Takoi team readies opening for Magnet, a 'simple' new restaurant in Detroit's Core City neighborhood, on Friday

Sep 17, 2019 at 10:36 am
click to enlarge The Takoi team getting ready to open its new restaurant, Magnet. - Chris Miele
Chris Miele
The Takoi team getting ready to open its new restaurant, Magnet.

For Magnet, a new restaurant set to open its doors in Detroit's Core City neighborhood later this week, simplicity is the key.

Chef Brad Greenhill and partner Philip Kafka, who are also the minds behind Corktown's popular Thai-inspired Takoi restaurant, say the concept for Magnet is "driven by the desire to escape the noise and find the beauty in the essentials: ingredients and good company," according to a press release.

"Magnet is reminiscent of an era before grand tales of Detroit's comeback — a time when community pop-up dinners, genuine dining experiences, beautiful dishes served in forgotten spaces, and silence — not a scene — was what Detroit offered," the release adds.

To that end, Magnet's kitchen has a stripped-down setup with just a wood-powered grill and oven, and all menu items will be constructed around one single ingredient. The small 2,100-square-foot restaurant is located in a former radiator shop, where it gleaned the name "Magnet" from its former tenant, "Magnet Radiator Works." The renovation project calls to mind that of Takoi, which is housed in a former auto body shop.

Speaking of simplicity, the restaurant has also implemented a no-tipping policy, with the server wages and menu prices adjusted accordingly. Greenhill told Crain's Detroit Business employee wages start at $15 an hour, and that he plans to replicate the system at Takoi later.

The press release touts Magnet as being located "off the beaten path, in an area that has seen little to no commercial development over the past 50 years." This year, Core City has also seen the opening of Ochre Bakery, which came from the team behind Corktown's Astro Coffee.

Magnet is set to open to the public on Friday.

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