Argentinian restaurant Barda to open in former Magnet space in Detroit's Core City

click to enlarge The Takoi team getting ready to open Magnet. The restaurant closed and will now be home to a new spot called Barda. - Chris Miele
Chris Miele
The Takoi team getting ready to open Magnet. The restaurant closed and will now be home to a new spot called Barda.

The vacancy left in Detroit's Core City neighborhood by what was once one of the hottest dining spots in town will soon be filled with Argentinian fare and flair.

Magnet, which was known for its wood-fired Mediterranean-inspired plates and "tipless" pay structure for employees, closed in August after less than a year in business, along with Top Young Hospitality, the group that operated Magnet and Corktown's Thai-inspired hot spot Takoi.

Chef Javier Bardauil, who hails from Buenos Aries, will be making his Detroit debut with a new restaurant called Barda in the former Magnet space at 4842 Grand River Ave., The Detroit News reports.

The restaurant will offer a simple bar program (think wines from Argentina and Italian Fernet) and a range of vegetable, meat, and seafood dishes at a variety of price points to avoid feeling too “exclusive” for the neighboring area. It's expected to open by April 15.

Apparently, Bardauil arrived in the Detroit-area in 2019 with the hope of opening a wood-fire kitchen, but saw that the newly-opened Magnet had already had a similar theme, model, and aesthetic.

“In Argentina, in general, we gather around fire,” he told The Detroit News. “There's no way that we can skip a weekend without gathering around fire. That's why I was thinking, bring the fire here. Well, somebody already built it for me. I wouldn't change anything.”

The projected April open date will also give Barda some time to secure a liquor license, and by that point, Detroit's restaurants may be able to operate with expanded capacities.

Bardauil has tapped Allenby Detroit co-owner Michael Goldberg as the restaurant's executive chef, who is helping Bardauil understand Detroit's vibrant culinary scene that he will soon be a part of.

"The gathering around fire with a very honest and simple approach, and it's going to be seasonal,” Bardauil said. “Nothing fancy. I'm really expecting that people have fun here, as I have in the kitchen. I like to laugh. I like to enjoy what I'm doing all the time. That's my goal.”

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