Food & Drink

New Detroit dining: Olin Bar & Kitchen starts serving dinner downtown

September 25, 2020, 8:22 PM

The sleek new space includes a lounge area and bar seating. (Photos: Olin)

brave (adj.) Opening a restaurant in September 2020; "a brave move"

Culinary school graduate Holly McClain of Grosse Ile deserves that adjective for plowing ahead this unsettling year with a sit-down restaurant that welcomed its first dinner guests Friday.

She describes Olin Bar & Kitchen, at 25 E. Grand River Ave., as "a neighborhood brasserie."

Though Saturday night is fully booked, tables are available from 5-9 p.m. Sunday.

Chef Andrew Shedden's one-page menu features Spanish and Mediterranean influences, with daily specials that include paella, tagine and cioppino. Among four desserts is a root beer float spike with amaro, an Italian herbal liqueur.

Holly McClain in her 100-seat dining room at a mural by Lisa Spindler of Detroit.

Olin, which has a 13-stool bar, will be open six days a week for dinner. All seating is inside until a patio is added next year, according to Eater Detroit

The decor features curved leather banquettes, brass light fixtures, vintage tile floors and exposed brick.

The 39-year-old owner grew up in Gibraltar as Holly Morrison, attended University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe and graduated from at Kendall College, a respected Chicago culinary arts and hospitality training ground. That's where she and chef Shawn McClain met. They're now the married parents of two daughters, and last November launched The Highlands steakhouse atop Renaissance Center, where he runs the kitchen.

At Olin, selections include oysters, octopus and other seafood, pork shoulder, a short rib burger, a cheese board and eight small plates. 

Clams dish is featured Friday on the newcomer's social pages.

Plan a visit

Where: Next to Parker Alley on East Grand River Avenue, a block west of Farmer Street, in the former PuppetArt Theatre

Hours: Dinner seatings 5-10:30 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday

♦ Website:

Reservations: Via Resy


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