful of other brands in the marketplace. “The opportunity to expand beyond gummy’s and bring my confectionary expertise to the team is super exciting,” Lavender said. “Helping Michigan operators enhance their product o ering is certainly exciting, but it’s also fun to see, learn and share with operators in other states. I am so proud of our team and the level of professionalism as we set the standard for Michigan’s edible cannabis production. I am so happy we are Best in Class.” As we say in the Kitchen “Taste the Feeling”

Dehydr8, High TeHC and CannaBrandz Mfg products can be found in more than 200 locations across Michigan. ■

Dehydr8.com Hightehccanna.com CannaBrandz.net

Instagram: @Dehydr8usa @HighTeHC_ Info@dehydr8.com Info@HighTehccanna.com Info@CannaBrandz.net

Canna-Business Profiles

In the rapidly evolving cannabis industry, where the complexities of licensing, property acquisition, and legal navigation can daunt even the most seasoned professionals, Canna Zoned MLS is a beacon of clarity and expertise. This consulting powerhouse is a trusted leader in commercial real estate solutions tailored specifically to the cannabis realm.

At the heart of Canna Zoned MLS’s operation is a profound understanding of the cannabis market’s intricacies. From licensing to buying, selling, or investing in cannabis properties, Canna Zoned MLS provides an unmatched spectrum of services designed to streamline the process. Their approach isn’t just about transactions; it’s about building a foundation for success in an industry known for its regulatory hurdles and operational challenges.

What sets Canna Zoned MLS apart is its network of trusted partnerships. By bringing together real estate professionals, legal experts, architects, and industry consultants, Canna Zoned MLS ensures that every client benefits from a multidisciplinary perspective. This approach elevates the quality of service and guarantees that clients receive informed, reliable solutions.

With more than 45 years of combined experience in the cannabis, legal, and real estate industries, the team at Canna Zoned MLS brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. Their expertise in commercial cannabis licensing and the real estate market is unparalleled. This seasoned experience translates into successful transactions and satisfied clients who know they’re in capable hands.

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, Canna Zoned MLS remains a pivotal player, shaping the future of cannabis real estate with every successful deal and satisfied client.

To view current available properties across the US or speak to one of Canna Zoned MLS’s experts: Visit cannazonedmls.com or call 248-420-0420. ■

Canna Zoned MLS





butter, a cannabis lifestyle brand, founded and rooted in Michigan, is driven by a relentless desire for exceptionalism and challenging themselves to surpass yesterday’s standards, rise above the ordinary, and cultivate something extraordinary.

“We believe people and plants are butter (better) together,” said Chris Klamkin, co-founder and CEO of butter. “We strive to be honest, transparent, and always maintain unwavering integrity in everything we do. We delve into the fundamentals, grounding ourselves in the science that allows us to stay centered on our journey toward mastery.”

butter was first introduced to the Michigan market as a brand in the beginning of 2023 and opened their first retail store later that same year with Ann Arbor (September) and Berkley (December).

butter’s cultivation facility takes a very pragmatic approach to cultivation, by putting

genetics and terpenes first. While most cultivations run big yields and high THC, the approach at butter is to focus primarily on genetics and terpene profiles. By working directly with breeders and their cuttings, butter is able to bring exciting genetics to the market with intriguing flavors that hit the palate in delightful ways. Some of the genetic line-up even includes notable work that originated from community collaborations, while others are downright relics. To the legacy cultivators, the simple plant-focused approach isn’t necessarily unique, it’s just the butter way.

From relaxed and sleepy to energetic and creative, all butter flower strains are categorized by effects, including Deep Fried Ice Cream, Happily Ever After and Alien Cookies x Kush Mints #11. In addition to growing exceptional cannabis, the butter brand also offers gummies and infused spreadables. ■


509 State Cir. Ann Arbor, MI 48108 734-385-7880

2222 W. Eleven Mile Road Berkley, MI 48072 248-997-4522


P r o f i l e s

Canna-Business Profiles

In the heart of Michigan’s bustling cannabis market, Mary Jane’s Friends & Co. is a pioneer in providing exceptional cultivation care. With a robust team of more than 100 dedicated professionals, they stand out as the premier provider, transforming the way local cannabis operations flourish.

Mary Jane’s service isn’t just support; it’s a strategic partnership designed to enhance every phase of cannabis cultivation, accommodating farms and facilities of any size. Their innovative approach directly tackles the inefficiencies often found with in-house labor, including the significant time and financial investment required for training and maintenance. By deploying their skilled team precisely when and where they’re needed, Mary Jane’s empowers businesses to streamline their operations and shift their focus toward scaling and market expansion.

A testament to the company’s efficiency is the tangible impact they’ve made on their clients’ operations. The defoliating, harvesting, or manicuring process — often a bottleneck — is expedited, surpassing the pace of traditional in-house crews. Many have reported reducing multi-day harvests to a single day and significantly speeding up the process — achievements that underscore the team’s proficiency and the advanced techniques they employ. This heightened efficiency is a cornerstone of Mary Jane’s service, allowing their partners to achieve more in less time. Join the growing community of other businesses that trust in their expertise. Partner with Michigan’s leading cultivation care provider and witness the transformation in your operation. Let Mary Jane’s help you thrive in the competitive cannabis market by making the most of your time and resources. ■

Mary Jane’s Friends & Co.

13647 E. 10 Mile Road

Warren, MI 48089





Brightly hued ’70s- and ’80s-inspired beverages, like this Ecto Kooler margarita, are in season this summer p. 86



Ahoy There, Matey!

Boat drinks are having a moment

NOT TOO LONG AGO, Very Serious Bartenders — pardon me, Mixologists — spent a lot of time convincing the public that their profession required a tremendous amount of training and skill and an inner well of talent. They were right, of course: It really is a skilled job with its own set of exacting expectations. But somewhere in the last few years, bartending has lost its navel-gazing earnestness and stopped taking itself so darned seriously.

First, there was the espresso martini, the de rigueur drink of 2021. Creamy, caffeinated, and fluffy on top, the espresso martini was invented in the 1980s and has surged back into popularity in the last couple of years. Then came appletinis, grasshoppers, pink squirrels, and more. That tall, narrow bottle of Galliano, once so conspicuously absent from chic cocktail bars, has begun to creep back onto shelves for the Harvey Wallbanger and golden Cadillac. Anything neon-hued and sugary is seeing a strong resurgence right now as bartenders play with neglected liqueurs and revive the poppy hits of the ’80s in music and in drinks.

That doesn’t mean that the drinks once popular in the ’70s and ’80s are unchanged by today’s tastes, though. Many craft bartenders are using their advanced training and technical skills to elevate these once-simple drinks. At Tocororo in Eastern Market, co-owner Connor Payne tinkers with old recipes and gives them a more refined edge. The classic hurricane gets the star treatment with aged rum, passion fruit, and fresh lemon, rather than the red powdered sugar packet from Pat O’Brien’s that some bars sell. It’s still visually eye-popping, though, with dual tones of soft peach and carmine red.

At Tocororo, Payne is “focusing on finding sweet, easy-drinking, colorful

‘boat beverages,’” he says. Boat beverages, or boat drinks, are another name for the juice-intensive drinks of summer fun. For Payne, that means “bringing back the nuance” in that style of drink and “elevating them a little bit.” His seasonal menu draws inspiration from classics like the mojito and hurricane while adding new recipes like the Lorelei, with gin, melon, pineapple, Falernum, and butterfly pea flower, which adds a delicate but rich layer of purple liquid to the top of the drink.

Over at Eastern Palace Club in Hazel Park, disco drinks (yet another name for the brightly colored drinks of the ’70s and ’80s) just refuse to take themselves seriously. So says Dustin Leslie, co-owner of the Key West-themed bar that opened in 2023 with an emphasis on laid-back vibes rather than precision mixology. One rummy concoction, its Rum Bucket, includes three different kinds of rum and is served in a plastic bucket, the kind you might find in a kids sand play kit, complete with a rubber ducky. Another popular Eastern Palace Club drink is the Ecto Kooler house margarita, which ticks all the boxes for Gen X and elder millennial nostalgia. Neon-colored? Playful and just a tad whimsical? Named after a fundamental ’80s children’s movie series? Check, check, and check: The startlingly green cocktail created by co-owner Mike Pierce reflects his love of the original Ghostbusters movie and the generation favorite (and equally vibrantly hued) Hi-C drink.

The goal of a boat drink, Leslie says, “is to help the party atmosphere. It’s really an atmospheric drink. It’s supposed to fit into a vibe where you’re hanging out.” For him, boat drinks, disco drinks, and retro drinks all tap into the nostalgic longing of elder millennials, Gen Xers, and baby boomers. The boat-drink experience, Leslie says, is a social one: Larger groups get together and dance or chat without thinking too much about what ingredients are in their drinks.

“It has more to do with what they’re doing and where they’re at, more so than just the drinks themselves,” Leslie says. “They usually come in fun containers, they’re brightly colored, they usually are high octane.”

After several years of social isolation, many drinkers are hoping to connect more in person. Nothing against meticulously crafted cocktails that are the pinnacle of sophisticated flavor and combination, but sometimes girls and boys just wanna have fun. Boat drinks, disco drinks — whatever you call them, Leslie says, “they bring back the fun times.”

Eastern Palace Club’s Eto Cooler-flavored house margarita was created by co-owner and Ghostbusters fan Mike Pierce. Tocororo’s hurricane is made with rum, fresh lemon, passion fruit, and turbinado syrup with an overproof rum float. 



In Ferndale, a new destination for fine dining comes with a stellar culinary pedigree but none of the pretense

MAY 2024 87
 Ferndale’s Coeur serves a Californian spin on New American cuisine with French technique.


ONWUACHI. Some of the most famous chefs in the country have studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. It is considered the most prestigious culinary school in the country, and its graduates leave with one of the best classical French culinary foundations available. So, when I discovered we have two CIA-trained chefs working nearby — along with a graduate of one of Michigan’s top culinary schools — it got my attention.

At Coeur in Ferndale, CIA-trained chef-owner Jordan Smith brings metro Detroiters a Californian, New American menu deeply rooted in classical French technique. If you think a top-notch restaurant needs to be stuffy, think again. Instead of the starched white linens, $300 per person price tag, and intensely

pressurized kitchen conditions, Coeur’s vibe is relaxed and approachable. The architect, Driven Design out of Battle Creek, created a minimalist space and décor with a bright, warm, and inviting ambiance. The 3,534-square-foot interior is enhanced with polished concrete floors and natural materials, like wood and leather. It has seating for 66 indoors, with another 14 seats at the bar; there’s additional room for 54 on the 1,559-square-foot outdoor patio.

Choosing Ferndale was serendipitous for Smith, who was born in Canada but spent his middle and high school years in metro Detroit. He began to hear about Detroit’s up-and-coming food scene, and once a few respected colleagues relocated here, he decided to check it out.

“I was at the point of being interested in opening my own place but wasn’t really sure where,” says Smith, who has spent the bulk of his career in notable fine-dining establishments around the country, such as James Beard Award winners Quince and Mina Group (the former is also a Michelinstarred restaurant) in San Francisco; Dinex Group restaurants in New York; and several outlets at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North in Arizona. “I came back here to have dinner and get the lay of the land and thought, ‘This place is legit.’”

After touring multiple locations across metro Detroit, his real estate agent took him through Ferndale on a whim. Surprised by the foot traffic and bohemian vibes, Smith realized the area had potential. He took over the space, formerly known as Assaggi Bistro, in August 2022. After a six-month renovation that began the following January, he opened Coeur — meaning “heart” in French — which he named for its central location in America’s heartland.

Alongside Smith are Beverage Director Sean Crenny, a CIA grad and trained sommelier, and pastry chef Carla Spicuzzi. A West Bloomfield native, Spicuzzi is a graduate of Schoolcraft College’s baking and pastry program in Livonia.

Crenny and Spicuzzi, who celebrated their wedding in April, previously worked together at Thomas Keller Restaurant Group’s Per Se in New York. Once the pandemic hit, the two embraced Spicuzzi’s familiar hometown, ultimately landing at Coeur with Smith. Coeur gives all three the opportunity to work in less-intense settings while still holding themselves to the same high standards. They are a powerful trifecta, with expertise covering the three prominent culinary domains. It’s too bad Michelin doesn’t rate Michigan yet, because this crew would get noticed.

“We came because that work is really hard to do and we needed a more relaxed environment,” Spicuzzi says. “Here, we can do our best for our guests, the restaurant, and the area without making ourselves crazy.”

Smith says the menu is a group collaboration. They bounce concepts off one another daily, pulling from their individual expertise; nothing gets past the kitchen without everyone’s approval. Some dishes

The gougère with whipped bûcheron cheese is served with pistachio praline, roasted baby beets, and honey citrus vinaigrette.  The chicken roulade is made with fresh herbs and served with braised green cabbage.
 Food&Drink
The house-made mille feuille has cinnamon apple, caramel, vanilla mousse and puff pastry.

are inspired by Crenny, who may have an exciting new wine to feature, and some are birthed from the organic overlap that exists between French cuisine and French pastry.

“I like to put my two cents in on the savory menu because every once in a while, you end up with a cool collaboration,” Spicuzzi says. “You don’t always get that without a strong pastry person that you can play ideas off of.”

An interesting savory and pastry merger is the rye and bûcheron gougère, a savory version of an éclair featured on the tasting menu ($89 per person with optional wine pairing). Smith explains that while he was working out the dish in the kitchen, Spicuzzi suggested he wrap it all up in a parcel. Smith ran with it, using the dough to encase the warm, tangy Frenchstyle goat cheese from the Loire Valley, and served it with roasted beets and a sherry vinaigrette.

“We push each other to be better in every category,” Crenny says. “Nothing ever gets better unless you’re always trying to improve on it.”

Other small plates include the potato and Comté croquettes ($12), the beloved fried finger food with French origins, bound together with mashed potatoes, flour, and cheese alongside a charred-leek crème fraîche dipping sauce. There’s a delicata squash tempura ($14) featuring creamy, sweet rings encased in a delicate crisped coating, served with a zesty sumacand za’atar-seasoned fromage blanc, fresh herbs, and a chile garlic crunch. The grilled hamachi collar ($22) is a tender, flavorful yellowtail preparation glossed with a finger-licking, sticky sweet kumquat glaze.

Larger plates feature the French classic chicken roulade ($36), a rolled deboned chicken dish filled with mousseline and mirepoix and served with braised green cabbage and cipollini onions on a bed of fines herbes sauce. There’s also the short ribs ($39), offered as a deconstructed version of the classic red wine-forward boeuf bourguignon, served with trumpet mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes.

As for dessert ($14), Spicuzzi pulls on our nostalgic childhood heartstrings with familiar gems that taste better than you remember. On the tasting menu, she features a play on her grandmother’s apple pie by replacing the pie crust with house-made millefeuille — layers of rich puff pastry — filled with vanilla mousse pastry cream and cinnamon apples. The banana madeleines, French butter cakes, are a Fluffernutter sandwich knockoff, served with a toasted marshmallow fluff and chocolate peanut butter ganache. She replaces the glass of milk traditionally paired with a plate of cookies with a malted vanilla mousse for dipping.

Weekend brunch has a variety of sweet and savory options. There’s the eggs Benedict ($19) with peameal bacon, poached egg, and hollandaise on an English muffin. The challah French toast ($16) is served with a seasonal jam and smoked maple syrup. For something heartier, Coeur offers a brisket hash ($24) that features smoked Wagyu brisket, poached egg, potatoes, onions, and peppers with a red wine jus.

At a Glance:

Price: $$$$

Vibes: Modern, hip, and relaxed

Service: Knowledgeable, helpful, attentive

Sound level: Moderate

Dress code: Casual and relaxed

Open: Dinner

Wednesday-Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m., Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Reservations: Highly recommended. Call 248-466-3010 or reserve online at coeurferndale.com

Parking: There’s street parking in front of the restaurant and a paid parking lot in the back.

The team is starting to see diners coming in regularly for the tasting menu, which they change often. (Spicuzzi is mulling a five-course dessert tasting for the latenight menu, with plans to put more courses on the dinner tasting menu.) They’re happy to see it grow in popularity, with a third of the guests participating on any given night. “That’s a pretty high rate considering it’s a true trust fall and we really don’t disclose what those dishes are,” Crenny says. “We’re lucky to have so many people trust us as a new restaurant and allow us to guide that experience for them.”

For the wine program, Crenny focuses on the quality wines of the world, which is reflected in his regularly refreshing the wine-by-the-glass program. He wants to make these classics more approachable so that Coeur becomes a destination for people who want to sip something special. Crenny hosts regular wine tasting events and offers membership to a monthly carryout wine club that includes three bottles explored by region.

