Al fresco dining 

The defunct “Exchange” diner and bar at 8939-8947 Grand River Ave. on Detroit’s West Side has definitely seen better days. The front of the building is still standing, but has, for the most part, succumbed to the forces of gravity. The left side wall and ceiling have caved in, offering great sunlight and a pleasant breeze. A slew of bricks, wooden planks, electrical wire and other debris spill out of the building, while the remnants of a bar counter can be seen just inside the front door. Employees at the Michigan Barber School across the street don’t know how long the building has been abandoned, although all signs point to more than a few years. City officials tell the Abandoned Structure Squad (known as A.S.S. for more than one reason down at City Hall) that the building has been barricaded and is awaiting authorization from City Council to be demolished. The only barricades we saw were broken glass and splintered wood around the building.

Editor’s note: If you know of an abandoned home you would like to see featured in this spot, send a photo and pertinent information to News Hits, c/o Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226 (or e-mail

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