FROM: Michael Rafferty, Vice President, Small Business Services
There’s a restaurant resurgence underway in Detroit neighborhoods … by Detroiters. Across our city Detroiters are opening local restaurants and eateries with unique themes that celebrate cultures and support the community.
Just last week, PizzaPlex opened on Vernor Highway in southwest Detroit to “create comfortable spaces and serve good food for a more sustainable city.” Two weeks ago, Brix Wine & Charcuterie Boutique opened its doors in a bank it renovated in the historic West Village district. Coming next spring, Simply Breakfast will open on West McNichols. Owner Ken Brown plans to employ returning citizens and provide them with the time, tools and training to make a successful transition back into the community.
And the list goes on! There’s Detroit Vegan Soul, with locations in West Village and Grandmont/Rosedale; Social Sushi pop-ups all over the city; and Narrow Way Café, which opened in August on Livernois, Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion.
It seems like every month there are more places to mix, mingle and eat in Detroit’s neighborhoods. That’s great news because restaurants and cafes create foot traffic and can be the seeds for walkable neighborhoods and small business development around them. They are destinations and gathering places that add to the vibrancy of our city.
DEGC is proud to support both new and existing small businesses through our Motor City Match and Motor City Re-Store programs, which combined award $1 million in matching grants each quarter. In fact, all the restaurants I mentioned have won a Motor City Match grant. Motor City Match is now starting its third year of supporting city entrepreneurs while Motor City Re-Store was launched this June and will announce its first grant winners later this fall.
We know there are many more eateries in the pipeline, since Motor City Match awarded cash grants to six specialty cafes or restaurants, a mushroom farm and two microbreweries last month. So, as you can see, Detroit’s food scene is “boiling” as Detroiters make the Motor City a culinary destination for our region. We’re happy to be a part of this resurgence.