Food & Drink

Despite Love From NY Times, Detroit Chef Max Hardy's River Bistro Closes After About 2 Years

September 27, 2019, 5:31 PM by  Allan Lengel

(Photos: Facebook)

There was no shortage of accolades for Chef Maxcel Hardy and River Bistro, his  Caribbean-soul restaurant in northwest Detroit's Grandmont-Rosedale Park neighborhood that opened in 2017.

In 2018, the Detroit Free Press named the Grand River eating spot one of the best new restaurants. Then came The New York Times, which in July named Hardy one of 16 black chefs changing food in America.

Despite all that love, the restaurant announced Friday that it was pulling the plug, effective immediately, explaining that there were multiple factors "not the least of which include ongoing construction along Grand River Avenue impacting foot traffic."

“Regretfully, and after sincere thought and consideration, we’ve decided to set our sights on new goals,” Hardy, principal of Hardy Hospitality Group, said in a press release.

The restaurant business in Detroit has become increasingly more competitive as more places open. 

Chef Maxcel Hardy 

“The past two years operating River Bistro have been amazing and would not have been possible without the support from the Grandmont-Rosedale community," Hardy said. "Our neighbors welcomed us with open hearts, and for that, we will be forever grateful."

Hardy's Coop Caribbean Fusion restaurant will continue to operate out of the Detroit Shipping Company on Peterboro Street off Cass Avenue in Midtown.

His publicist, David Rudolph, said the chef still has plans to open an upscale restaurant called Honey, which is still in its early-vision stage. 

"The River Bistro will be missed, but exciting things are on the horizon for Hardy Hospitality Group," said Rudolph. 

The chef's bio, attached to the release, says:

Hardy, born in Detroit but raised in south Florida by his Bahamian mother and  grandmother, found fame and success as a celebrated executive chef to the stars.

Before returning to Detroit in 2017, with a plan to open three restaurants, Hardy became a rising star from south Florida that brought him to New York City where he has cooked for legendary hip-hop music songwriter,  producer, and singer Missy Elliot, Ice Cube, the Prince of Dubai, and NBA all-star Amar’e Stoudemire.

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