“I hope to make these varietals less intimidating and give Detroiters a chance to learn about the classics,” Crenny says. “I pick the best representations for the kind of wines they are that I know will work well with the foods being featured.”

There’s no ceiling to Coeur’s potential. With this team’s background and training, there will always be something new on the menu. Though relatively new, Coeur has already garnered positive reviews, was named the Detroit Free Press’s top best new testaurant, and received 11 category nominations for Hour Detroit’s Best of Detroit awards.

“At the end of the day, we are a bunch of food and beverage nerds, and we just want to share the cool things we come up with,” Smith says. “I want the locals in Ferndale to embrace a place that they don’t ever need to feel intimidated to come to, even if it’s for a fancy occasion.”

MAY 2024 89
The 3,534-square-foot restaurant is designed with natural materials, like leather and wood.


Newly opened in Ann Arbor, Q Bakehouse & Market serves up Rachel Liu Martindale’s fresh take on Asian and American baking BY

THE PINEAPPLE BUN (bo luo bao) contains no pineapple. The name is for its light-yellow buttery vanilla coating, sometimes scored by the baker with a pattern that resembles the geometric scales of a pineapple. It’s on the menu at most Chinese bakeries, and each baker likes to put their own riff on it.

The pineapple bun was one of Rachel Liu Martindale’s favorite treats growing up; and it can be found at Q Bakehouse & Market, her newly opened shop in a quaint strip mall on Ann Arbor’s west side. Her riff on the classic is lightly sweet, somewhat savory, spongy, and truly one of the best possible morning snacks.

“Before we opened, I was like, ‘I need to have it at least on rotation at our place,’” Liu Martindale says.

Raised in Troy, Liu Martindale learned to love baking at an early age, when she discovered the Food Network. She was born to Taiwanese and Chinese immigrant parents who were avid cooks — but not big bakers. In fact, their oven was rarely ever on; instead, they used it mostly to store pots and pans for cooking. But she fondly remembers the home-cooked meals from her childhood, and those flavors and techniques were top of mind as she conceptualized the confections at Q Bakehouse.

“I hate the word ‘fusion,’ but it is kind of fusion — my parents’ culture and my culture of growing up in America,” she says. “I have blended the two together: my favorite things about American baking, sweets, and pastries, and my favorite things about Asian pastries, which are very different, honestly. They kind of meet in the middle.”

Most everything on the rotating menu either is made with an Asian-style baking technique or is a Western pastry that’s modified with Asian flavors. Don’t expect just desserts — spicy and savory play prominent roles. For instance, her mid-March offerings included the Chili Chive Garlic Parmesan Bun, made with a house-crafted pickled chile garlic sauce, chives, and Parmesan cheese. There was also the pork floss bun, topped with Kewpie mayo, pork floss (a light and stringy dried pork), seaweed, and sesame. Both provisions were made with a milk bread bun, the very same pastry that provides the base for the pineapple bun.

“Those are a very staple Asian bakery offering,” Liu Martindale says. “You can get endlessly creative with them.”

There’s also a separate but very complementary business inside the building: Strider Coffee Stop is run by her friend, barista Caleb Ingalsbe, who makes a very fine cup of coffee. On the market side of things, Q Bakehouse offers house-made products like sauces and seasonings. Its signature frozen dumplings are a hot commodity — they regularly fly off the freezer shelves, “which is a good problem to have,” Liu Martindale says, especially in comparison to the challenges she faced trying to get the place open.

The build-out — which took five and a half months — was rife with construction delays and unanticipated costs that required her to set up a crowdfunding campaign to avoid going into debt (and fortunately, she didn’t). But the story begins long before then.

Liu Martindale took an engineering job shortly after graduating from the University of Michigan in 2015. She settled briefly in Grand Rapids, but she felt out of place in her career path — and had for some time. “Halfway through college, I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can see myself doing [engineering] forever,’” she says. “But because of my upbringing, I didn’t feel like I had a choice to choose anything else.”

But she did choose something else. She quit her engineering job and moved back near her alma mater to be with her fiancé (now husband). In 2017, she founded Milk + Honey, a custom-order business that grew from her Ypsilanti apartment to a shared commercial kitchen in Milan, Michigan.

Now 31, she’s finally settled into her first brickand-mortar and leads a team of five. She managed to weather the financial burden of getting her first bakery open through a combination of savings, some grant money, and donations — including support from her family, which she says she’s quite thankful for. At the conclusion of Hour Detroit’s interview with Liu Martindale, we bought a few pastries. She rang us up and excused herself before hastily jogging downstairs, back to baking.

The pineapple bun (bo luo bao) contains no pineapple and is a lightly sweet and spongy treat, great with a morning cup of coffee.
 Food&Drink
The taro jasmine bun is filled with jasmine tea whipped cream and topped with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.

Restaurant Guide


Al Ameer


LEBANESE • This halal restaurant is a recipient of the prestigious James Beard America’s Classics Award. The Al Ameer platter is perfect for sharing: chicken shawarma, meat shawarma, tawook kabob, and two kafta served with hummus and salad. 12710 W. Warren Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-8185. 27346 Ford Road, Dearborn Heights; 313-565-9600. 6505 N. Canton Center Road, Canton; 734-627-7707. L,D daily.

Amore da Roma


ITALIAN • Guy Pelino, Roma Café’s chef, took over the ownership reins of this restaurant on the edge of the Eastern Market. He retained the menu, adding a charcuterie board and updating the wine list, while keeping the character of the old-school restaurant, known for its steaks and pastas. 3401 Riopelle St., Detroit; 313-831-5940. L,D Tue.-Sat.



ALPINE •This Alps-inspired Corktown eatery quickly became beloved after opening in 2022. The cozy interior evokes cabins and farmhouses from the European countryside. Order beers and wines from all over Europe, plus cocktails like the kaffeepause, their riff on an espresso martini made with brandy, house coffee liqueur, and demerara. Choice bites include the fondue, wiener schnitzel, or the chestnut gnocchetti, made with chestnut dumplings, wild boar sausage, apple, kale, morber, and fried sage. There are tasty vegetarian and vegan options, as well. 1426 Bagley St., Detroit; 313-524-0888. D daily, BR Sun.



ITALIAN • Over the past three decades, Joe Vicari has established several Andiamo restaurants in metro Detroit, all inspired by the late master chef Aldo Ottaviani’s philosophy of seasonal, from-scratch cooking. The menus differ slightly at the different locations, but the constant is the fresh, housemade pastas — handcrafted by the trinity of “pasta ladies,” Anna, Tanya, and Angelina, who have carried on the tradition. The downtown Detroit location offers a breathtaking view of the Detroit River, while the Livonia location offers a comfortable and casual vibe. 400 Renaissance Center, Detroit; 313-567-6700. D Mon.-Fri., L,D Sat.Sun. 38703 Seven Mile Road, Livonia; 734-953-3200. D daily.

Antonio’s Cucina Italiana $$ ITALIAN • The Rugieros have impressed restaurant guests for decades with authentic cuisine. Signature dishes include Gnocchi Rita and Chicken Antonio. There’s a full bar and a very extensive wine list. 2220 N. Canton Center Road, Canton; 734-981-9800. 26356 Ford Road, Dearborn Heights; 313-278-6000. 37646 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills; 248-994-4000. L,D daily. (Farmington Hills location temporarily closed Mondays)

Atwater in the Park $

GERMAN At this casual spot, traditional German-style beer is the beverage of choice. Chef Chris Franz’ noteworthy menu is compatible with such additions as the Atwater Brat and other sausages teamed with sauerkraut, plus Bavarian soft pretzels. 1175 Lakepointe St., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-344-5104. L,D daily.


EUROPEAN Located on The Siren Hotel’s second floor, this eatery is meant to capture the “spirit of the



Apparatus Room

NEW AMERICAN Try elegant but approchable plates and sommelierselected wines and cocktails in this hip space below the Detroit Foundation Hotel that once housed the Detroit Fire Department headquarters. 250 W. Larned St., Detroit; 313-8005600. B,L,D Mon.Fri., BR,D Sat.-Sun.

quintessential European cafe seen through an Americana lens,” along with serving specialty cocktails and good coffee. Chef Scott Martinelli’s menu changes seasonally and features a bread of the day and entrées like pasta, moules (the national dish of Belgium), and seafood. Or try the pork belly rillons, made with sweet-andsour blackberry sauce, fennel, cipollini, and cilantro. 1509 Broadway St., Detroit; 313-277-4736. B,L,D daily.

Avalon Café and Bakery

$$ ORGANIC BAKERY • The bakery’s mini-empire includes a café on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Its bread is also the basis for dishes such as avocado toast with tahini, thinly curled cucumbers, lime, and chili flakes. Vegetarian fare includes a grilled veggie sandwich with portobello mushrooms, zucchini, and goat cheese. Meatier highlights include a turkey and gouda sandwich, and BLTA with cider house bacon. 1049 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-285-8006. B,L daily.


$ NEW AMERICAN • This café settled into the Midtown Park Shelton building in July 2019, serving elevated comfort food made from local, small-batch producers. The self-described gourmet diner offers espresso drinks and such dishes as avocado toast, kimchi patatas bravas, and the Babo Burger. 15 E. Kirby St., Ste. 115, Detroit; 313-312-1493. B,L,D Tue.-Sat. B,L Sun.

Baker’s Keyboard Lounge

$$ SOUL FOOD • This iconic lounge features live music, along with beef short ribs with gravy, creamy mac and cheese, collard greens, and sweet cornbread muffins. 20510 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-345-6300. D Mon.-Fri.

Baobab Fare

$$ EAST AFRICAN • With his New Center restaurant, Hamissi Mamba urges diners to venture into culinary territories they’d otherwise miss, like the Mbuzi starring a goat shank that is slow-roasted until the meat is so tender that it slides off the bone. 6568 Woodward Ave., Ste. 100, Detroit; 313-265-3093. L,D Tue.-Sun.



ARGENTINIAN • Barda brings a new cuisine to metro Detroit. True to Argentinian culture, the restaurant celebrates traditional meat dishes. For starters, Carne y Hueso, meaning Flesh and Bone, features a mold of finely chopped beef tartare topped with spicy horseradish alongside a dense bone filled to the brim with buttery marrow. Tira de Asado, a classic Argentinian short rib dish, arrives on a plate in a coriander-pepper crust. And inch-thick slices of rare Bife, or strip loin steak, lie on a bed of melted butter infused with chimichurri. 4842 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313- 952-5182; barda-detroit.com. D Thu.-Sun.

Bar Pigalle


FRENCH • Nestled inside The Carlton Lofts in Brush Park, this restaurant beautifully complements the neighborhood’s former nickname, the Little Paris of the Midwest, by serving French-inspired cuisine, such as the duck confit with agrodolce, grapes, and frisée. 2915 John R Road, Detroit; 313-497-9200. D daily BR Sat.-Sun.



EUROPEAN-INSPIRED • This modern fine-dining eatery takes its name from Albania — where the owners

trace their heritage — and means “pledge of honor.” Choose from starters such as roasted olives, fried calamari, and double-cut lamb chops. 600 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-315-3000. D Mon.-Sat.

Bobcat Bonnie’s


GASTROPUB • The menu is eclectic, featuring fried goat cheese, fish tacos, Buddha bowls, and a barbecue bacon meatloaf — plus, plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. The weekend brunch, complete with a Bloody Mary bar and all the classics, is a big hit. See bobcatbonnies.com for locations and hours.



NEW AMERICAN • The former member’s-only lounge in this restored Romanesque Revival in downtown Detroit is now a posh restaurant open to the public (the downstairs bar is also open to the public). The stunning dining room reflects the club’s history while staying fresh and modern with local art on the walls and an Instagrammable seating area in the middle of the dining room with plush couches and trees lined with lights. The food is upscale but approachable such as the Nashville Fried Chicken and the lobster fettucini, which is worth every indulgent bite. 712 Cass Ave., Detroit, 313-338-3222. D Wed.-Sat..

Brome Modern Eatery

$$ BURGERS • This healthy spin on a classic serves neverfrozen, grass-fed, antibiotic-free, organic burgers. There’s beef, chicken, haddock, and vegetarian dishes — but no pork, as the restaurant is halal. There’s also a cold-pressed juice bar. 22062 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-996-5050. L,D daily.

Bronze Door


NEW AMERICAN • One of the newest restaurants under the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group brand (in partnership with Tony Soave of Soave Enterprises) revives the well-known name of a Grosse Pointe staple from the mid-1900s. In the 1960s and 1970s, 123 Kercheval Ave. was home to the Bronze Door, which closed to make way for The Hill Seafood and Chop House. In 2021, it was born again as the Bronze Door, offering classic bistro fare like steak frites and house specialties such as Short Rib Alla Bolognese (braised beef short ribs, pancetta, roasted battuto, imported Mafaldine pasta, ricotta salata, and black truffle). 123 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-886-8101. BR Sun. L Tue.-Fri. D daily.

Bucharest Grill


MEDITERRANEAN-AMERICAN • This bustling casual sandwich shop, now with six locations, is a cult favorite with its fresh Mediterranean fare, notably the best chicken shawarma wrap sandwiches in town. We’re serious. See bucharestgrill.com for locations and hours.

Cadieux Café $$

BELGIAN • This institution was like a slice of home for early Belgian immigrants. The former speakeasy serves up four varieties of mussels, and a wide range of hearty dishes such as Belgian Rabbit, but there also are classic sandwiches. 4300 Cadieux Road, Detroit; 313-882-8560. D daily.

Café Nini


ITALIAN • This intimate spot offers well-prepared food that includes eight appetizers, more than a dozen pasta dishes, and 16 main plates, notable among which

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are Involtini di Pollo “Da Edoardo,” prosciutto, spinach, and Parmigiano Reggiano-filled chicken breast, sautéed in a sherry wine sauce, topped with fresh mushrooms. The wine list is impressive as well. 98 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-308-3120. D Tue.-Sun.

Cantoro Italian Market and Trattoria $$ ITALIAN • A restaurant inside the market serves great traditional Italian food. Do not miss the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese: wide pasta with a meat sauce featuring ground veal, beef, sausage, and pancetta. It makes for a delicious Italian feast you can conveniently pick up on your way home. 15550 N. Haggerty Road, Plymouth; 734-420-1100. L,D Tues.-Sat., L Sun.

Capers $$ STEAKHOUSE • This is the type of place longtime Detroit natives describe like an old friend. On Gratiot Avenue between Seven and Eight Mile roads, this place has been packing them in for nearly 40 years. There’s a massive a la carte menu, with items such as barbecue babyback ribs and potato skins, but the main draw is steak by the ounce, at market price. 14726 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-527-2100. L,D Wed.-Sun.

Caucus Club $$$

TRADITIONAL AMERICAN • The reborn spot emphasizes service and a traditional steak and seafood theme, with such tasty signature dishes as wood-grilled ribs, seared scallops, and steaks. 150 W. Congress, Detroit; 313-965-4970. D daily.

Central Kitchen & Bar $$ CREATIVE COMFORT • The space facing Campus Martius is done up in gray and white under industrial light fixtures. Crowd-pleasers include buttermilk fried chicken, filet and frites, burgers, and salads. 660 Woodward Ave., Ste. 4A, Detroit; 313-963-9000. D Thu.-Sat., BR Sat.-Sun.

Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails $$ NEW AMERICAN • While the menu rotates based on the season, its offerings always highlight the freshest local ingredients. Creatively prepared dishes range from cold starters to hearty entrees. But the Twice Cooked Egg is not to be missed. 15 E. Kirby St., Detroit; 313-818-3915. D Tue.-Sat.

Cliff Bell’s $$ EUROPEAN-INSPIRED • This restored Art Deco hotspot offers small plates such as oysters with cava granita and potato croquettes. Entrees range from savory seared diver scallops to their 16-ounce grilled pork chop. Jazz prevails on the bandstand. 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-961-2543. D Wed.-Sun.

Common Pub $

GASTROPUB • Fans of Atlas Global Bistro, which shuttered in 2013, should be happy to learn that some of the principals may be found at this spot in the Belcrest Apartments. The well-edited menu includes duck fatfried chicken and a burger. 4601 Riverside Blvd., Detroit; 313-338-9466. L, D Tue.-Fri. D Sat. BR Sun.

Coriander Kitchen and Farm $$ GASTROPUB • At this Jefferson Chalmers eatery, guests can rent firepits and roast house-made marshmallows to make s’mores, or sip mugs of hot buttered rum. By day, grab a picnic table and enjoy creamy smoked lake trout whitefish dip, seasoned with herbs and paired with pickles and crackers. 2415 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-638-2261. D Wed.-Sat. BR Sat. B,L Sun.

Cork & Gabel

grilled vegetables, cooked in a Lombardo Ambra Sweet Marsala wine sauce. Simply delicious! 2415 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-638-2261. D Wed.-Sat. BR Sat. B,L Sun.



