It's one thing to make fun of Detroit.
It's another thing to mock it and it exploit it for money.
Goldfinch American, is a pop up restaurant that describes itself as " an experimental micro restaurant concept serving progressive modern american food-- fine dining that celebrates the profane (profanity of language, food and ideas)...opening in southwest detroit, on some soon-to-be determined strip, in a soon-to-be occupied building, on an ostensibly unattractive street-- trash-lined and zipping with cars. surrounding us will be laundromats, taquerias, a beautiful park, abandoned fortresses and neighborhoods thick with life lived fully."
Drew Philp of Metro Times examines Goldfinch American in a story with the headline: "How Goldfinch American capitalizes on Detroit poverty."
It’s Monday evening at a Detroit pop-up called Goldfinch American, and 16 people, mostly professionals and business owners from the city and suburbs, sit in folding chairs in an apartment near Clark Park eating an 11-course meal that costs, at minimum, $121. If diners want drinks, they can order a pairing costing another $50. Median income in the neighborhood is about $24,000, less than half the national average.
The apartment sits on a street that the proprietor, Tunde Wey, a Nigerian immigrant, had earlier described on the pop-up’s website as “trash-lined,” the bus stop on the corner “an unattractive place to sit, stand or be.”
Philp also grabs a quote from the Goldfinch American website which says:
“Your Goldfinch restaurant concept is food porn meets ruin porn. It’s like the Victor’s Village in District 12. The draw is great food in a gritty building in a decrepit area surrounded by pigeons and poor dirty children? It’s a post-apocalyptic paradise. If it were a movie you’d be the bad guy. If it were a book you’d be the warning tale of the treachery of the rich when the dregs of society become an inconvenience to them. You are the realization of restaurant gentrification.
Is that what you are shooting for?”