Before and after: Townhouse Detroit puts on a new face for post-Covid reopening soon

August 03, 2021, 6:52 AM

Goodbye leather and bar TV. Hello brightness, contoured ceiling and string lighting. Another before-after set is below. (Photos: Yelp and Heirloom Hospitality rendering)

A six-year-old downtown restaurant soon shows a fresh face with a lighter complexion after a major makeover during a nine-month shutdown.

Townhouse Detroit replaces the dark wood, leather seats, Edison bulbs and red drapes that created a men's club vibe. Renderings posted online show a sunnier look with marble, pink tones, recessed lamps and string lights -- "lighter and more contemporary materials," says a release.   

A July reopening had been envisioned, and no revised target is announced yet. Two job fairs for all positions were held early last month.

Its revamping since the dining room closed last November was done by Detroit's Parini Design studio. In the media handout, Townhouse owner Jeremy Sasson describes "a departure from its previous aesthetic, which nodded to Motor City's industrial history with dark wood accents, polished concrete floors, leather-upholstered chairs, heavy use of metal, and mason jar light fixtures."

Designers removed partition walls, added an open kitchen and eliminated one of two bar seating areas. Seating shrinks from 315 to 220, including a patio.

"The 'before' look and feel of Townhouse was a bit industrial -- masculine, if you will," Sasson tells Restaurant Hospitality magazine.

"Lots of woodgrain, leather and brass touches. ... It was almost a gastropub feel without fully intending on being that.

"We decided to make a change to an overall brighter, more open, and social feel. ... The [statewide restaurant] closures allowed for a reset."

A new menu will have "more seafood and vegetable dishes," says the release, which lists additions such as caviar and king crab. A coffee and pastry counter replaces a sushi bar.

Sasson declined to disclose the overhaul's cost or revenue lost during three quarters without inside dining, Crain's Detroit Business reported earlier.

His Heirloom Hospitality group also owns Townhouse Birmingham, which turns 10 this month, and the Prime + Proper steakhouse on the southern edge of Detroit's Capitol Park area. They both reopened Feb. 3 after suspending indoor service because of Covid.

Before and after, set 2:

Farewell, gastro pub. Greetings, spa-like elegance. (Photos: Yelp and Heirloom Hospitality illustration)

Leave a Comment:

Photo Of The Day