EUROPEAN-INSPIRED • Cuisine offers a romantic, white-linen experience with the level of food, service, and ambience one might describe as timeless rather than trendy. Examples of the expertly prepared fare include the Alaskan halibut, as well as the sea scallops, featuring lemon risotto, corn, almonds, citrus butter, and beet dust. 670 Lothrop Rd., Detroit; 313-872-5110. D Wed.-Sat. (Note: Not wheelchair accessible).

Dakota Inn Rathskeller

EUROPEAN-INSPIRED • The sausages are the kind that snap when you cut them. The combo plate features one bratwurst and one knackwurst, served with hot German potato salad and sauerkraut. And yes, sing along with the schnitzelbank song. 17324 John R St., Detroit; 313-867-9722. D Thu.-Sat.

Detroit Soul



EUROPEAN-INSPIRED • This Corktown eatery takes the form of a 4,450-square-foot renovated beer hall and is an ode to filling European staples. Try the chicken marsala, featuring a pan-seared 7-ounce chicken breast, sauteed wild mushroom blend, wild rice, and seasonal

$ SOUL FOOD • A hidden gem on the city’s East Side. Detroit Soul serves its namesake with a healthy twist. Owners Sam Van Buren and Jerome Brown draw from the recipes of their grandparents, who relocated to Detroit from Alabama in the 1940s. The turkey and collard greens are savory standouts and yams are a sweet treat. This is the kind of place that every soul-food lover must visit. 2900 E. Eight Mile Road, Detroit; 313-366-5600. 14300 E Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-926-6305. L,D Tue.-Sun.

Detroit Vegan Soul

$ VEGAN • The popular spot offers your classic soul food favorites but with plant-based twists — mac and cheese, collard greens, and interpretations of catfish and pepper steak. 19614 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-766-5728. L,D Wed.-Fri. (Takeout only; no phone orders).

Dime Store

BREAKFAST/BRUNCH • This popular breakfast and lunch spot adds just the right retro touch to a contemporary American menu typified by fresh, hearty omelets and Benedicts early in the day. 719 Griswold St., Ste. 180, Detroit; 313-962-9106. B,L Thu.-Tue.


Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe



Detroit Shipping Company




GASTROPUB • A jazz club with top guest musicians and an American bistro menu in a traditional interior. Starters include oysters by the half- or full-dozen, and lump crab cakes. Main entries include a beef short rib. 97 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-882-5299. L Tue.-Fri., D Tue.-Sat.

Eatori Market


SPECIALTY GROCERY • This stylish spot overlooks downtown’s Capitol Park. The menu has steamed mussels with leeks, garlic, and toasted crostini. International flourishes abound with truffle aioli for the burger. 1215 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-395-3030. L,D daily.

El Asador Steakhouse


MEXICAN • A concentrated cuisine with little modern flairs that also stays faithful to traditional Mexican cooking. Don’t miss the Camarones en Salsa de Langosta: breaded shrimp stuffed with cheese, fried to a golden dark brown, and topped with a lobster cream sauce. It’s a delicious dinner spot you don’t want to miss and an unassuming Latin-American find in Detroit’s Springwells Village. 1312 Springwells St., Detroit; 313-297-2360. L,D Tue.-Sun.

El Barzon

MEXICAN-ITALIAN • Norberto Garita prepares Italian and Mexican cuisines alongside his wife, Silvia Rosario


Garita. Authentic Mexican entrees include enchiladas with a homemade green sauce made with tomatillo, jalapeños, and roasted poblano pepper, while the Italian influence takes the form of spaghetti carbonara and zuppa di pesce (seafood soup). 3710 Junction Ave., Detroit; 313-894-2070. D Tue.-Sun.

Evie’s Tamales


MEXICAN • This Mexicantown restaurant makes some of the best tamales around. Pork or chicken is jacketed with sturdy masa, a dough of ground corn, and then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed. Eat in or order a dozen for later. 3454 Bagley St., Detroit; 313-843-5056. B,L Mon.-Sat.





NEW AMERICAN • Freya provides elegant, elevated dining served inside a warm and inviting space in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction district. Chef de Cuisine Phoebe Zimmerman’s fixed-price dinners — which change daily and are available in five or nine courses — invite guests to tap into a world of flavors and sensations. There are also cocktail pairings as well as dishes that accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and pescatarian diets. Co-run by 2023 James Beard semifinalist Sandy Levine, it made The New York Times’s list of the 50 best restaurants in 2022. 2929 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-351-5544. D Tue.-Sat.

Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen Café


NEW ORLEANIAN • Enjoy classic New Orleans dishes, such as jambalaya and fried catfish beignets. Come for lunch, dinner, happy hour, or carry-out. 400 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-965-4600. 29244 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield; 248-351-2925. 23722 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-498-3000. L,D daily.

Flowers of Vietnam


VIETNAMESE • Chef and owner George Azar transformed a former Coney Island into an industrial-cool destination, but the neighborhood joint vibe remains. The menu is shaped around Azar’s appreciation of Vietnamese food, with a very personal twist. 4440 Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-554-2085. D Thu.-Sun.

Folk $

This bilevel destination created out of shipping containers offers a variety of food options ranging from the Caribbean-fusion dishes at Coop to Thai fare from Bangkok 96 and more. 474 Peterboro St., Detroit; 313-4624973. L Sat.-Sun., D Tue.-Sun.

NEW AMERICAN • A charming Corktown storefront dishing up an all-day brunch menu. It’s an offshoot of the Farmer’s Hand grocery and farmers market. The menu focuses on globally inspired dishes like salads, quiche, and sandwiches — all beautifully plated and nutritious. Infused milks and frothy lattes are well sought after, too. 1701 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; 313-742-2672. B,L daily.

Ford’s Garage


BURGERS • Henry Ford’s legacy is celebrated on Dearborn’s main thoroughfare. There are at least 12 variations on the classic American burger here. Try the Ford’s Signature, featuring a half-pound of grilled black angus beef, aged sharp cheddar, applewoodsmoked bacon, and bourbon barbecue sauce. Other appealing dishes include shrimp mac and cheese, and chicken wings. 21367 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-752-3673. L,D daily.

Giovanni’s Ristorante $$$ ITALIAN • This old-school Italian restaurant offers housemade pastas, including an outstanding lasagna. Elaborate veal and seafood dishes and desserts like key lime cheesecake tira misu round out the delicious menu. 330 Oakwood Blvd., Detroit; 313-8410122. L,D Tue.-Fri., D Sat.

Golden Fleece $$ GREEK • Spend a night dining in Greektown’s longeststanding restaurant, starting with a flaming saganaki and a joyous “Opa!” Then, peruse the menu containing

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various Balkan comfort foods like chicken gyros, spinach pie, and french fries sprinkled with feta and oregano. 525 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-962-7093. L,D daily.

Grandma Bob’s $ PIZZA • If you’re wondering what that psychedelic building on Corktown’s Michigan Avenue is, it’s a pizzeria known as Grandma Bob’s. Chef Dan De Wall, previously of Wright and Co., offers a small, delicious menu of pies, including sausage and pistachio with ricotta cheese and thyme. Or try the Big Mack — the vegan pizza version of the popular burger. 2135 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-315-3177. L,D daily.

Grand Trunk Pub

NEW AMERICAN • Meats from Eastern Market and delicious breads anchor the hearty fare, which pairs well with a selection of Michigan beers. Staples include a reuben with Poet Stout Kraut and the Ghettoblaster beer-battered fish and chips. 612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-3043.; L, D, Tue.-Sun. BR Sat.-Sun.


The Greek $ GREEK • Plaka Café was a presence on Monroe Avenue for years, and now its space is in the hands of the founders’ children. Notable dishes include spinach pie, lamb chops, and New York strip steak. 535 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-209-6667. L,D daily.

Green Dot Stables


NEW AMERICAN • The menu of sliders — with 20-plus eclectic bun toppings, including Cuban, Korean, and “mystery meat” — packs in fans. Local beers are spotlighted alongside Chicken Paprikas soup, a nod to the neighborhood’s Hungarian origins. 2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-962-5588. L,D daily.

Grey Ghost $$

NEW AMERICAN • The cuisine at this Brush Park hotspot isn’t easily defined, but the results are original and well-prepared — for example, pork tenderloin with romanesco, peri peri, and wild rice or yellowfin tuna with kimchi, edamame, and sweet soy. 47 Watson St., Detroit; 313-262-6534. D daily.


$$$ STEAKHOUSE/NEW AMERICAN • Occupying the top two floors of the Renaissance Center, Highlands comprises three separate concepts. A steakhouse of the same name provides a high-end dining experience, while the more casual Hearth 71 (currently closed but reopening soon) serves locally sourced dishes cooked over an open fire. The third concept within the space is the appropriately named High Bar, where guests can choose from a vast collection of spirits and decadent desserts. 400 Renaissance Center, Floors 71 and 72, Detroit; 313-877-9090; D Mon.-Sat.

The Hudson Cafe $ BREAKFAST/BRUNCH • The fresh, well-prepared fare from the kitchen of this breakfast/lunch spot has creative takes on the eggs Benedict theme, red velvet pancakes, and apple-walnut stuffed French toast, as well as lunchtime sandwiches and salads. 1241 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-237-1000. 17101 Haggerty Rd, Northville 248-308-3793. B,L daily.

Hungarian Rhapsody $$ HUNGARIAN • This Downriver restaurant offers authentic Hungarian dishes, such as chicken and veal paprikas, beef goulash, and palacsinta (crêpes). 14315 Northline Road, Southgate; 734-283-9622. L,D Tue.-Sun.

Iggy’s Eggies

$ AMERICAN • Jammy-yolk egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, and more are on the menu at Iggy’s Eggies’ walk-up window. You can also get Lovers Only’s famous Classic Smash burgers and fresh-cut fries at Iggy’s. Take

your breakfast or lunch to a table at nearby Capitol Park for a true downtown experience. 34 West Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-986-1174. B,L daily.



JAPANESE-INSPIRED • This ramen hotspot has three locations and a Midwest emphasis. Ima tacos trade the traditional shell for a slice of jicama, stuffed with spicy shrimp, roasted tofu, or garlic chicken. Appetizers include edamame, dumplings, and clams. 4870 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-883-9788. 32203 John R Road, Madison Heights; 248-781-0131. L,D daily.

Ima Izakaya


Michigan & Trumbull


After a successful four-month run at Fort Street Galley, Michigan & Trumbull became one of the latest in a long line of Detroit-style pizza joints to open in the area. Not your traditional carryout joint, Michigan & Trumbull is housed in a sleek, refurbished carrepair garage. The menu features square, deep-dish pies with Detroitinspired names, such as Packard Pepperoni and Woodward White. 1331 Holden St., Detroit; 313-637-4992; L,D Wed-Sun.


JAPANESE-INSPIRED • Chef Michael Ransom has slowly and steadily built up his local chain of noodle shops over the past few years, and his latest one takes it up a notch with the izakaya concept, the Japanese equivalent to a pub. In addition to the staple noodles and soups that put Ransom on the map, the menu also includes grilled skewers from the robata grill such as Kawahagi Trigger Fish Jerky and Mini Kurobuta Pork Sausages. There’s also a tantalizing selection of cocktails and mocktails, sake, beer, and wine to make it a true izakaya experience. 2100 Michigan Ave., Detroit, 313-306-9485. L, D daily.

Ivy Kitchen and Cocktails

$$$ NEW AMERICAN • This Black-owned restaurant was founded by Nya Marshall to bring fine dining to the East Jefferson Corridor where she grew up. The spot serves New American fare with international influences in a modern, elevated space bathed in neutral tones. The Mezcal Wings with pickled jalapeño and cilantro bring a Mexican kick, while dishes like the Creamy Cajun Pasta contribute New Orleans flavors. 9215 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-332-0607; L Fri.-Sun., D daily.


Joe Muer Seafood


$$$$ SEAFOOD • This reborn Detroit legend is stellar for a romantic evening or a quiet business lunch or dinner. Located on the main floor of the GMRenCen, it has sweeping views of the Detroit River and a menu that walks the line between old-time favorites and hipper Asian-influenced seafood, sushi, and raw bar. (There’s also a Bloomfield Hills location.) There are reminders of the past as well: smoked fish spread, creamed spinach, and stewed tomatoes. A true Detroit classic. 400 Renaissance Center, Ste. 1404, Detroit; 313-567-6837. 39475 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; 248-792-9609. L,D daily.

Johnny Noodle King $ JAPANESE-INSPIRED • This noodle shop offers bowls topped with pork belly, confit chicken, and tofu, as well as seaweed salad and gyoza. There are also several fusion bowls like the Southwest Verde, a green chili chicken broth topped with chicken thigh confit, cilantro, corn, and hot peppers. 2601 W. Fort St., Detroit; 313-309-7946. L,D daily.

Jolly Pumpkin

$$ BREWERY • Jolly Pumpkin’s brews rule the offerings, along with other Northern United Brewing Co. beverages, such as North Peak and Jolly Pumpkin artisan ales. Pizzas with creative toppings abound. 441 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-262-6115. 419 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-544-6250. 311 S Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-913-2730. L,D daily (Detroit, Ann Arbor); L Fri.-Mon, D daily (Royal Oak).

Karl’s Cabin

$$ AMERICAN • Dishes from their currently rotating drive-through menu such as pan-seared walleye and pierogi & sausage surpass typical roadhouse food. 6005 Gotfredson Road, Plymouth; 734-455-8450. L,D daily.

The Kitchen by Cooking with Que $$ VEGAN • This eatery created by Detroit-based cooking blogger Quiana Broden serves lunches of smoothies, salads, and sandwiches. Broden also often offers live cooking demonstrations. 6529 Woodward Ave., Ste. A, Detroit; 313-462-4184. L, D Fri.-Sun. Private events only Mon.-Thur.

Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles $ SOUTHERN COMFORT • Several recipes, including a signature thin waffle, are family-owned at ex-NFL player Ron Bartell’s spot. Think comfort food kicked up a notch: fried catfish, salmon croquettes, shrimp and grits, and biscuits. Drink the Kool-Aid, too. 19345 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-861-0229. B,L,D Tue.- Sun.

Ladder 4 Wine Bar

$$$ WINE BAR • This southwest Detroit wine bar occupies a former 1910 firehouse, offering a daily wine list and seasonal European-inspired bites made with local ingredients — some grown in its backyard garden. Though its owners prefer not to call it a restaurant, it made Bon Appétit’s “24 Best New Restaurants” and The New York Times’s “50 Places in the United States That We’re Most Excited About Right Now” — both in 2023. 3396 Vinewood St., Detroit; 313-638-1601. D Wed.-Sun.

La Dolce Vita

$$$ ITALIAN • Traditional Italian cuisine is key at this Palmer Park hideaway. Recommended is the bronzino in lemon caper cream sauce, the veal scaloppine with artichokes, and the lasagna. 17546 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-865-0331. D Tue.-Sun., BR Sun.

La Lanterna


ITALIAN • The founder of Da Edoardo, the first Edoardo Barbieri, started it all in 1956 with a restaurant called La Lanterna. Now his grandchildren have revived it. Although the white and red pizzas — like Margherita, Liguria, and Da Edorado — dominate, there’s more, including a number of elegant pastas like the Lasagna Alla Bolognese. 1224 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-962-8821. L,D Tue.-Sun.

London Chop House


STEAKHOUSE • The kitchen turns out classics like oysters Rockefeller, French onion soup, and sauteed loup de mer with scallops. This is the place to come when you need to satisfy a craving for steak in elegant surroundings with hospitable service. 155 W. Congress St., Detroit; 313-962-0277. D Mon.-Sat.



LEBANESE • The restaurant from the proprietors of Birmingham’s Phoenicia is named after the owner’s mother — just one facet of the establishment that pays homage to family traditions and heritage. The menu includes various Lebanese dishes, from falafel to Leila’s Mixed Grill that offers a little bit of everything with shish kebab, tawook, and kafta. Other menu items include Kibbeh Niyee — fresh lamb, cracked wheat, and spice — and tabbouleh made of parsley, cracked wheat, and spices. The beer and wine lists offer plenty of options to accompany any meal. 1245 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-816-8100. D daily.

Le Suprême


FRENCH • This Paris-inspired brasserie pays homage to the City of Light with its 1920s-inspired décor on the historic Book Tower’s ground floor. There is pastis, absinthe, France-themed cocktails, and over 300 wines. Standout dishes include the escargots, honey-roasted duck breast, and trout amandine. 1265 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-597-7734. D daily, BR Sat.-Sun.

Lucy & the Wolf $$ SPANISH • This Anglo-sounding restaurant offers very good Spanish-inspired tapas dining. Standouts include spicy beer cheese dip, harissa rubbed halfchicken, and roasted sablefish. 102 E. Main St., Northville; 248-308-3057. D Tue.-Sat.

