Detroit rapper Tone Tone to open 'Toney Island' restaurant on the city's east side

click to enlarge The WaddupDoe Burger is so good, Tone says, it doesn't need ketchup or mustard. - Courtesy of Tone Tone
Courtesy of Tone Tone
The WaddupDoe Burger is so good, Tone says, it doesn't need ketchup or mustard.

Like many of us, Detroit rapper Tone Tone has dreamt of seeing his name in lights. Though he has likely already experienced that feat in his two-decade-long career, nothing could have prepared him for having his name plastered across the awning of his very own restaurant, which boasts a burger named after one of his most popular songs.

For Tone, opening Toney Island is a childhood dream come true.

Tone Tone, born Antonio Henderson, will cut the ribbon for Toney Island, a 24/7 soul food-steeped coney island concept on the city's east side at 13000 E. Warren Ave., on Saturday, March 27.

“I want to let the youth know they can become something, and the people over where my restaurant is, where I come from. I want to let them know they can get up out of there and make something happen,” Tone tells Metro Times.
“So by them seeing like, oh he came from here and he did this and his music is out here, I just want to motivate the youth to be something. I think it's a positive look with so much negativity going on in the city.”

The menu has a lot of coney island staples but with some Toney Island twists. There's the Berry Gordy Chicken and Waffles, Secret Seasoned Toney Island Wings, shrimp and grits, turkey and pork chops, and the Wayburn Chili, which comes with a “spicy kick” and is named for the street where Tone grew up just a few blocks away.

As painted on the exterior of the restaurant, there is one Toney Island specialty menu item that Tone hopes will make the restaurant a destination for hungry Detroiters. Named after the rapper's 2007 hit, the $10 "Waddup Doe Burger" is a seasoned blend of beef or turkey and comes with lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese, and “Toney Sauce,” which Tone says is so good “you don't even need ketchup and mustard.”

As for price points, Tone says there are options for everyone. Sandwiches start at around $6.99, with burgers and heartier entree options ranging from $10-$18.99. Sides and items like the Toney Dog start at $3.99 and Toney's Secret Seasoned wings start at $5.99 for a six-piece. As a nod to Wendy's "4 for $4" meal deal and as an affordable offering to Toney Island's neighborhood, there's a $4 deal that comes with two Whaddup Doe sliders, fries, and a pop.

Tone says the timing of Toney Island couldn't come at a better time, as it coincides with the recent release of his collab with Grammy-nominated rapper DaBaby. Detroit station 97.9 WJLB premiered Tone's track “100ps” featuring DaBaby earlier this week, and though he's not sure if his music will necessarily be in rotation at Toney Island, his focus will be to keep Detroit in the spotlight, from the restaurant's menu, decor, and, yes, to the tunes.

“When you walk in, there will be pictures on the wall,” he says. “It will be some classic album pictures of me, and pictures of Aretha, Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, and the Temptations on one side. And on the other would be another wall, featuring the fallen soldiers of Detroit that died, like Blade Icewood and Proof. So, I'm gonna keep all kinds of vibes like Detroit music and Motown music.”

“This is unreal,” he continued. “I've been wanting to do this since I was younger.”

Toney Island's grand opening will take place on Saturday, March 27 at 13000 E. Warren Ave., Detroit. For more information and restaurant updates, follow @toneyislandrestaurant on Instagram.

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