Detroit dining tidbits

Cool interiors at Plymouth's Aqua.

Fresh water — On Saturday, Plymouth will see the opening of Aqua, which is described in such unusual terms that it’s hard to get a handle on just what it is. It’s a “world fusion, modern fine dining establishment

offering a unique dining experience highlighted by a diverse menu of ‘edible and drinkable art.’” OK, so we weren’t exactly sure what all that meant, but then we saw the picture and understood completely: futuristic restaurant and bar. Purple, swoopy, with lots of lighting accents and a swoosh of a cove ceiling, it looks very stylish indeed. Drop in at 413 N. Main St., Plymouth Saturday, make reservations at 734-335-7474, or get a gander on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Winning at Checkers — Buzz has been building about Checkers Bar & Grill, a downtown hamburger joint on Cadillac Square that had seen better days. For years, it was an increasingly tired little bar and grill that attracted a tiny lunch crowd, despite its prime location. The good news is that the same owners who reinvigorated Foran’s Grand Trunk Pub downtown now have the keys to Checkers, Dave Gregory and Tim Tharp.

According to Gregory, “We’re not ready to go for a minute. We’re doing a few soft openings here and there — just open the doors and serve drinks — but it’ll be a two or three months before we’re keeping regular hours.”

What’s the plan? Gregory says, “We do plan on keeping it Checkers, because it has more than 50 years of history as Checkers, but we do plan on some upgrades. We’re going to upgrade the kitchen, change the decor a little bit. We don’t want to lose the old grunginess, but we do want to update it a bit. We want to make it famous for its burgers again. It’s not going to be a fast turnaround. It’s going to be a step-by-step thing: As money comes in, you’ll se improvements through out the years.”

Since Michigan craft beer played such a central role in Grand Trunk’s popularity, what will be at the bar? “We plan on focusing on craft world beers,” Gregory says. “At Grand Trunk, we’ve been Michigan-specific, and so as not to compete and to complement, we’ll feature a fantastic beer menu from around the country and around the world.”

We'll drink to that!

Successful Capers — Congratulations to Detroit’s Capers Steakhouse. The little joint on Gratiot Avenue near State Fair has been going for 32 years, and has just completed an ambitious redesign, with details like marble facing and higher ceilings. Don’t worry, longtime diners: the quirky prints will stay up on the walls.

About The Author

Michael Jackman

Born in 1969 at Mount Carmel hospital in Detroit, Jackman grew up just 100 yards from the Detroit city line in east Dearborn. Jackman has attended New York University, the School of Visual Arts, Northwestern University and Wayne State University, though he never got a degree. He has worked as a bar back, busboy,...
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