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Lumen Detroit $$

NEW AMERICAN • A contemporary American menu and a Victor Saroki setting make the restaurant overlooking downtown’s Beacon Park one of the best of recent entrants onto the scene. Appetizers such as freshly made pretzels prelude main courses like the maple dijon salmon. 1903 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-626-5005. L Fri.-Sun., D. Wed.-Sun.

Mario’s $$$

ITALIAN • This Midtown Detroit classic dates to 1948. Linen-covered tables, framed paintings on wood-paneled walls, expert waiters clad in black tie, and tableside preparation survive here. Italian dinners always begin with an antipasto tray and continue through soup, salad, pasta, and entree. 4222 Second Ave., Detroit; 313-832-1616. L,D daily.

Marrow $$

NEW AMERICAN • This West Village restaurant and butcher shop hybrid is an ode to meat, especially unusual cuts. Diners must walk through the butcher shop, bypassing cases of pastrami and sausage, before entering the restaurant. Offerings from a sample tasting menu include Roasted Bone Marrow and Local Lamb ragu. 8044 Kercheval Ave., Detroit; 313-513-0361. L,D Thu.-Sun.

Maty’s African Cuisine $$

WEST AFRICAN • A small storefront in the Detroit Old Redford neighborhood is decidedly Senegalese. Fataya, deep-fried pastries with savory fillings, are reminiscent of an empanada. The star of the show is the whole chicken with yassa. 21611 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-472-5885. L,D Tue.-Sun.

M Cantina $

MEXICAN • Nuevo Latino street food is the premise at this surprising spot where everything from the tortilla chips to the salsas are made in-house in the open kitchen. Juices are freshly squeezed, and the menu of tortas,

Mercury Burger & Bar

$ BURGERS • This Corktown joint seats 70 around the zinc-covered bar set with Mercury (Liberty) dimes. The burger is available in a variety of iterations, such as Southwest Detroit with a chorizo slider, jalapeno, Müenster cheese, tortilla strips, and avocado. 2163 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-964-5000. L,D daily. tacos, tapas, and salads from the kitchen of Heidi and Junior Merino, from Hawaii and Mexico, is distinctive. 13214 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-399-9117. L,D daily.

Metropolitan Bar and Kitchen


LATIN • The business brings a bodega-style market along with a neighborhood restaurant and bar to West Village. The menu highlights local and seasonal ingredients in dishes like beet salad or the Metro “Mac” Burger. 8047 Agnes St., Detroit; 313-447-5418. B Sat.-Sun. D Tue.-Sat.

Mi Lindo San Blas


MEXICAN • Heaping platters of seafood such as shrimp, octopus, and scallops, tell the story at this spot that brings a corner of Mexico’s seaside Nayarit region to southwest Detroit. On weekends, when live music is added, the tables are often pushed back to create a dance floor. 1807 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-789-5100. L,D daily.

Monarch Club $$$

NEW AMERICAN • At the 14th floor of the revamped Element Detroit Hotel located at the Metropolitan is the Monarch Club. It’s one of the most recent rooftop bars to open in metro Detroit and serves a variety of delicious small plates along with classic cocktails. 33 John R St., Detroit; 313-306-2380. L Sun. D daily.

Mootz Pizzeria & Bar


Rattlesnake Club


This Greektown restaurant on the river remains one of the most appealing spots in town. The casually elegant space offers a range of appetizers, entrées, and desserts. Dishes that typify its style include seared diver sea scallops, an 8-ounce filet, and a roasted duck breast and foie gras steak. 300 River Place, Detroit; 313-5674400. D Tue.-Sat.

for his fare. “It’s authentic New York pizza,” he says. In a hurry? Grab a slice from Side Hustle, Mootz’s by-theslice counter next door. 1230 Library St., Detroit; 313-243-1230. L Fri.-Sun., L, D daily.

Motor City Brewing Works

BREWERY • Just 15 mostly nontraditional pizzas on excellent, chewy crust, and the option to build your own pie with various toppings. Plus, salads from locally grown greens to accompany the housebrewed beers. 470 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 19350 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-832-2700. L,D daily (Canfield); L Sat.-Sun., D Wed-Fri. (Livernois).

Mudgie’s Deli


$ DELI • Sandwich-lovers fill the seats for the House Smoked Pastrami Reuben or the Brooklyn (beef brisket, bacon, and beer cheese). The dinner menu features meat and cheese boards, as well as build-yourown sandwich options. It’s a delicious place for a meal any time. 1413 Brooklyn St., Detroit; 313-9612000. B Tue.-Sat. L Tue.-Wed., L,D Thu.-Sat.

Nico & Vali

creamy rock shrimp, charred octopus, and filet mignon. Based in the former Michigan Oriental Theater, the interior combines new and old. 114 W. Adams Ave., Ste. 200, Detroit; 313-816-0000. L Sun., D Tue.-Sun.

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR  2018 Parc $$$ NEW AMERICAN • Excellent food, exceptional service, and a crisp and formal but distinctly unstuffy atmosphere set this Campus Martius gem apart. Appetizer highlights include a bright and fresh tuna tartar and charred burrata. Main courses include an interesting blend of Italian food, wood-grilled steaks, and a red chilé short rib. There’s also a large selection of dry-aged gourmet steaks. 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-922-7272. L,D daily. BR Sat.-Sun.

Park Grill


ITALIAN • This eatery offers favorites with unexpected twists. The artichokes and chilies appetizer boasts battered and fried artichokes with Fresno and jalapeno peppers, tossed with fresh basil in white wine. Popular choices include the Whitefish Filet. It’s a classic Italian spot with an update that’s worth a visit. 744 Wing St., Plymouth; 734-207-7880. L Thu.-Sat., D Tue.-Sun.

Norma G’s


CARIBBEAN • Lester Gouvia, the Trinidadian chef who brought us the famed food truck, opened a fullservice restaurant under the same name. Stop in for a plate of Chicken Pelau: a tasty blend of rice, diced chicken, squash, peppers, and golden-brown baked chicken. 14628 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-2902938. D Tue.-Sat.


Oak & Reel


SEAFOOD • Despite a global pandemic threatening to derail his longtime dream, chef Jared Gadbaw brought his vision of a seafood-focused Italian restaurant to life in Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood in fall 2020. Oak & Reel’s resilience in the face of extreme adversity and its commitment to the vision of bringing diners impeccable dishes showcasing the freshest seafood, all presented with welcoming and knowledgeable service, is the reason we named Oak & Reel Hour Detroit’s Restaurant of the Year. The menu is seasonal and changes frequently. But in general, the crudos are pristine, the pastas are impeccable, and the seafood dishes are all well balanced and expertly prepared to accentuate the freshness and quality of the fish and shellfish. 2921 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-270-9600. D Thu.-Mon.



MEDITERRANEAN • Mediterranean fare gets a Balkan spin. The menu offers tasting plates, pita-wrapped sandwiches, and salads, as well as entrees including chicken and beef shawarma, beef and pork kafta, lemon-pepper pork tenderloin, and lamb chops. Service is friendly and informal. 15102 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-264-1997. L,D daily.

Pegasus Taverna

$$ GREEK • The cry of “opa!” resounds in St. Clair Shores at the second edition of the longstanding Greektown restaurant. It boasts an extensive menu, from moussaka and spinach pie to gyros and roast lamb. 24935 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-7723200. 558 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-964-6800. L,D TueSun (Detroit); L Sun., D Tue.-Sun. (St. Clair Shores)

The Peterboro


ASIAN-FUSION • A contemporary take on AmericanChinese fare gives new life to the cuisine with robustly spiced dishes, including an “absurdly delicious” cheeseburger spring roll and a take on almond boneless chicken. 420 Peterboro St., Detroit; 313-833-1111. D Mon.-Sat.

Pho Lucky

VIETNAMESE • This charming Midtown Vietnamese spot serves authentic fare emphasizing pho. Bowls of spicy broth with noodles, round steak, and meatballs come in several variations. Other noteworthy dishes here include summer rolls and crisp spring rolls. Look for Asian beers and robust Vietnamese coffee. 3111 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-338-3895. L,D Wed.-Mon.

Polish Village Café



POLISH • The “Polish plate” includes stuffed cabbage, pierogi, kielbasa, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes and gravy. The dill pickle soup and city chicken are standouts, too. A Detroit staple, where this cuisine getting harder to find. 2990 Yemans St., Hamtramck; 313-8745726. L,D daily. Not wheelchair accessible.



MEDITERRANEAN • Starters like the potatoes and artichokes “bravas” with harissa and black garlic aioli and paellas are inspired by Spain, but showcase Olin’s unique spin on these iconic dishes. 25 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-774-1190. D Tues.-Sat. BR Sun.

Ottava Via


ITALIAN • Chef Ariel Millan sends out great thin-crusted pizzas, as well as interesting small plates typified by bruschetta, calamari, roasted garlic, and whipped goat cheese to be spread on paper-thin crostini. 1400 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-5500. L,D daily.

ITALIAN • This big waterfront spot in Wyandotte is both a local hangout and a restaurant with a menu that’s surprisingly ambitious. It offers a number of fish and seafood dishes, from lake perch to coconut shrimp and fried calamari, as well as steaks. Nearly every table in the restaurant has a river view. 3455 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-281-6700. L,D daily.


Prime + Proper





ITALIAN-AMERICAN • Bruno DiFabio, a six-time World Pizza Games champ, rejects the label New York-style

Pao Detroit


FUSION • Visit this upscale Pan-Asian fusion restaurant for Asian-themed cocktails and dishes, such as

STEAKHOUSE • Downtown Detroit dining gets a major shot of glamour with this over-the-top steak and seafood emporium on the corner of Griswold and State streets. Although red meat, from prime dry-aged Tomahawk ribeye to Wagyu strip, is the focus — and yes, there’s a burger made with a dry-

MAY 2024 99



aged butcher’s blend — oysters, king crab, and caviar aren’t far behind. An elegant white and gold setting backgrounds it all. 1145 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-636-3100. D daily, BR Sat.-Sun.

Prism $$$

NEW AMERICAN • Greektown Casino-Hotel’s renamed eatery is located off the main casino. The menu features local ingredients, steaks, and fresh seafood. 555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit; 313-309-2499. D Wed.-Sun.

Red Dunn Kitchen $$

NEW AMERICAN The Trumbull and Porter Hotel’s spiffy restaurant is an ambitious undertaking, offering three meals a day. It is best experienced at dinner, with a la carte offerings such as foie gras-stuffed quail, smoked and marinated salmon collars, braised lamb leg, and bacon-wrapped duck breast with polenta. 1331 Trumbull Ave., Detroit; 313-887-9477. Private meetings and events only.

Red Smoke Barbeque $$ BARBEQUE • At Red Smoke, hickory and applewoodsmoked ribs, pulled pork, all-natural chicken, and an array of classic sides are served out of one of the most attractive two-story buildings that are still standing on Monroe Street. 573 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-962-2100. L,D daily.

Rocky’s of Northville $$

NEW AMERICAN • Menu includes shrimp cocktail, smoked whitefish pate, and broiled Great Lakes whitefish. Also try chipotle honey-glazed salmon. 41122 W. Seven Mile Road, Northville; 248-349-4434. L Tue.-Fri. D Tue.-Sun.

Roman Village $

ITALIAN • The Rugiero family has been serving authentic Italian cuisine since 1964. They’ve launched three additional Antonio’s Cucina Italiana locations. Roman Village is the original and features their signature gnocchi Rita. 9924 Dix Ave., Dearborn; 313-842-2100. L,D daily.

San Morello

$$$ ITALIAN • This gem in the Shinola Hotel serves pizzas, pastas, and wood-fired dishes that draw inspiration from the coastal towns of Southern Italy and Sicily. The menu is handcrafted by James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini. 1400 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-209-4700. B,L,D daily.

The Sardine Room


SEAFOOD • A seafood restaurant and raw bar, The Sardine Room is fresh, fun, and energetic, with clean-line décor and a menu full of surprises. Worthwhile is a grouper sandwich that’s available seared or blackened. 340 S. Main St., Plymouth; 734-4160261. D daily, BR Sat-Sun.

Savannah Blue $$ SOUL FOOD Dine on upscale soul food like the red snapper and the shrimp and grits. Shareables include catfish fritters, and a Georgian Hummus that substitutes black-eyed peas for chickpeas. There’s also a great bar. 1431 Times Square, Detroit; 313-926-0783. D Tue.-Sat.

Scotty Simpson’s Fish & Chips $

SEAFOOD • Head to this Brightmoor spot for perfectly prepared fish and chips. The key to Scotty’s longevity is the batter that coats the cod, perch, shrimp, chicken, onion rings, and frog legs. Cash only. 22200 Fenkell St., Detroit; 313-533-0950. L,D Tue.-Sat.

Second Best $ RETRO AMERICAN • The talents behind nearby Grey Ghost have unveiled a second, more casual spot with

a retro spin in Brush Park. The lighter menu includes a fried green tomato BLT and fried chicken sandwiches that accompany drinks that were popular more than a few years back. 42 Watson St., Detroit; 313315-3077. L Sat.-Sun., D daily.


Selden Standard $$$ NEW AMERICAN • What sets Selden Standard apart is that it is moving Detroit into a new era in which upperend dining with starched linen and tuxedoed waiters doesn’t hold much interest anymore. Chef Andy Hollyday, a multiple James Beard semifinalist, does farm-totable scratch cooking with ideas borrowed from around the world. A key to his cooking is the wood-fired grill. This spot has garnered national attention. 3921 Second Ave., Detroit; 313-438-5055. D daily.

Seva Detroit


VEGETARIAN • Seva offers such dishes as black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, gluten-free options, and colorful stir-fries — some vegan as well as vegetarian. There’s also a full bar and a juice bar. 2541 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-662-1111. 66 E. Forest Ave., Detroit; 313-974-6661. L,D Mon.-Sat.


SheWolf Pastificio & Bar



Bistro & Cigar Bar


You can buy your cigar and smoke it, too. Plus, enjoy dryaged steaks, panroasted sea bass, and lamb chops, among other options. A full bar boasts a large selection of whiskey, Scotch, and bourbon — and plenty of wine. 116 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham; 248-647-4555. L,D daily.


ITALIAN • Chef Anthony Lombardo takes fresh and housemade to a new level with this Midtown restaurant that serves only dinner from a menu inspired by Italian cooking specific to Rome. Milling all of his own flour for his pastas, breads, and polenta in house, Lombardo, well known as the former executive chef at Bacco, serves a selection of simple but elegant regional Italian dishes. 438 Selden St., Detroit; 313-315-3992. D Tue.-Sun

Sindbad’s Restaurant and Marina

$$ SEAFOOD • Sitting by the Detroit River, this longlasting establishment prides itself on serving some of the best perch, pickerel, shrimp, and scallops in Detroit, along with its signature clam chowder. 100 St. Clair St., Detroit; 313-822-8000. L,D Tue.-Sun.

Slows Bar BQ


BARBEQUE • The brick-and-wood original in Corktown gained a following for its pulled pork, ribs, and chicken. They expanded with a “to go” spot in Midtown. This is a true Detroit classic in every sense of the term. Corktown location: 2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313962-9828. L,D daily. Slows To Go in Midtown: 4107 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-309-7560. L,D Tue.-Sun.


$$ NEW AMERICAN In a place where cocktails are king, there’s no shortage of food options. The fare ranges from small plates of marinated olives and fried deviled eggs to entrees such as Thai pork skewers and the house cheeseburger. 225 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-241-5719. D Wed.-Sun. Not wheelchair accessible.

The Statler

$$$$ FRENCH • A taste of Paris in downtown Detroit. This French-American bistro from the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group takes its name from the former historic Statler Hotel, which is now home to not only the bistro, but also City Club Apartments. Classic French fare (with some modern twists) such as seared foie gras mousse; Henri Maire escargots (wild Burgundy snails, garlic butter fondue, parsley, Pernod, and profiteroles); and bouillabaisse provence (seafood stew with shrimp, scallops, lobster, mussels, saffron broth, croustade, and rouille) typify the menu. The large, year-round open-air outdoor patio offers stunning panoramic views of the Detroit skyline and Grand Circus Park. There’s also a neighbor-

hood market where customers can grab groceries and gourmet packaged meals on the go. 313 Park Ave., Detroit; 313-463-7111. D daily, BR Sun.

Supino Pizzeria


ITALIAN Relax with one of the town’s best thincrust pizzas — they come in more than a dozen variations, with or without red sauce. A few dishes from La Rondinella (the previous longtime tenant at its Russell Street location) made the list as well — small plates such as polpette, and three delicious salads. Beer, wine, and cocktails add to the appeal. 2457 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-7879 (Russell St. location temporarily closed). 6519 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-314-7400. L,D daily.

