Food & Drink

El Nacimiento, Honest Johns?, Other Detroit Restaurants and Bars Seat Guests; Some Spots Hesitate

June 08, 2020, 9:21 AM by  Allan Lengel

Stage Deli in West Bloomfield opens Monday.

Plenty of restaurant and bar owners knew they couldn't immediately resume dining service after months of being shut. They have to bring back staff, adjust for the Covid era and order food. 

So when restaurants and bars resume dining service Monday at half-capacity, some will wait whoile others jump right back in. 

"You’re not going to see a switch flipped with 100% of restaurants reopening,” said Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association President & CEO Justin Winslow during a WDET segment on "Culture Shift" last week. “It’s going to be a phased re-integration.”

Nya Marshall, owner of the six-month-old Ivy Kitchen & Cocktails on East Jefferson Avenue in Detroit, tells Mark Kurlyandchik of the Detroit Free Press that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's order letting places reopen changes little for her now.  

“To be quite honest, I don’t even know if this makes financial sense to me right now,” said Marshall. “I certainly can’t open and pay a staff. All these rules to make people feel safe — the PPE — all that stuff costs money. And we have to bear the costs for these things, which is necessary to protect our employees and the patrons. But there is a cost associated with it. I’m not sure that I could make it make financial sense.”

Duck leg at Chartreuse. The restaurant hopes to resume table service in July.

Stephanie Byrd, whose family owns Detroit restaurants The Block and Flood's Bar and Grille, tells Annalise Frank of Crain's Detroit Business that they'll delay restarting The Block in Midtown but will prepare Flood's in Greektown for a dine-in reopening in a few weeks. It currently offers takeout and delivery.

"It's just not enough time for us to prepare," Byrd said.

Sandy Levine, owner of Chartreuse Kitchen and Cocktails on Woodward and Kirby in Midtown Detroit, which is doing carryout, tells Deadline Detroit "we're leaning towards after July 4th, but nothing is set in stone." Tony Sacco, owner of Mootz Pizzeria on Library Street downtown, who is also doing carryout, said he plans to resume dine-in service on June 22.

Restaurateur Marc Djozlija tells Deadline Detroit that The Peterboro, off of Cass Avenue in Midtown, which is doing carryout, will open June 17; Wright & Company on Woodward downtown, which is also doing carryout, will open June 18 and the Bad Luck Bar on Griswold downtown returns Friday.

As of Sunday afternoon, some restaurants downtown and in Midtown -- including San Morello, Selden Standard, Prime + Proper and She Wolf Pastificio & Bar --hand't announced plans on social media.  The Caucus Club on Congress downtown simply posts: "Stay Tuned for Reopening Date."

Honest Johns? on Selden in Midtown says on Facebook:

WOHOOO!!! We will be OPEN for dine in service starting tomorrow June 8th! Mon-Sun 9am-12am. We’ve been working on pimping out our patio and can’t wait to have you all back for some fun times. What’s the first thing you’re ordering???

El Nacimiento on West Vernor Highway in Southwest Detroit opened for breakfast Monday. "We have taken great precautions to ensure the safety of our employees and customers," it posts.

These suburban restaurants resume table service Monday:

  • Como's, Woodward and Nine Mile in Ferndale 

  • Social Kitchen and Bar, East Maple Road in Birmingham

  • Bacco Ristorante, Northwestern Highway in Southfield

  • Stage Deli, Orchard Lake in West Bloomfield

Griffin Claw taproom opens Tuesday afternoon on South Eton in Birmingham, a day before its cousin Big Rock Chophouse will seat guests just up the block.

Lady of the House at Bagley and Trumbull in Detroit's Corktown is still uncertain about a reopening date. 

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