As of 2014, there were 378 restaurants in Downtown Detroit. You could eat a different restaurant every day for a year and still have a handful left to visit! Detroit is quickly becoming a food-lover’s paradise, with more restaurants opening all the time. Between 2013 and 2014 alone there were 77 new restaurants, including TAQO Detroit (shown right) with Mexican Cuisine and 200 Tequilas. The economy is back on track and Detroit’s resurgence can only leave us guessing about what’s in store for this year.
We love great food as much as the next person, but let’s face it, with almost 400 restaurants in Greater Downtown Detroit’s 7.2 square miles, there needs to be something special that brings people back. The historic buildings are just too awesome not to be appreciated. There’s something about enjoying a meal inside a space that tells a story. It warms my heart. I feel connected to the city. It’s those truly unique spaces that make us want to shout from the rooftops. Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but you get the idea.
In commercial real estate, we’re used to observing spaces – the architecture, the size, and different ways to utilize the space to its full potential. What catches our eye isn’t so much the food, it’s the way the restaurant has embodied Detroit. And that is what keeps people wanting more.
One restaurant in Corktown took the existing building exterior and ran with it. Gold Cash Gold has been open for about 6 months and earned a nomination on the 2015 Detroit Free Press’ “Best New Restaurant” list. What was the building? You guessed it – an old pawn shop that had “gold cash gold” painted on it. The interior definitely does not look like a pawn shop anymore, but they did reuse the original wooden lath from the walls of the pawn shop to create a beautiful ceiling. Actually, quite a few materials inside the restaurant were salvaged from other buildings in Detroit. It’s a restaurant that truly has a story to tell.
Have you had a chance to watch the video or look at the photos of the commercial space for lease at 114 W Adams? Just 2 blocks from Comerica Park & Ford Field, the location doesn’t get any better. But the truly awesome part of this space is that it was originally the lobby of the Oriental Theatre, which opened in 1927. The 2,700 sq ft space is available for lease and is slated for completion at the end of the year. The theatre itself closed in 1950 and was demolished 3 years later, leaving the lobby as the only physical evidence of its existence. As you can imagine, after 65 years of collecting dust, the interior needs some work. But the original historical elements in this place are unreal – amazing plasterwork, painted murals, and 35 foot ceilings, to mention a few. It may look a tad raw at the moment, but it has a story to tell, and it is right in front of your face.
Think back to the time when the Oriental Theatre was built. The roaring 20s were in full swing…and so was prohibition. Such a fascinating time in America. Knowing that this space was once the lobby for the theatre, a restaurant has just planned itself – the perfect place for a speakeasy styled bar. Clearly the theatre business is only a cover for the real operation of selling alcohol. All the nooks and crannies of the space are perfect spots to “hide” paraphernalia. Can you picture it?
In addition to all of the foot traffic from nearby entertainment venues, approximately 118 apartments that are being renovated inside the building can lead to built-in customers. Utilize the high ceilings with a mezzanine or add an outdoor patio along Adams. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind space that’s ready for someone to embrace its history.
If you are looking for things to do in Detroit this weekend, Downtown Detroit restaurants are the place to be; especially since this weekend is the culmination of Detroit Restaurant week! If you are looking for a restaurant space for lease in or near Downtown Detroit, give us a call at 313-962-2800 and we will be happy to show you this exciting find, or another that will fit your needs perfectly!
So what has been your experience with Detroit restaurants? Do you have any favorites? What is your idea of the perfect restaurant? Please share your comments with us!