Sweet Soul Bistro

$ SOUL FOOD • The large menu includes homages to Detroit musicians, from Stevie Wonder Wonderful Wings to Aretha Franklin Catfish Bites. Also notable are the crab cakes. In the evening, the bistro transforms into a club. 13741 W. McNichols Road, Detroit; 313- 862-7685. L,D daily.



MEDITERRANEAN • Located in the heart of downtown Detroit inside the Atheneum Suite Hotel, Symposia serves Mediterranean cuisine inspired by Greece, Italy, Spain, and more. A signature can’t-miss dish is the Spanish octopus with romesco, Yukon potato, and chorizo Ibérico. 1000 Brush St., Detroit; 313-962-9366. D Wed.-Sun.



THAI • Thai-Laotian fare might seem out of place in Corktown, but virtually everything on the menu has distinction. There’s a depth, concentration, and balance between heat and coolness, the range of spices, the delight of moving from one superb bite to the next. 2520 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-855-2864. D Tue.-Sat.

Tap at MGM Grand

SPORTS BAR • More than 40 HD flatscreen TVs for sports fans, plus sports memorabilia. The menu features comfort food and pub classics: burgers, wings, and house nachos. Pizza and more upscale entrees are also available, as are more than 50 beers. Bring your family and friends for a very entertaining night on the town. 1777 Third St., Detroit; 313-465-1234. B,L,D daily.




NEW AMERICAN • The downtown hotspot in 2021 underwent an aesthetic overhaul of the space and menu designed to elevate the spot’s signature comfort food fare. Staples, like the burger and fries, remain on the menu, but there are also fine-dining-inspired additions, like the caviar-topped crispy potato dish and the A5 wagyu served with brioche, nori, capers, and truffle. 500 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-723-1000. L, D daily.

Vertical Detroit


NEW AMERICAN • This wine-centric restaurant puts the focus on pairing chef Matt Barnes’ innovative cuisine with owners James and Rémy Lutfy’s nationally recognized wine program. The menu emphasizes locally sourced protein, seafood, and produce. A must-try for any wine enthusiast. 1538 Centre St., Detroit; 313732-9463. D Tue.-Sat. Not wheelchair accessible.

Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine $$

CUBAN • An evening at this lively spot is more than just Cuban and Spanish dining. Appetizers and tapas include the outstanding Tapa de la Casa, pork leg marinated in mojo; a Spanish chorizo and fresh mushrooms concoction with garlic lemon sauce; and empanadas, a Cuban turnover filled with ground beef or chicken. 1250 Library St., Detroit; 313-962-8800. L,D daily.


Vigilante Kitchen + Bar $$$

MIDWESTERN-ASIAN FUSION • Housed in the former Smith & Co. space, the menu offers a variety of baos, bowls, salads, and desserts, with designated vegetarian and halal menus, and a zero-proof cocktail selection. A unique concept from executive chef Aaron Cozadd, Vigilante Kitchen + Bar employs industry workers dealing with addiction, providing them with recovery resources while still allowing them to advance their culinary skills. 644 Selden St., Detroit; 313-638-1695. D Wed.-Sun.

Vivio’s Food & Spirits $

SANDWICH/DELI • This Eastern Market classic has been run by the Vivio family for more than 40 years. Sandwiches and burgers are mainstays, but diners also appreciate the steamed mussels. 3601 Twelve Mile Road, Warren; 586-576-0495. L,D daily.

The Whitney $$$$

NEW AMERICAN • The historic 1890s mansion is still going strong. The menu is typified by classic beef Wellington, wrapped in spinach, prosciutto, and pastry; and a seared Verlasso salmon fillet. Tableside cooking, by reservation only, is an optional feature. Don’t forget The Katherine McGregor Dessert Parlor for a sweet treat.4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-5700. D Tue.-Sun. and high tea Sat.

Wright & Co.

$$$ NEW AMERICAN • The collaboration between Marc Djozlija and executive chef Kyle Schutte gives life to the second-floor space in the Wright Kay building. Small plates such as wild caught walu, Michigan mushroom pate, and grilled sea scallops are the focus. The menu highlights seasonal dishes around a composed shared plates concept. 1500 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-962-7711. D Tue.-Sat.

Yum Village


AFRO-CARIBBEAN • The former food truck opened a full-service restaurant in the North End in 2019. The space is bright and fun with wooden tables, mismatched chairs, and a colorful, geometric paint job. And the food is just as bold. The restaurant serves up piquant dishes like Lemon Pepper Jerk Chicken. 6500 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-334-6099. L,D Mon.-Sat.


168 Crab & Karaoke $$

PAN-ASIAN • Don’t judge by 168 Crab & Karaoke’s unassuming strip mall location. It’s a unique experience that meshes food, karaoke, and pop party culture into a one-stop destination. As the name suggests, seafood is the main attraction here, specifically the seafood boils, which come with your choice of seafood (crab, clams, lobster, etc.), with sauce, corn and potatoes. 32415 John R Road, Madison Heights; 248-616-0168. D daily.

220 Merrill


NEW AMERICAN • The menu includes apps and small plates as well as pan roasted salmon, tuna tartar, and oysters on the half shell. There are heartier entrees as well, like the braised beef short ribs. 220 Merrill St., Birmingham; 248-646-2220. L, D daily.

Adachi $$$

JAPANESE-INSPIRED • Heading the kitchen is Lloyd Roberts, who has trained in the kitchens of celebrity chefs such as Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Nobu Matsuhisa. Here, short rib bao buns are served with pickled cucumber and fresh scallions and miniature tacos are filled with lobster. 325 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-540-5900. L,D daily.




ITALIAN • Over the past three decades, Joe Vicari has established several Andiamo restaurants in metro Detroit, all inspired by the late master chef Aldo Ottaviani’s philosophy of seasonal, fromscratch cooking. The menus differ slightly at the different locations, but the constant is the fresh, housemade pastas — handcrafted by the trinity of “pasta ladies,” Anna, Tanya, and Angelina, who have carried on the tradition. 6676 Telegraph Road, Bloomfield; 248-865-9300. D daily.

Anita’s Kitchen

$ LEBANESE • With pita pizzas and lamb chops, the Lebanese food here is some of the best around. And there’s vegetarian and gluten-free fare, too. Healthy, nutritious, and delicious. See website for locations; anitaskitchen.com

Bella Piatti


Luxe Bar & Grill


The simple menu at this Grosse Pointe Farms joint offers burgers on brioche buns and interesting salads and sides, as well as entrées typified by wild-caught salmon, prime filet, and Greek-style lamb chops. 248-792-6051. 115 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-924-5459. L,D daily.


ITALIAN • The location right across from the Townsend Hotel has inspired a number of visiting celebrities, professional athletes, and film crews who stay there to check out the Italian fare at this restaurant. The menu of such dishes as Gemelli pasta with fresh tomato sauce; salmon baked with spinach, kalamata olives, white wine, and tomatoes; and tagliatelle Bolognese stands on its own. It’s one of our true favorites in the area in terms of Italian restaurants. 167 Townsend St., Birmingham; 248-494-7110. D Tue.-Sat.

Beverly Hills Grill


NEW AMERICAN • This Beverly Hills institution has built a loyal following over the years with its California vibe and dawn-to-dark schedule. They’re still serving crowd favorites like their BHG Burger and classic eggs benedict. 31471 Southfield Road, Beverly Hills; 248-642-2355. B, L, D Tue.-Sat. B, L Sun.

Bigalora: Wood Fired Cucina


ITALIAN • The pizza concept from chef Luciano Del Signore, a four-time James Beard Award nominee, features small plates, fresh pastas, wood-roasted meats, and a range of distinctive Neopolitan pizzas. See website for locations; bigalora.com

Birmingham Pub


GASTROPUB • This stylish yet casual gastropub from the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group took over the former Triple Nickel space. True to its name, the restaurant’s bill of fare features pub classics taken up a notch, such as fish and chips served with jalapeno hush-puppies and filet mignon with Parmesan truffle fries and zip sauce. There are also TVs at the bar so you won’t miss a minute of the game. 555 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-885-8108. L Tue. - Fri., BR Sat. - Sun.

Bistro Joe’s


GLOBAL • Part of Papa Joe’s Gourmet Market, Bistro Joe’s is in a mezzanine overlooking the open kitchen and market. There is an eclectic list of dishes like spicy tuna “tacushi,” P.E.I. Pesto Mussels, and tasty flatbread pizzas. 34244 Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-594-0984. D Tue.-Sun., BR Sat.-Sun.


Café Cortina


ITALIAN • Selections include prosciutto di Parma stuffed with greens and mozzarella; and gnocchi with wild oyster mushrooms. For dessert, try the crepes. 30715 W. 10 Mile Road, Farmington Hills; 248-474-3033. L Sun., D Tue.-Sun.

Café ML

NEW AMERICAN • Café ML is contemporary in décor and its “globally inspired food.” Such dishes as short rib steamed buns, Chinese chicken salad, Singapore street


noodles, and Korean fried chicken share the menu with burgers, steak frites, and fresh seafood. Garage door-style windows open onto the patio on warm days. 3607 W. Maple Road, Bloomfield Township; 248-642-4000. D daily.

Capital Grille


STEAKHOUSE • Hand-cut, dry-aged steaks and fresh seafood dishes are the stars at Capital Grille. The restaurant’s outstanding wine list features over 350 labels. The setting is appropriate for both business lunches and social events and includes well-appointed private dining rooms. 2800 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy; 248-649-5300. L,D daily.

Casa Pernoi

$$$$ ITALIAN • Three months after its grand opening, what once was a multi-hyphenate concept, blending French, Asian, and Italian cuisine, soon defaulted simply to a cuisine most familiar to chef Luciano DelSignore: Italian. Housemade pastas rolled by hand, and a meaty branzino typify the menu. 310 E. Maple Road, Birmingham; 248-940-0000. D Tue.-Sat.

Como’s $$ NEW AMERICAN • This Ferndale favorite reopened in May 2019 under the ownership of Peas & Carrots Hospitality with a trendier, fresher look. The warm, homey feel is still intact, but it’s ditched the old menu for — among other things — chef Zack Sklar’s square, deep-dish, Detroit-style pizza that’s leavened from a sourdough starter as opposed to commercial yeast. 22812 Woodward Ave., Unit 100., Ferndale; 248-677-4439. L,D daily.

Cornbread Restaurant & Bar

$$ SOUL • In 1997, Patrick Coleman melded his experience in fine dining with his grandma’s southern roots to create Beans & Cornbread Soulful Bistro. It racked up accolades and fans over the years, including Stevie Wonder and Thomas (Hitman) Hearns. Cornbread is the sequel to Beans and Cornbread, continuing the tradition of soul food with an upscale twist. Classics like catfish and a gravy-smothered pork chop endure. 29852 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield; 248-208-1680. L,D Thu.-Tue.

Crispelli’s Bakery Pizzeria


ITALIAN-INSPIRED • This hybrid offers artisanal pizzas from a brick oven, salads, paninis, and soups. A bakery offers crusty breads, desserts, and meals to go. Two patios add to the appeal. See website for locations; crispellis.com


$$ PERUVIAN • Native Peruvian Betty Shuell brings a taste of her home to Ferndale. The casual, homey, seat-yourself establishment is named after an herb that is often used in traditional Peruvian cooking. An especially notable dish is the Pollo a la Brasa, marinated chicken served with French fries, rice, and a variety of dipping sauces. 22939 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-632-1055. L,D daily.

Diamond’s Steak & Seafood

$$$ STEAKHOUSE • This Howell restaurant is the perfect location for ribeye, fresh gulf shrimp, or a classic cheeseburger. Plus, weekends boast a buffet-style brunch. 101 W. Grand River Ave., Howell; 517-548-5500. L,D Tue.-Sat.

Eddie’s Gourmet

$$ NEW AMERICAN Chef Eddie Hanna’s gourmet diner is a simple concept that works to perfection. The menu offers a standard selection of breakfast items, burgers, sandwiches, and lunch specials, but the real draw is the counter-side gourmet and pasta specials. Offerings include Veal Marsala and Chicken Milano. 25920 Greenfield Road, Oak Park; 248-968-4060. L,D Tue.-Sat.

MAY 2024 101





1 pound cooked Maine lobster, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons grape-seed oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 quart jasmine rice, cooked the day before and refrigerated overnight

2/3 cup diced carrots

2/3 cup defrosted green peas

4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of grape-seed oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add eggs and scramble. Once fully cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Add remaining tablespoon of grape-seed oil to the empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the butter.

3. Add the rice, lobster, green peas, carrots, and soy sauce, and stir to combine. Cook 3-4 minutes, until the lobster and rice are heated through.

4. Return the eggs to the pan and stir gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Serve garnished with sliced green onion.





Elie’s Mediterranean Grill/Bar $$ LEBANESE • The lamb and chicken shawarma, shish kafta, kibbee nyeh, and other Lebanese dishes are emphasized by the décor, including photomurals of old Beirut and strings of blue beads cascading from the ceiling. A fun place to frequent for a quick lunch or a night out with friends. 263 Pierce St., Birmingham; 248-647-2420. L,D Mon.-Sat.

The Fed $$ GASTROPUB An attractive restaurant with great food and a delightfully refreshing atmosphere. The menu crosses boundaries, from shareables, like Spanish Octopus and Wild Mushroom Flatbread. Plus, the bright and airy bohemian-chic interior is highly Instagrammable. 15 S. Main St., Clarkston; 248-297-5833. D Tue.-Sat., B,L,D Sun.

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR  2009 Forest $$$ EUROPEAN-INSPIRED • The menu is brief but designed to let the kitchen assemble sharp flavors from various farm and market ingredients. Try the delightful pastas, like the Bolognese and the agnolotti, as well as the understated Farm Egg. 735 Forest Ave., Birmingham; 248-258-9400. D Tue.-Sat.

The Fly Trap $ ECLECTIC AMERICAN • This “finer diner” typifies trendy Ferndale with its tin ceiling, red-topped tables, and counter with swivel stools. It offers sandwiches, salads, pastas, and omelets. 22950 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-399-5150. B,L Tue.-Sat.

Garage Grill & Fuel Bar $$ NEW AMERICAN • The car-themed rooms of a former 1940s gas station are as fresh and appealing as the dishes themselves. The kitchen serves up a variety of seafood starters and “full-size sedan” entrees, as well as pizzas. 202 W. Main St., Northville; 248-924-3367. D Wed.-Sun., BR Sat.-Sun.

Gran Castor $$ LATIN STREET • From the duo behind hit spots like Vinsetta Garage and Union Woodshop comes this vibrant Latin-American café and restaurant.Diners can choose to sit behind one of the two bars, a cozy café, or in the 245-seat dining room all decked in colorful textiles. At Gran Castor, the dining room is equally as decadent as the food and drinks served. Grab a $5 margarita between 4 p.m.-6 p.m. daily. 2950 Rochester Road, Troy; 248-278-7777. D daily.




SEAFOOD Seafood covers most of the menu at this Nautical Mile favorite. It’s a tough task choosing between such popular appetizers as coconut shrimp, crispy grouper nuggets, and plump steamed mussels. Entrées include al dente pastas and several choices from “over the wave,” such as lamb chops and New York strip steak, plus lump crab cakes and beerbattered cod. 24223 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-7733279. L,D daily.


SEAFOOD • What was once multiple concepts under one roof named after the three neighborhoods that converged right where the restaurant stands (Hazel, Ravine and Downtown) is now simply Hazel’s. The casual and comfortable restaurant specializes in authentic dishes, drinks, and vibes from some of the country’s top seafood destinations. Here you’ll find dishes like Maine-caught lobster, Maryland Blue Crab, and more. 1 Peabody St., Birmingham; 248-671-1714. D Tue.-Sun., B,L Sat.-Sun.

Honcho $

LATIN FUSION • From the owners of Vinsetta Garage and Union Woodshop, this restaurant can be described as “Latin food that speaks with an Asian accent.” Menu items include a chicken burrito fried and tossed in a soy fish sauce and Korean pork tacos, featuring Woodshop pulled pork tossed in Korean BBQ sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds and Malay radish slaw. 3 E. Church St., Clarkston; 248-707-3793. L,D daily.


Hong Hua $

CHINESE • One of the best area restaurants dedicated to Asian food offers some rare delicacies as well as more customary items. One signature dish is King of the Sea: lobster chunks, scallops, and grouper with greens in a garlic sauce. 27925 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills; 248-489-2280. L,D Tue.-Sun.

Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse


STEAKHOUSE • This plush modern steakhouse offers dry-aged prime and Kobe-style wagyu beef in a fun, clubby setting. An extensive wine list accompanies the restaurant menu that also features platters of chilled fresh seafood. 201 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-594-4369. D daily. 17107 Haggerty Road, Northville Twp.; 248-6790007. D Tue.-Sun.

