In Detroit, restaurants aren't open 'til they're open

Jun 30, 2014 at 3:46 pm

The buzz keeps building over a bunch of restaurants that are going to open in Detroit soon, and they’re already so fabled it’s hard to imagine how the brick-and-mortar institutions will live up to the hype once they open. The restaurants, located downtown (Cornerstone Barrel House, Guns + Butter, Wright & Co., the revamped Checker Bar & Grill), in Midtown (Hopcat Detroit, Selden Standard), Eastern Market (La Rondinella), and Corktown (Gold Cash Gold, Rubbed) have been written about more than many restaurant that are actually open, such is the novelty of any new eatery opening within city limits.

While this is some amazing advance publicity, we question the wisdom of spilling so much ink over places that haven’t opened yet. We’ve been burned before by advance publicity, such as in 2006, when we noted that the owner of Mercury Bar told us he was just “waiting for approval from the city for a liquor license,” or when we put the Sugar House on the cover in 2010, only to have the bar open about a year later.

These aren’t digs at anybody in particular, but examples to show just how long it can take, especially in Detroit, for a restaurant or bar opening to come together. These days, few outlets can resist the temptation to appear on top of things by throwing up a blog heralding the arrival of a new player — long before their actual arrival. So take all this great news with a grain of salt; and we’ll be seeing you when an actual door swings open.