Thursday, May 23, 2024
Home MI Places MI Meet & Eat Raising the Bar in Detroit

Raising the Bar in Detroit

New and updated hotels bring innovative foods and drinks to menus

By Kathy Gibbons

The Paris-inspired Le Suprême at the Book Tower || Photo by Matthew Williams

With its growing demand for sizable lodging, Detroit welcomes multiple new and renovated hotels to its downtown streetscape. The cool new spots for dining and imbibing that come with them are the icing on the cake.

“The momentum Detroit is experiencing right now from a hotel restaurant bar scene is just remarkable,” says Christopher Moyer, senior director of communications for Visit Detroit. “This is going to create even greater incentive for people to want to host meetings, conventions, and events, and to visit Detroit and southeast Michigan.”

Take the newly renovated, Bedrock Detroit-owned, Louis Kamper-designed Book Tower building, for example. Its Roost Apartment Hotel offers long-term stays, and its Anthology Events center has several spaces for groups in the Washington Boulevard Historic District. New concepts include Le Suprême, a French brasserie; Bar Rotunda, an all-day European-style cafe and bar; a 14th-floor rooftop bar and lounge called Kamper’s; Sakazuki, a casual sake and sando (Japanese sandwich) pub; and Hiroki-San, offering izakaya (casual) and omakase (chef’s choice/patron participation-style dining). All will be operated by Method Co., a Philadelphia-based hospitality, development, design, and branding firm.

A few minutes away, the Westin Book Cadillac—which just underwent a $20 million renovation—welcomed Sullivan’s Steakhouse, an 8,500-square-foot restaurant offering dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, signature cocktails, and live music. There’s also a Starbucks Reserve, The Boulevard Room serving breakfast, and The Motor Bar with cocktails in the lobby area.

“Book Tower and the Westin Book Cadillac [are] two separate things on Washington Boulevard,” Moyer says. “Washington Boulevard used to be considered Detroit’s Fifth Avenue. It definitely suffered for some time, and now it’s coming back—with all of this incredible refurbished art deco architecture and a great restaurant and hotel and apartment scene.”

Book Tower’s Le Suprême dining room || Courtesy of Bedrock

The new Cambria Hotel Detroit Downtown offers a variety of dining and hospitality options. Dawn Barth, director of sales and marketing, says the third-floor Beve Detroit Lobby Bar and Cielo Detroit Rooftop Bar have a menu of cocktails managed by Master Mixologist Chris Vanderginst. Of the latter space, Barth says, “It’s a beautiful green rooftop, and we’ll have a DJ out there Fridays and Saturdays [weather permitting]. … It does have a view so you can see the [Ambassador Bridge] from there and a lot of the local buildings.”

Detroit Taco, which Barth describes as “serving Mexican dishes with a Detroit twist,” is a sit-down, fast-casual restaurant with retail groceries, beer, and wine. A new summer addition was Cibo Detroit for Mediterranean fine dining. And a speakeasy called Trovami (meaning “find me” in Italian) is set to open at the end of this year. In the basement, Five Iron Golf offers an urban golf experience with golf simulators, three bars, eight lanes of duckpin bowling, and table games. Barth says, “We’re bringing a lot of new food and beverage options for the businesses around here for people who are just looking for something new.”

The Godfrey Hotel Detroit in Corktown is debuting Hamilton’s restaurant by the end of this year. Serving three meals a day, Hamilton’s has a menu based around classic American fare in a casual setting overlooking Michigan Avenue, according to General Manager Aaron Black. “Hamilton’s will have something of a refined vibe that is missing from Corktown presently,” Black says.

The indoor-outdoor I/O Lounge—with its retractable glass ceiling and walls—occupies 6,000 square feet of the top floor with seating for more than 140 attendees and space for about 250 total. “The floor-to-ceiling windows facing Detroit’s historic downtown skyline open entirely, as does the glass roof above the patio bar,” Black explains. “The two adjacent meeting spaces have glass walls as well that can be opened to integrate with the lounge setting.” There’s also a 40-seat lobby bar.

The Siren Hotel, which debuted about five years ago in the circa-1926 Wurlitzer Building, has opened a restaurant called Ash–Bar. “It’s kind of an upscale diner,” Moyer says. “Great drinks and a variety of different types of food.”

Chef-prepared small plates at Daxton || Photo by Maxine Dela Paz

In Birmingham, the Daxton Hotel and its Madam restaurant have created a lot of buzz since opening in 2021—Madam was named HOUR Detroit magazine’s 2023 Restaurant of the Year. “This restaurant is a rare gem because we’re open seven days a week for dinner, as well as weekends for brunch, while hosting diners in a chic and bright space,” says Sherrilyn Cavanaugh, Daxton Hotel’s director of sales and marketing.

Led by Executive Chef Clifton Booth, Madam leans on seasonal ingredients, creating menus that change with availability. “We offer an extensive selection of beverage options, from handcrafted cocktails to a global list of wines, including rare wines,” Cavanaugh says.

In August, the Daxton opened the new Cafe Dax in the lobby with coffee, breakfast cocktails, sandwiches, salads, and quiche. As day turns into evening, the lobby space becomes Geode Bar & Lounge. Daxton Delights is the hotel’s walk-up window serving ice cream and other seasonal treats.