Imperial $

MEXICAN-INSPIRED • The menu offers Californiastyle tacos on soft tortillas, including lime-grilled chicken, carnitas, and marinated pork, as well as slow-roasted pork tortas, and guacamole. 22828 Woodward Ave., Ferndale, 248-850-8060. L,D daily.

It’s A Matter of Taste


ITALIAN • With a patio that overlooks Union Lake, this Commerce eatery has a menu with offerings inspired by northern and southern Italy. Chef-owner Tom Traynor’s signature dish is crisped walleye, sitting atop jasmine rice, steamed mussels, Thai vegetables, and cilantro with coconut milk and red sauce. You also can’t go wrong with the fresh pasta, and classic cuts like the lamb osso bucco, filet mingon, or New York strip. 2323 Union Lake Rd., Commerce Charter Twp.; 248-360-6650. D Wed.-Sun.

J-Bird Smoked Meats


BARBEQUE • Wood-smoked meats served with the traditional sides of cornbread, buttermilk slaw, and mac and cheese, are what’s on the menu at this meatlovers mecca. Other popular dishes include the Three Meat Sampler and JBird Gumbo, as well as St. Louis Ribs and old-fashioned JBurgers. 1978 Cass Lake Road, Keego Harbor; 248-681-2124. L,D Mon.-Sun.

Joe Muer


SEAFOOD • The Bloomfield Hills location of the iconic restaurant continues the tradition of excellent food, service, and ambiance. The menu emphasizes classic fresh fish and “Muer Traditions” such as Dover sole and Great Lakes Yellow Belly Perch. There’s also a raw and sushi bar as well as premium steaks. And make sure to save room for dessert, because the coconut cake is not to be missed. A piano bar adds to the vibe. 39475 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; 248-792-9609. D daily.

KouZina Greek Steet Food $ GREEK • The Greek “street food” at this Royal Oak spot comes in lamb and beef, and chicken. Try the lentil soup for a delicious lunch or go for something more filling like the gyro bowl. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this excellent eatery. 121 N Main Street, Royal Oak; 248-629-6500. L,D daily Mon.-Sun.

Lao Pot


CHINESE • In 2019, the owners of Madison Heights’ international market 168 Asian Mart opened Lao Pot, which specializes in Chinese Hot Pot cuisine. Hot Pot is a traditional method of cooking, using a pot of simmering broth, which sits in the center of the dining table. Lao Pot allows diners to customize and cook their meals right at their tables, combining great food and a memorable experience. 32707 John R. Road, Madison Heights; 248-689-9888. L,D daily.


La Strada Italian Kitchen & Bar $$$

ITALIAN • A slice of European elegance offers an impeccable menu of Italian dishes and wines. Delicious fresh pastas, pizzas, antipastis and more are proudly served and very tasty. 243 E. Merrill St., Birmingham; 248-480-0492. D Tue.-Sat.

Lellis Inn


ITALIAN • Dinners begin with an antipasto tray, creamy minestrone, salad, side dish of spaghetti, and then — nine times out of 10 — a filet mignon with zip sauce. 885 N. Opdyke Road, Auburn Hills; 248-3734440. L,D daily.

Loccino Italian Grill


ITALIAN • Loccino is a “family-friendly” yet upscale Italian restaurant. Choose from fresh seafood, steak, and chicken dishes, plus traditional pastas, pizzas, salads, and more. They also offer happy hour specials from 3-7 p.m. weekdays. A great special occasion place or delicious workday lunch spot for whenever you need a break from the office. 5600 Crooks Road, Troy; 248-813-0700. L Mon.-Fri., D daily.

Lockhart’s BBQ


BARBEQUE • The heart of this joint’s authentic barbecue is the dry-rubbed meat smoker, which can smoke up to 800 pounds of meat at a time. Choices such as pork ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, burnt ends, and chicken are served atop butcher paper on metal trays for the true experience. 202 E. Third St., Royal Oak; 248-584-4227. L,D daily. BR Sun.

Loui’s Pizza

$ ITALIAN • Sure, you can now get a Michigan craft beer, but not much else has changed. And that’s a good thing. Parties dine on square pizzas with crisp crust, faintly charred around the edges. Hailed by food critics and Detroiters alike as one of the city’s most classic Detroit style pizzas, it’s well worth a trip. 23141 Dequindre Road, Hazel Park; 248-547-1711. L,D Thu.-Sun.

Mabel Gray


NEW AMERICAN • Chef James Rigato produces some masterful dishes on this tiny menu, which does not miss a beat. The menu includes a multi-course tasting option, as well as a daily listing of changing items that never disappoint. It’s a fine dining experience that is certainly worth a visit. 23825 John R Road, Hazel Park; 248-398-4300. D Tue.-Sat.

Mad Hatter Bistro, Bar & Tea Room


ECLECTIC AMERICAN • The whimsical setting inspired by Alice in Wonderland welcomes far more than the tea sipping set with burgers and sandwiches. There are also pastries, of course. 185 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-540-0000. L Tue.Fri, D daily, BR Sat.-Sun. Tea by reservation. Lower level not wheelchair accessible.





NEW AMERICAN • Since opening in 2021, Madam has carved its niche with its global take on farm-totable cuisine, taking diners on a tour from Michigan to Asia to Europe. Staples from chef de cuisine Clifton Booth include mushroom dumplings, Spanish octopus, steak frites, and pasta dishes. 298 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-283-4200. B,D daily, L Mon.-Fri., BR Sat.-Sun.

Mare Mediterranean $$$$ SEAFOOD • Inspired by restaurants in Sicily where the catch of the day is the basis of dinner, this sophisticated restaurant from Nino Cutraro and his partner offers the freshest seafood flown in from

MAY 2024 103

the Mediterranean several times a week. You select the type of fish you want from the market in front of the open kitchen and how you want it prepared (acqua pazza, salt baked, grilled, or pan fried). Served table-side in glorious fashion, it’s a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach. 115 Willits St., Birmingham; 248-940-5525. D Tue.-Sat. BR Sat.-Sun.

Market North End $$ AMERICAN • Joe and Kristin Bongiovanni opened this eatery just across the street from the family’s existing restaurants, Salvatore Scallopini and Luxe Bar & Grill. It represents a younger, more casual alternative to the cult-favorite classics, with a serious kitchen that offers traditional American dishes as well as hints of global influences. 474 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-712-4953. L,D daily.

The Meeting House $$

ECLECTIC AMERICAN • This eclectic American menu includes steak frites remarkably close to those at Paris bistros, and a house made soft pretzel with roasted jalapeno-goat cheese dip. Or, try the sesame miso beef short rib, served with rice. 301 S. Main St., Rochester; 248-759-4825. D daily, BR Sat.-Sun.

Mesa Tacos And Tequila $ MEXICAN-AMERICAN • The two-story setting includes balcony seating in a big, open room where the bar gets equal time with the kitchen. The pop-Mexican menu — which includes guacamole, nachos, and the titular tacos — is backed up with an array of tequilas. 312 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-545-1940. L & D daily.

RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR  2008 Mon Jin Lau $$

ASIAN-FUSION • Explore such dishes as Singapore noodles, combining chicken, shrimp, chilies, and curry with angel-hair pasta; Mongolian beef; or seared scallops with lemongrass-basil Thai curry sauce. The patio opens up and the dining room transforms into a dance floor for weekly events. 1515 E. Maple Road, Troy; 248-689-2332. L Mon.-Fri., D daily.

The Morrie $$

NEW AMERICAN • Music and munchies can be a great combination when served in the right proportions. Such offerings as the smoked chicken wings and Detroit style pizza appeal to a wide demographic. The rock ’n’ roll-themed eatery also brought its much-loved American dishes and cocktails to Birmingham in 2019. 511 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248216-1112. D daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 260 N. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-940-3260. D Fri.-Sat.

Oak City Grille $ NEW AMERICAN • This downtown Royal Oak spot bridges the gap between bar food and upscale dining. Order a dressed-up sandwich or burger, or elevate your dining experience with an 8-ounce filet mignon or lamb chops. The friendly price range makes anything possible. 212 W. Sixth St., Royal Oak; 248-556-0947. D Tue.-Sun.

Ocean Prime $$$$

SEAFOOD • An upper-end steak-and-fish place and a popular business lunch site. The menu features naturally harvested fresh fish and prime aged beef. Don’t miss the chocolate peanut butter pie or the carrot cake. A tried-and-true metro Detroit spot. 2915 Coolidge Hwy., Troy; 248-458-0500. L Mon.-Fri., D daily.

One-Eyed Betty’s $$

ECLECTIC AMERICAN • Picnic-style tables and blackboards lettered with scores of brew choices add a beer-hall sensibility to this popular spot. The kitchen delivers New Orleans-themed dishes such as Chicken Tchoupitoulas with tasso ham and bear-

naise sauce, as well as a mouth-watering bacon burger. Weekend brunch features delicious housemade doughnuts. 175 W. Troy St., Ferndale; 248808-6633. D daily, BR Sat.-Sun.


MEXICAN-AMERICAN • This Royal Oak spot offers sustenance for the early birds to the night owls. Step up to the counter and order from the letterboard menu before grabbing a stool at the counter or along the window ledge. Dishes here include such diner musts as eggs, sausage and potato hash, burgers, and chicken wings as well as tacos and nachos served from the open kitchen. 27302 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-808-6244. B, L,D daily.



Detroit Fish House


This restaurant feels like a true coastal eatery, thanks to an extensive menu of fresh fish and seafood that ranges from salmon to Lake Superior whitefish — all served in a welldesigned setting. 51195 Schoenherr Road, Shelby Township; 586-739-5400. L Mon.-Fri., D daily.



LEBANESE • This long-standing upscale eatery has clean, contemporary lines that complement the French door-style windows. Don’t miss the portabella mushrooms or roasted garlic cloves with tomato and basil as an appetizer. The menu expands to unexpected items such as baby back ribs and single-serving-sized local whitefish. 588 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-644-3122. L Mon.-Fri., D daily.

Pinky’s Rooftop

$$ ECLECTIC AMERICAN • With its second-floor view of downtown Royal Oak, Pinky’s Rooftop is a go-to spot for a night on the town. The name hearkens back to a Detroit restaurant and speakeasy on the east side that was called Pinky’s Boulevard Club (and the fact that everything is pink). The playful and eclectic menu offers a taste of a little bit of everything, from Kasseri Saganaki to Red Chile Beef Taco. It’s part of the Adam Merkel Restaurants group, which includes Howell hot spots The Silver Pig, Cello Italian, and Diamond’s Steak & Seafood. 100 S. Main St. Rear, Royal Oak, 248-268-2885. D Tues.-Sun. Br. Sat.-Sun.

Pop’s For Italian

$$ ITALIAN • It doesn’t sound fancy, but this Ferndale restaurant serves well-prepared, Italian dishes paired with an ambitious wine program. The fairly brief menu starts with a list of Neapolitan pizzas, then moves to pastas, but has all the classics. 280 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale; 248-268-4806. D Tue.-Sun. BR Sat.-Sun.

Prime29 Steakhouse

$$$$ STEAKHOUSE The 29-day aged prime beef, including the 24-ounce tomahawk bone-in rib-eye, still stars here. There’s also Chilean sea bass and black pearl salmon. The service is notable, as is the Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. 6545 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield; 248- 737-7463. D Tue.-Sun.

Public House

$$ NEW AMERICAN/VEGAN • This Ferndale spot reopened under new ownership and with a refreshed look in late 2021. Standout selections include its burgers, shareable plates, plus craft cocktails and mocktails. It also features a special vegan menu and carries plenty of gluten-free options. 241 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale; (248) 654-6355. L,D Tue.-Sun. BR Sat.-Sun.

Quán Ngon Vietnamese Bistro

$ VIETNAMESE • This gem of a bistro in a handsome space adds to the local Vietnamese offerings. Dishes such as cha gio (elegant little eggrolls), bun bo noug cha gio (grilled beef with eggroll, vermicelli, mixed greens, plus sweet and sour sauce), and banh mi made with fresh ingredients. 30701 Dequindre Road, Madison Heights; 248-268-4310. L,D daily

Redcoat Tavern

$ BURGERS • The half-pound choice beef hamburger is always atop the list of local favorites. But a low-fat, high-flavor Piedmontese beef one is tastier than the

original. This is the place for your burger craving. 31542 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-549-0300. 6745 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield Township; 248-865-0500. L,D Mon.-Sat.

Rochester Chop House


NEW AMERICAN • Two restaurants in one; Kabin Kruser’s and the Chop House. There’s a throwback roadhouse-style feeling about the Chop House, which has a menu divided between red meat and fresh fish and seafood. Signature dishes include calamari, Maryland jumbo lump crabcakes, and a large selection of aged steaks, rack of lamb, and steak/seafood combinations. 306 S. Main St., Rochester; 248-6512266. L Mon.-Fri., D daily



JAPANESE • The sushi menu, ranging from spicy tuna rolls to yellowtail and salmon eggs and well beyond, is augmented by a concise menu of cooked fare. Front windows open onto the sidewalk, making the cocktail lounge open-air during the warm months. 326 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-546-0888. D daily.

Silver Spoon


ITALIAN • This quintessential slice of Italy features excellent food, knowledgeable staff, and friendly service. Try the bucatini made with pancetta, onion, red wine, and fresh tomato sauce. Also worth trying: saltimbocca alla Romana, or veal scaloppini sautéed in white wine. A truly delicious place for any kind of outing. 543 N. Main St., Rochester; 248-652-4500. D Mon.-Sat.

Social Kitchen & Bar

$$$ NEW AMERICAN • The energetic Birmingham spot allows guests a view of the kitchen action. It has a creative and varied menu typified by fried chicken sandwiches, crispy Brussels sprouts, and salmon with braised lentils, crispy kale, and a mustard vinaigrette. 225 E. Maple Road, Birmingham; 248-5944200. L Mon.-Fri., D daily, BR Sat.-Sun.



JAPANESE • To truly experience Sozai, you have to reserve a seat at the custom-built sushi bar where chef Hajime Sato will curate a unique sustainable sushi dining experience called omakase. There’s also a menu offering crowd pleasers like chicken karaage and rolls featuring familiar ingredients with tuna, jalapeno and avocado. 449 W. 14 Mile Road, Clawson; 248-677-3232. D Tue.-Sat.

Streetside Seafood


SEAFOOD • Small and cozy yet sophisticated, the restaurant has a pared-down seasonal menu of fresh fish and seafood. There are always two soups: a bisque and a chowder. Favorites include the oysters and bouillabaisse. A delicious restaurant for all palates to enjoy and feel comfortable in. 273 Pierce St. Birmingham; 248-645-9123. L Thu.-Fri., D daily.

Sylvan Table


NEW AMERICAN • With a working farm on the 5-acre property, Sylvan Table isn’t just talking the farm-totable talk. The restored 300-year-old barn feels grand and vast when you step into the stunning space, but it is homey, welcoming, and inviting. The menu changes often to reflect what’s growing but some of the staples include the trout — seasoned with herb oil, salt, and pepper, cooked over a wood-fired grill, and served whole — and Chicken Under a Brick, which is cooked to charred perfection. 1819 Inverness St., Sylvan Lake, 248-369-3360. D Mon.-Sun.

Take Sushi $$ JAPANESE • Crisp salads, sashimi, sushi, oversize bowls of soba or udon noodles, and all the familiar —


and some not-so-familiar — entrees combine to make this spot special. The exceptionally warm service is unforgettable. 1366 Walton Blvd., Rochester Hills; 248-652-7800. L,D Tue.-Sat., D Sun.

Tallulah Wine Bar & Bistro

$$ WINE BAR • Understated décor and a pared-down menu of seasonal dishes make this spot a Birmingham classic. The kitchen turns out dishes like Lamb Belly Ragu with housemade pasta; and whole branzino with charred zucchini and romesco. Wine is served by the glass, the pitcher, or bottle. 155 S. Bates St., Birmingham; 248-731-7066. D Mon.-Sat.

Three Cats Restaurant

Vinsetta Garage $$

NEW AMERICAN • This restaurant, which is housed in a vintage car-repair shop, offers well-prepared comfort food classics such as burgers, macaroni and cheese, pizzas, and brown sugar-glazed salmon. A restaurant that pays true homage to the city of Detroit. 27799 Woodward Ave., Berkley; 248548-7711. L,D daily



BREAKFAST/BRUNCH • Formerly a small café serving customers of the boutique Leon & Lulu, Three Cats is now a full-fledged restaurant and bar. Located in the former Clawson movie theater next door to the shop, the spot serves small, simple plates, including vegetarian and vegan options for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The beverage menu features local selections, such as vodka from Ferndale’s Valentine’s Distilling Co. and wines from grapes grown on the Leelanau Peninsula. Patrons can even take home the colorful, quirky chairs or tables, as most of the furniture at Three Cats Restaurant is available for purchase. 116 W. 14 Mile Road, Clawson; 248-288-4858. L,D Tue.-Fri., B,L,D Sat.-Sun.



