Chef Matt Prentice returns with Leon & Lulu small plates restaurant collaboration

click to enlarge Three Cats Cafe. - Courtesy of Leon & Lulu.
Courtesy of Leon & Lulu.
Three Cats Cafe.

A new small plates restaurant-retail hybrid that's a collaboration between Detroit chef Matt Prentice and Leon & Lulu c0-owner Mary Liz Curtin is in the works in downtown Clawson.

The focus at Three Cats and a Cook will be affordable new American cuisine, The Detroit News reports. The cafe will focus on Michigan ingredients, and the full bar will only serve Michigan craft beer.

"It will be a Michigan-centric menu and Matt has total creative license to shine," Curtin told The News. "Food is going to be fabulous."

Prentice is the former chef behind Coach Insignia, Detroit Prime, Shiraz, Morels, and others. The region heard little from him during the past six years because of a non-compete agreement he had set up with his former employer that's now expired.

The 100-seat cafe is taking shape in the Three Cats Bistro space. It's expected to open June, but the current iteration of Three Cats will remain open for now. The space sits next door to Leon & Lulu in the former Clawson Movie Theater building, which also operated as a roller rink. Leon & Lulu won the coveted Metro Times' "Best Roller Rink Turned Furniture Store" award in 2006.

A bar is being installed in Leon & Lulu, which Curtin owns with husband Stephen Scannell, so diners can have a drink and shop if there's a wait. Diners will be able to buy the furniture that's for sale in the front of the business so that the space may look different each time one visits.

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