JAPANESE • With an eclectic ambiance and extensive Japanese menu, TigerLily satisfies taste buds with sushi, sashimi, nigiri, and hot dishes like the Yaki Udon or Japanese Street Corn. 231 W. Nine Mile Road, Ste. A, Ferndale; 248-733-4905. D daily.

Toast, A Breakfast & Lunch Joint


BREAKFAST/BRUNCH • It’s fun, it’s breezy, and the food at Toast, A Breakfast & Lunch Joint is very, very good. Try the huevos rancheros: fried eggs upon corn tortillas, pintos, and cheese. Toast, a Neighborhood Joint, the spinoff of the Ferndale original has a more elaborate setting pairing ’50s retro with sleek contemporary in a pair of rooms. The new menu features twists to comfort food. 23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-398-0444. 203 Pierce St., Birmingham; 248-258-6278. B,L daily.

Toasted Oak


BRASSERIE • The menu revolves around the charcuterie sold in the market next door and a list of hot grill items. In 2019, the restaurant earned a Wine Spectator magazine award for its outstanding wine program. Plus, just across the lot is Twelve Oaks Mall, should you fancy an evening of shopping and dinner. 27790 Novi Road, Novi; 248-277-6000. B Mon.-Fri., L,D Tue.-Sat. BR Sat.-Sun.

Townhouse $$$

NEW AMERICAN • This popular Birmingham spot for comforting New American dishes has several exceptional offerings on its menu, such as the specialty 10 ounces of 28-day dry-aged beef hamburger on brioche. 180 Pierce St., Birmingham; 248-7925241. L,D daily, BR Sat.-Sun. 500 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-723-1000. L,D daily.


Union Woodshop

BARBEQUE • Part of the ever-growing Union Joints restaurant group, this is a self-described wood-fired joint, where pulled pork, ribs, chicken, and beef brisket come from the smoker, and Neapolitan-style crispcrusted pizzas from the wood-burning oven. And definitely check out the mac and cheese. There’s also a delicious kid’s menu for any youngsters in your party. 18 S. Main St., Clarkston; 248-625-5660. D Mon.-Sun.


SEAFOOD • Fresh seafood with emphasis on oysters is the premise in this hard-to-find location. The space entails convivially close quarters for such dishes as peel-n’-eat shrimp, yellowfin tuna tartare, and halibut fish and chips. The premium bar offers short but notable lists of beer and wine as well as craft cocktails. 600 Vester St., Ferndale; 248-658-4999.

D Tue.-Sat.




ITALIAN • Over the past three decades, Joe Vicari has established several Andiamo restaurants in metro Detroit, all inspired by the late master chef Aldo Ottaviani’s philosophy of seasonal, fromscratch cooking. Menus differ slightly between locations, but the constant is fresh, housemade pastas — handcrafted by the trinity of “pasta ladies,” Anna, Tanya, and Angelina, who have carried on the tradition. The Warren location is the flagship that started it all. 7096 14 Mile Road, Warren; 586268-3200. L,D Mon.-Fri., D Sat.-Sun.

Bar Verona $$

ITALIAN • Modernized, made-from-scratch Italian favorites curated by Chef Salvatore Borgia as well as fresh craft cocktails fill the menu at this stylish eatery. Homemade pastas, such as Giuseppe’s, as well as a selection of steaks and seafood dishes typify the contemporary approach to fresh and uncomplicated Italian cuisine. 59145 Van Dyke Ave., Washington; 586-473-0700. D daily.

Blake’s Tasting Room


NEW AMERICAN • Enjoy a variety of house-made hard ciders to sip on from one of the U.S.’s top-producing hard cider brands. The menu offers bar-food staples with a twist, like the eye-catching Apple Burger, stacked with melted Swiss, onions, apple, and apple cider ketchup on a brioche bun. Plus, it’s steps away from family-friendly seasonal activities at Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill. 17985 Armada Center Road, Armada; 586-784-5343. L,D daily.

Butter Run Saloon $

GASTROPUB • Solid American fare that’s beyond bar food (although their burgers are certainly noteworthy). There’s escargot, perch, steaks, and a huge whiskey selection — over a thousand at last count. 27626 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-675-2115. B, L,D daily.

Da Francesco’s Ristorante & Bar $$

ITALIAN • Da Francesco’s has been around for more than 15 years, but its massive new facility is packing in the crowds by offering traditional Italian dining with an upbeat modern twist. 49521 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Township; 586-731-7544. L,D Tue.-Fri., D Sat., L,D Sun.

Gaudino’s $$

ITALIAN • The trending market-restaurant combo has a good example at this spot. It offers imported pastas and sauces, plus a butcher counter with sausages and a wine assortment. The menu offers pasta and pizza, salads, and entrees, including Bistecca di


In Conversation …

… with the Adelina chefs

IN MARCH, celebrity chef Fabio Viviani’s Italian-Mediterranean eatery Adelina opened its doors near Campus Martius Park. We caught up with Viviani and Executive Chefs Marco Dalla Fontana and Gabriel Botezan — both former chefs at Bacco Ristorante, our 2005 Restaurant of the Year:

Gabriel Botezan: I thought I knew how to cook Italian until I met Marco [at Bacco]. He changed my whole point of view of Italian cooking. I learned that simple things make food good.

Marco Dalla Fontana: When Gabriel had the opportunity to

come to Adelina, he came to me and said, “I won’t do it without you.” I felt really overwhelmed, because I was out of the kitchen for a couple years as a general manager.

Fabio Viviani: We can’t tell, though. He made me a veal scallopini last night. I took a bite, and I had to give him a hug.

GB: We just want to put out good, simple food in this beautiful setting.

FV: It’s home cooking; it really is. It’s an elevated version, because they plate a lot better than my mom does it. But it’s just as good.

Adelina opened in a street-level space of downtown Detroit’s One Campus Martius building on March 22.

What’s Cooking?

Metro Detroit food and beverage headlines

New Ferndale restaurant will provide a helping hand to immigrants Chef Nikita Sanches and his wife/business partner, Jessica Imbronone Sanches, are the couple behind Hamtramck/ Midtown restaurant Rock City Eatery, which closed in 2021.

Their latest concept, Patchwork Culinary Project, is expected to open this year in Ferndale’s former Hilton Road Cafe space.

Downtown Detroit’s Zuzu to get second location in Nashville

The upscale Guardian Building sushi spot will be opening its second location in Nashville, Tennessee, the restaurant announced in March. It’s set to open later this year. Owned by Birmingham-headquartered Elia Group, the restaurant made its Detroit debut in August 2023.

The small, 12-seat space will be something between a deli and a general store, “almost like a New York bodega,” Sanches tells Hour Detroit. Sanches, who immigrated to Detroit’s suburbs at 12 from Russia, says the restaurant will offer training and other resources for immigrants interested in pursuing careers in the culinary field.

Nikita Sanches did much of his own renovation for Patchwork
Culinary Project in Ferndale’s former Hilton Garden Cafe space.
MAY 2024 105

Gancio, a sliced hanger steak with crispy Brussels sprouts and house bistro sauce. 27919 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-879-6764. L,D Tue.-Sat

Isla $$

FILIPINO • Dishes at this Filipino restaurant, formerly sheltered at Fort Street Galley, are reflective of the culinary traditions of the founders’ Iloilo City hometown. Annatto is used to punch up the color of Chicken Adobo, the unofficial dish of the Philippines, and juicy mangoes complement sweet and savory dishes. 2496 Metro Pkwy, Sterling Heights; 586-883-7526. L,D Tue.-Sat., BR Sun.

J. Baldwin’s Restaurant

$$$ NEW AMERICAN • The menu showcases chef Jeff Baldwin’s contemporary American food: award-winning stone fired pizza, Boom-Boom Shrimp, burgers, and salads. The desserts include chocolate bumpy cake and spiced carrot cake. 16981 18 Mile Road, Clinton Township; 586-416-3500. L,D Tue.-Sun., BR Sun.

Mr. Paul’s Chophouse


STEAKHOUSE • This bastion of red meat as well as classic dishes is still going strong. Try old-school tableside presentations such as Chateaubriand and Caesar salad. There’s a solid selection of fresh seafood and pasta, too. The founding family still runs the place and emphasizes great hospitality and a heckuva good time. 29850 Groesbeck Hwy., Roseville; 586-777-7770. L,D Mon.-Fri., D Sat.

Sherwood Brewing Co.

GASTROPUB • Quality local ingredients raise Sherwood’s fare to well above “elevated pub grub.” Some notable choices include the hand-stretched pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and spicy Buffalo Mac. 45689 Hayes Road, Shelby Township; 586-532-9669. L,D Tue.-Sat.


tion and an imaginative style that is entirely his own. 209 Pearl St., Ypsilanti. D Mon. L, D Tue-Sat. L Sun.

Black Pearl $$ SEAFOOD • This seafood and martini bar is especially popular during patio season. But step inside for a host of craft cocktails, then stay for dinner. A seafood-dominated menu includes a notable Misoyaki Salmon dish. Non-seafood options include the eponymous burger and filet mignon. And make sure to order dessert. 302 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-222-0400. D daily.

Blue LLama Jazz Club

$$ CREATIVE AMERICAN • Come to this swanky jazz club for the music, featuring headliners such as the Grammy-nominated Ravi Coltrane Quartet, but stay for chef Louis Goral’s delicious food — steaks, seafood, and upscale Southern-style fare. 314 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-372-3200. D Wed.-Sat.

The Blue Nile

$$ ETHIOPIAN • The real treat at this quaint restaurant is injera, a spongy bread used to scoop the meal, eaten with your hands in traditional style. The lentil dishes, often seasoned with an Ethiopian spice mixture called berbere, and the vegetables are equally delicious. 221 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734-9984746. D Tue.-Sun. 545 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale; 248-547-6699. D Thu.-Sun. t stay for Chef Louis Goral’s delicious food — steaks, seafood and upscale southern-style fare. 314 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734372-3200. D Wed.-Sun.


Steakhouse 22 $$ STEAKHOUSE • The late Nick Andreopoulos once spent time as a “broiler man” at London Chop House. His family stays true to those roots at this American steakhouse with a casual, neighborhood feel. They offer an array of well-prepared angus steaks, plus seafood and pasta dishes. With the sizable lunch and portions offered at Steakhouse 22, good luck saving room for dessert! 48900 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Township; 586-731-3900. L,D Tue.-Sun.

Testa Barra

$$ ITALIAN • The newest spot from talented chef and restaurateur Jeffrey Baldwin and his wife, RoseMarie, offers modern Italian fare in a lively, upbeat setting. Pastas are made in-house. 48824 Romeo Plank Road, Macomb Township; 586-434-0100. D Tue.-Sat.

Twisted Rooster $$

SPORTS BAR This “Michigan-centric” chain (Chesterfield Township and Belleville) has takes on classics, with mac & cheese variations, steaks, and chicken with zip sauce. 45225 Marketplace Blvd., Chesterfield; 586-949-1470. L,D daily.


Bellflower $$

NEW AMERICAN • A restaurant housed in a former exchange of the Michigan Bell Telephone Company, Bellflower answers Ypsilanti’s call for fine dining with an adventurous flair. Boudin sausage with roasted okra, baked oysters, and ginger ale or Coca-Colaroasted beets showed up on early menus as chef Dan Klenotic’s way of straddling the line of creole tradi-

$$ INDIAN • Check out the Hyderabadi Biryani —chicken, goat, and vegetable dishes, in which the rice is first cooked, then baked. All the Indian favorites are available at Cardamom, such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Lamb Rogan Josh, and warm, fluffy, madefresh garlic naan. It’s the ideal spot for when you’re craving the classics. 1739 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor; 734-662-2877. D Wed.-Sun.

The Common Grill


SEAFOOD • Founded by Chef Craig Common, whose skilled work drew the attention of the now shuttered Gourmet magazine and the James Beard House, this mainstay was acquired in 2022 by Peas & Carrots Hospitality. Chefs Zack Sklar and Josh Humphrey kept most of the beloved restaurant’s menu, such as the expertly prepared oysters and seafood dishes, as well as the coconut cream pie. 112 S. Main St., Chelsea; 734-475-0470. L,D Tue.-Sun., BR Sat-Sun.

Mani Osteria & Bar


Dixboro House


Much like the restaurant’s ambience, the cuisine at Dixboro House is both refined and relaxed. The menu hosts rotating seasonal from-scratch dishes that highlight local ingredients — pizzas, salads, seafood, and steaks — served in a rustic barn that once housed The Lord Fox, an iconic restaurant in Ann Arbor’s historic Dixboro neighborhood. 5400 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor; 734-669-3310. L,D daily. BR Sat.-Sun.


ITALIAN • This popular casual restaurant infuses freshness with lower prices than most osterias in the area. It’s a well-rounded blend of modern, eclectic Italian with classic standbys. The pizzas are hot, fresh and perfectly executed to suit your tastes. 341 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-769-6700. L,D Tue.-Sun.

Miss Kim


KOREAN • This spinoff from the Zingerman’s mini empire comes courtesy of chef Ji Hye Kim, a James Beard semifinalist. Kim meticulously researches Korean culinary traditions and recipes to create her unique blend of modern Korean food highlighting Michigan vegetables, from housemade kimchi to the tteokbokki (rice cakes). Some of the restaurant’s standouts include a craveable Korean fried chicken and its plantbased counterpart the Korean fried tofu. 415 N. Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor, 734-275-0099. L and D Wed.-Mon.



ITALIAN • Open since 1984, featuring a friendly waitstaff and decked in vibrant colors, this lively restau-

rant is not to be missed. The innovative menu changes seasonally, with housemade pastas, breads, and desserts. 3411 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-9710484. L,D daily.

Seva Ann Arbor


VEGAN • Seva offers such dishes as black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, gluten-free options, and colorful stir-fries — some vegan as well as vegetarian. There’s also a full bar as well as a juice bar serving creamy smoothies and dense shakes, freshsqueezed juices, and craft mocktails. Choose from one of the most extensive vegetarian menus in the Detroit area. 2541 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-6621111. L,D Mon.-Sat.



INDIAN • Offering North Indian, Tandoori, and Mughlai dishes, Shalimar is suitable for carnivores and herbivores alike. Standouts include the Lamb Tikka Masala, best eaten with the restaurant’s flavorful, chewy garlic naan served fresh and hot. 307 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-1500. L, D daily.

Slurping Turtle

JAPANESE • This fun, casual Ann Arbor restaurant, owned by celebrity chef Takashi Yagihashi, offers plenty of shareable dishes, such as hamachi nachos and duck-fat fried chicken. But the star at Slurping Turtle is the noodle (Yagihashi’s “soul food”), which is made in-house daily on a machine imported from Japan. 608 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-887-6868. L,D daily.

Venue by 4M



High-quality coffee; a diverse selection of alcoholic beverages, including cocktails and sustainably sourced wine; and a wide variety of elevated cuisine, such as goat cheese ravioli can be found in this highend mixed-use food hall. 1919 S. Industrial Highway, Ann Arbor; 734-800-0128; experience4m.com

Yotsuba Japanese Restaurant & Bar $$ JAPANESE • The semi-circular sushi bar is the center of this restaurant. Sushi chef Bobby Suzuki has a loyal following for his precise nigiri rolls. There are also tatami rooms and conventional seating. 7365 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield Township; 248737-8282. 2222 Hogback Road, Ann Arbor; 734-9715168. L,D Tue.-Sun.

Zingerman’s Roadhouse $$$ CLASSIC COMFORT • This eatery celebrates food from around the U.S., from the New Mexico black bean and hominy burger to the delicacies of New Orleans. The buttermilk biscuits are out of this world. 2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-663-3663. B,L,D daily.


Charity Calendar


May 2, 5:30-11 p.m.



May 4, 4:30-9 p.m. hopeagainsttrafficking.org

Turning Point, an agency whose mission is to empower domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking survivors through comprehensive services and resources, will host its eighth annual fundraiser, Stepping Out with the Stars, in partnership with the Arthur Murray Dance Studios of Sterling Heights and Royal Oak, at The Palazzo Grande. This year, the event will be emceed by Jessica Dupnack of Fox 2 Detroit and will feature five dancers: Tamara Flake of Mercantile Bank, Ashley Haack of Real Team Real Estate, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Michigan State Police Forensic Scientist Anne Nessia, and survivor Karen Ruffino of Horizon Steele. In addition to the dance competition, the evening will include an open bar, seated dinner, silent auction, raffle baskets, wine pull, and other activities.


May 3, 6:30-10:30 p.m. sheriffpal.com/events

For the past nine years, the Sheriff PAL team has worked diligently to create the highest-quality physical activity and mentoring programs for youth in Pontiac and Oakland County. They are broadening their reach and diversifying their programs to ensure more children have access to the opportunities that Sheriff PAL offers: cultivating friendships, learning new and fun ways to stay active, building confidence and character, and perhaps most importantly, creating impactful relationships with their coaches, staff, and law enforcement team. Every child can participate at no cost; no child will ever have to “pay to play” for a Sheriff PAL program. Please consider supporting Sheriff PAL on Friday, May 3, by taking part in a memorable evening of food, fun, and friendship. Your support will not only mean an amazingly fun evening for you, but it could make a lifelong impact on a young person in the community.

HOPE Against Trafficking is holding its signature annual fundraiser, the Kentucky Derby Gala, on Saturday, May 4. The gala begins at 3:30 p.m. for VIP ticketholders, and 4:30 p.m. for general admission. The event will include a buffet, entertainment, a live viewing of the 2024 Kentucky Derby, a silent auction, and much more. VIP tickets provide guests with an exclusive bourbon tasting and cigar bar experience. HOPE provides long-term residential services in a safe environment for female survivors of human trafficking. The focus of the program is to help survivors heal physically and emotionally from the trauma they’ve endured. Survivors receive medical care, counseling, educational opportunities, and job training to restore their humanity and their spirit, and enable them to take control of their lives. Please join HOPE for an amazing evening and support a commitment to ending human trafficking. General admission tickets are available online at hopeagainsttrafficking.org or by calling 248-499-9440.


May 9, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. starfishfamilyservices.org

Starfish Family Services is a nonprofit organization that’s strengthening families by creating brighter futures for children through early childhood education, family support, and behavioral health services. This year marks the return of the Great Hearts Gala, Starfish’s largest fundraising event. The event takes place on Thursday, May 9, at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn and promises to be an enchanting evening dedicated to children, youth, and their families. This memorable occasion will be a celebration of the organization’s esteemed 2024 Great Hearts Award honoree, The Kresge Foundation, and its president and CEO, Rip Rapson. The festivities will include a cocktail reception, silent auction, seated dinner, and inspiring program. Beyond mere celebration, the evening is sure to be both meaningful and unforgettable, uniting compassionate hearts in support of a shared mission. Together, we can make a profound difference for children and families. To become a sponsor or to purchase tickets, please visit starfishfamilyservices.org/gala.



May 10, 7-9 p.m. mosaicdetroit.org

Inspired by the themes from “The Whiz,” Yellow Brick Ballad(s) features an ensemble-driven original theatrical concert fusing jazz, gospel, techno, and pop, showcasing spoken word poetry, vibrant dance, and powerful vocals created by the youth of Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit. Please come and enjoy a dazzling journey of growth, hope, and friendship.


May 10, 6 p.m.-10 p.m. bearhugdetroit.com


May 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


The Hat’s Off Luncheon is a yearly fundraising event benefiting The Suite Dreams Project. Suite Dreams is in its 24th year of creating dream bedrooms for chronically ill children throughout the state of Michigan. This year’s luncheon will be held at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, followed by an after party at 220 Merrill. Those attending are encouraged to wear a beautiful hat complementing their attire for the afternoon. The Hat’s Off Luncheon is the one major fundraiser supporting a years’ worth of bedrooms for the foundation’s recipients.


May 17, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. k06542.site.kiwanis.org/winetasting

Please help support mental health counseling for youth without financial means. This outdoor event also supports the Judson Center Behavioral Health Program and the Know Resolve Suicide Prevention Program. Participants will enjoy music, wines donated by Manny’s, great food from local restaurants (Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Fogo De Chao, Mission BBQ, Sedona, Achatz Pie), and a cornhole competition! Wear a Hawaiian outfit to compete for a best-dressed prize! Bring cash to win a raffle basket, participate in a 50/50 raffle, sponsor a youth, and for the cornhole competition entry fee. Thank you to the following sponsors: Mike Savoie Chevrolet, Troy Metro Agency, and ARISE Counseling; and patrons Bloomfield Child & Family Counseling, and Troy Dental Studio. Help raise some money and have some fun!


May 18, 7 p.m.-11 p.m. liferemodeled.org

Join Bear Hug Detroit for their biggest and coolest event ever: The Bears & Bubbles Fundraiser at the Detroit Zoo’s Polar Bear House (Arctic Ring of Life). Plus, help Bear Hug Detroit, a 501(c)(3) charity founded by WYCD’s Holly Hutton, raise funds to supply the Detroit Police Department and First Responders with teddy bears, stuffed animals, blankets, diapers, and more for children who are in crisis. The evening will include a delicious dinner of prime rib, an Asian wok bar, a taco bar, cocktails, and cake (vegan options are available; please indicate if you are vegan); live acoustic music by Lilly MacPhee; concert tickets, sports tickets, signed memorabilia, and more. Get your tickets today at bearhugdetroit.com

Prom Remodeled is your opportunity to relive or redo one of your most important high school memories, but this time with a more important purpose. Experience one of Detroit’s most iconic, must-attend annual events with a superstar lineup of entertainment. Enjoy a variety of strolling hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in Detroit’s formerly vacant Durfee Middle School, now repurposed into the Durfee Innovation Society. Help raise funds to renovate the former Dominican High School on Detroit’s east side, which was recently purchased by Life Remodeled and is now named Anchor Detroit. Ensure that more students perform at or above grade level in math and reading, families have access to essential health and wellness services, and community members obtain higher paying jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency. For more information, please contact Omari Taylor, chief advancement officer, at omari@ liferemodeled.org, or call 313-744-3052, ext. 1001.


Charity Calendar


May 20, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. paintamiracle.org

Paint a Miracle announces the date of its most-anticipated event of the year. The annual Spring Luncheon is set to take place on Sunday, May 20, at the Royal Park Hotel. More than just a fundraiser, the luncheon is a vibrant exhibition of the exceptional talent within the Paint a Miracle community, showcasing an extensive array of artwork including paintings, ceramics, and watercolors, all available for purchase. The event will also feature a silent auction and a cash-prize raffle, adding to the excitement of the day. At Paint a Miracle, individuals with disabilities, both seen and unseen, are embraced for their unique talents and perspectives, and find a nurturing environment where they can express their creativity and gain recognition through the sale of their artwork.


May 22, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. warmemorial.org

The War Memorial’s premier fundraising gala is back! An Evening of Red, White & Blue is planned for Wednesday, May 22. Join the festivities as The War Memorial celebrates 75 years as a patriotic, cultural and community leader. This year’s gala promises a delightful evening filled with live music, delectable cuisine, and exciting activities surrounding the War Memorial’s 75th anniversary. The funds raised at this event will play a pivotal role in restoring and preserving the historic buildings and grounds, specifically the 1910 Alger House. Your participation will demonstrate your support of the legacy and mission of this nonprofit organization, ensuring that future generations can continue to benefit from the many activities, services, and educational opportunities provided to veterans, guests, and the community.

The evening includes cocktails and live music in new the Fred M. Alger Center and front circle, remarks and a gourmet dinner, a live auction, and dessert. Come dressed in patriotic chic!


May 22, 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. jfsdetroit.org

Jewish Family Service is shining a light on mental health at the agency’s Spotlight Event. The evening (part of the Reva Stocker Lecture Series) will feature nationally renowned comic Gary Gulman, star of two HBO comedy specials and author of “Misfit: Growing up Awkward in the ’80s.”

Rabbi Daniel Syme will be honored for his lifelong work in the field of suicide prevention. For tickets and sponsorship information, visit jfsspotlightevent.org or call 248-592-2339. All money raised will support the agency’s greatest needs. Jewish Family Service provides comprehensive services in the areas of older adults, mental health and wellness, and basic needs assistance. Mental health services include counseling, psychiatric evaluation, suicide prevention trainings, and more, and touch the lives of more than 15,000 individuals and families each year.


May 23, 8-9:30 a.m. detroitpublicsafety.org

Women in Blue is an annual event hosted by the Detroit Public Safety Foundation to celebrate Detroit’s female first responders. The event highlights the incredible women who serve with the Detroit Police and Fire departments. Women in Blue honors the first responders’ contributions and encourages women in leadership. Awards are given for the Woman in Blue Officer of the Year and the DFD Woman of the Year. Keynote remarks will be presented by a strong female leader.


June 2, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. therentparty.org

In the spirit of the rent party tradition, which offered a DIY solution for families facing eviction in the 1920s and played a major role in the historic development of jazz and blues music, Lighthouse presents the Eighth Annual Rent Party. Funds raised from this event will support Lighthouse’s life-changing programs, including shelter and housing programs that work to find families and individuals a safe place to call home. The Eighth Annual Rent Party will be an exciting jazz concert event at the historic Meadow Brook Hall, a Tudor Revival-style mansion built between 1926 and 1929. Learn more at therentparty.org.


June 8, 8 a.m.-11 a.m.


Superheroes of all ages are invited to the Corewell Health Children’s Walk for Miracles at the Detroit Zoo on Saturday, June 8. Enjoy the zoo for the entire day as you walk the two-mile loop and explore the zoo exhibits. Attendees will also enjoy complimentary refreshments and meet popular comic book and fairytale heroes! Participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero, and will receive a superhero cape and finishing medallion. Walkers must register in advance and make a minimum donation of $12 for ages 13 and over, and $8 for ages 2-12. Children under the age of 2 are free. All walkers are encouraged to raise $100 for Children’s Miracle Network, but it is not required. Parking is complimentary. All proceeds benefit pediatric programs and services through the Children’s Miracle Network at Corewell Health Children’s. For sponsorship opportunities, contact charlotte.alex@corewellhealth.org. To register in advance, visit beaumont.org/walk-for-miracles


June 10, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.


Corewell Health Foundation Southeast Michigan presents the Women’s Health Care Classic on Monday, June 10, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Support women’s health services and breast care programs offered by Corewell Health hospitals in Dearborn, Taylor, Trenton, and Wayne. This is a two-course golf tournament, as women only are invited to play at the Dearborn Country Club, while both men and women are welcome to take on the challenging TPC Michigan. Attendees will enjoy a day of golf complemented by breakfast, lunch, and an award ceremony with beer, wine, and appetizers. Funds will also be raised through a silent auction. For sponsorship opportunities, please contact karen.whetter@corewellhealth.org. To register, visit beaumont.org/giving/events

To find out more about Hour Media's Sponsored Events and See photos from those events, visit hourdetroit.com


The Community House’s 2024 Bates Street Society Dinner

THE 2024 Bates Street Society Dinner recognized those who make charitable contributions to The Community House in Birmingham and the nonprofit’s community programs, which include early child education, summer camps, and other developmental and enrichment activities for kids. The black-tie affair took place at The Community House and included a three-course seated dinner, wine and cocktails, live entertainment by KonGruENT, and a ceremony featuring award-winning news anchor and past Bates Street Society Pillar Huel Perkins. For more about The Community House, go to communityhouse.com.

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Rev. Josh Hoover, Lisa Cseresznye 2. Dr. Charles and Rhonda Main
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3. Montie Browne, Diane StewardJones, Robert Paul, PJ Jenkinson 4. Huel and Priscilla Perkins, Michelle and Victor Saroki 5. Ryan Polk, Bobbi and Stephen Polk 6. Glenda Lewis, Diana Lewis 7. Peggy and Mark Saffer, Mary and Paul Glantz 8. Jared, Paul, Nancy, and Adam Gross 9. Jacob, Molly, and Virginia Taylor; Matt McCormick 10. Mara Farmer, Patrick Davison, Sarah Pobocik, Michael Milkiewicz

8th Annual Gjergj Kastrioti Scholarship Fund Gala

1. Gigi Hotaj, Amina Jakupi 2. Franko Sallaku, Sara Pllumbaj, Endrit Topalli 3. Gjina Lucaj, Amanda Berishaj 4. Aaron Palaj, Rob Vulaj, John Dreshaj, Frankie Gjokaj 5. Bridget and Erold Merko 6. Klea Ahmet, Baba Eliton, Elio Zhilla 7. Jeta and Endrit Topalli 8. Anthony Shkreli, Agron Shkreli, David Dedvukaj 9. Zoya Gionaj, Tracie Juncaj 10. Samantha Juncaj, Gina Juncaj 11. Rosie Vulaj, Aga Vulaj 12. Martin Lekocaj, Maria Lekocaj, Bianca Berishaj, Anton Lekocaj

THE GJERGJ KASTRIOTI Scholarship Fund was founded by a group of Albanian American university graduates in 1999 as a way to support Albanian American youth in Michigan who are pursuing a college degree. The nonprofit, which was named after an Albanian national hero from the 1400s who fought for Albanian independence, announced the 2024 scholarship recipients during its eighth annual gala. The event featured an evening of music and dancing along with traditional Albanian dance performances, dinner, drinks, and raffles at Petruzzello’s in Troy. Learn more at gksfund.org.

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Variety Cocktails & Cuisine


THE VARIETY COCKTAILS & Cuisine fundraising event helped support Variety Children’s Charity of Detroit and its mission to provide essential services to kids with unique needs in the community. Guests of the event were treated to a strolling dinner, cocktails, raffle drawings, dancing, entertainment by The Jared Sykes Experience, and more at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. Learn more at variety-detroit.com.

1. Laurie Fischgrund, Samantha Foon, Morgan Kaufman 2. Tricia Schuster, Channél and Chad Ozias, Ashley Green

3. Rhonda Sabatini, Ruth Ortiz, Lisa Bouchard 4. Paul Morgan, Mark Artinian, Val Morgan 5. Elaine and Lee Weinstein

6. Andrew Nichols, Jared Sykes, Rick Beamon 7. Connie Hudas, Blendi Suvaria, Michelle Murphy 8. Hugh Anderson, Lisa Daniels-Goldman, Ken Goldman

9. Ed Shaw, Dante Rosa, Julie Ann, Felicia Palazzolo-Shaw 10. Jane Synnestvedt and Martin Bell 11. Dante Rosa, Justin Near, Rhonda Sabatini, Aubrey Tobin, Anthony Long 12. Linda Barto, Bill Barto, Ryan Barto, Claire Weidle 13. Ray and Cindy Polovich

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The Way It Was

DOZENS GATHERED at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Kirby Street for the dedication of the new Detroit Historical Museum on July 24, 1951, exactly 250 years to the day after French explorer and military officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac established Fort Pontchartrain at a site that became the city of Detroit.

Those in attendance included ambassadors from France, Great Britain, and Canada; native Detroiter Ralph Bunche of the United Nations; Michigan Gov. G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams; and Detroit Mayor Albert Cobo. A statute of Cadillac was unveiled by French Ambassador Henri Bonnet as a gift from France after the flags of France, the United Kingdom, and the United States were raised at the dedication. The event was part of a massive three-day celebration of Detroit’s founding.

Thirty years earlier, under the leadership of attorney and historian Clarence Burton, the Detroit Historical Society was founded, and in 1928, a small museum was established in a one-room suite on the 23rd floor of the Barlum Tower (now the Cadillac Tower).

In 1945, Detroit Historical Society President and Detroit News columnist George Stark engineered an agreement whereby the over 15,000 items that the historical society had collected over the years, plus the more than $250,000 in privately raised funds, would be donated to Detroit in exchange for the creation of a historical commission and the construction of a new museum operated by the city. Ground was broken on the $400,000 museum designed by William E. Kapp of Smith, Hinchman & Grylls on July 24, 1949.

In 2006, the historical society agreed to take on the management and maintenance of the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle, and the Collections Resource Center that holds more than 250,000 artifacts at Historic Fort Wayne. The city owns the buildings and the collection.

Located on Woodward Avenue just north of the Detroit Public Library and kitty-corner from the Detroit Institute of Arts, the museum attracts annually more than 150,000 visitors and over 30,000 schoolchildren who learn about the city’s rich and colorful history.

The museum features the permanent exhibits Motor City Music, the Streets of Old Detroit, the Allesee Gallery of Culture, Detroit: The Arsenal of Democracy, America’s Motor City, Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroad, Origins: Life Where the River Bends, and the nationally award-winning Detroit 67: Perspectives. It also presents between 15 and 20 new, limited-engagement exhibits each year. In 2011, the museum created Legends Plaza, which memorializes in cement the handprints of celebrities connected to Detroit. —Bill Dow

Hour Detroit (USPS 016523) is published monthly by Hour Media, LLC, 5750 New King Dr., Suite 100, Troy, MI 48098. Periodical Postage Paid at Troy, MI and additional offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to Hour Detroit 5750 New King Dr., Suite 100, Troy, MI 48098. Subscription price: $19.95 one year, $35.95 two years. Copyright @ 2023 Hour Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is prohibited. Hour is a registered trademark of Hour Media.
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