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Restaurateur Tony Vulaj to open Midtown Zeff's and Tony V's Tavern in Midtown

Anton Vulaj, who goes by the nickname "Tony V," has two new restaurants opening in the coming months in Midtown.
 
Vulaj is no stranger to the Midtown restaurant market: he's been in the game for 14 years now as the owner of the Olympic Grill on Warren and Campus Diner on Cass, both just steps away from the Wayne State University campus. "I like the neighborhood," he says. "Clientele-wise I know I won't have a better clientele than I do with Wayne State University."

So when the old Alvin's building on Cass came up for sale, he didn't waste any time. Tony V's Tavern will open later this year (once they receive a liquor license) and will offer what Vulaj says is a "simple menu using good product … we're not going for high prices like some of the restaurants in the neighborhood." He promises high-quality food with low prices; items will range in price from $6-10 and, he says, "We're not going to have a $10 burger."
 
Tony V's Tavern will have a full bar and features a wood-fired brick oven. One of the highlights of the menu will be build-your-own pizzas and a pizza and salad lunch buffet. And, since Alvin's was known for live music and entertainment, Tony V's will continue to have live music every weekend. Tony V's will be open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. The kitchen will be open lunch, dinner, and late-night.
 
Vulaj is also a partner in the new Midtown Zeff's, along with Violet, Victoria, Lisa, and Anita Balurshaj, daughters of the original owner of Zeff's Coney Island in Eastern Market (who sold the restaurant several years ago). Midtown Zeff's will open in May serving breakfast and lunch, and will offer healthier options than a typical diner.
 
Source: Tony Vulaj, owner of Tony V's Tavern
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

Global Detroit Human to open in the Auburn in May

Global Detroit Human will open inside the Auburn in the coming weeks, joining retailers Hugh, Nora, and Source Booksellers in what is fast becoming Midtown's de facto shopping district at the intersection of Cass and Canfield (on the other side of Cass, Run Detroit and Shinola will both open soon, while Nest and City Bird already anchor West Canfield).
 
Global Detroit Human (GDH) is clothing design collective, a boutique that exclusively carries lines from metro Detroit designers. Some of the local labels that can be found inside include Homeslice Clothing, Emily Thornhill's line of classic fashion pieces for day or evening made from eco-sustainable materials; Lavinia Curves, which produces fashionable dresses for curvy women sizes 12-22; SIX LUXE, a line of reversible resort wear for multiple looks in one for those who like to travel light; and Corrosive Clothing, a line of men's T-shirts designed with custom print injection technology that injects the ink directly into the threads for longer-lasting designs.
 
GDH was envisioned by owner Jill Drnek about a year ago. She wanted to have a collection of metro Detroit designers to show off to the world, and traveled the fashion capitals of Europe to speak with store owners, do some research, and start building excitement for Detroit designers. After hosting a pop-up in Livonia and participating as a vendor at events like Dally in the Alley, Drnek decided it was time to open a store in the city. A space inside the Auburn unexpectedly became available in November, and she jumped at the opportunity to open in a viable retail district near other design-focused stores.
 
"The goal is really to take the Detroit design community into a storefront," says Drnek. "This will help designers better understand their market and continue to build their brand and contribute to the growth of the Detroit design community," ultimately with the goal of shopping these designers to the European market.
 
Buildout of the space is near completion. Drnek hopes to open in early May.
 
Source: Jill Drnek, owner and curator/buyer of Global Detroit Human
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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La Palma Mediterranean Cuisine now open in Midtown

Midtown workers and residents have yet another option for weekday lunch and dinner: La Palma Mediterranean Cuisine, located at the corner of Canfield and John R.
 
Opened just two weeks ago, La Palma is an open, airy space with prepared foods and select pre-made hot items displayed in cases by the cash register, and options for carry-out or sit-down service.
 
The space is immaculate, and far exceeds any expectations for a quick grab-and-go kind of restaurant, which is ultimately what this is. Owner Adam Maheawiyan says that he saw a need for this kind of fast, casual, healthy Mediterranean cuisine after being involved with Biomet on Canfield for the last five years. Specifically he noticed that this was a busy corner with plenty of built-in clientele (thanks to the nearby DMC, Karmanos Institute, and Wayne State University School of Medicine), but a previous business in this location (a deli) did not meet his standards of service. When the space became available, he took it.
 
Everything they serve is made from scratch in-house, right down to the dressings and bread. The bread is baked in a custom-built brick oven, one of the showpieces of the restaurant. But once you're inside, don't forget to look up: hand-carved curved wooden panels on the ceiling took two months themselves to complete. There is also detailed stone and brickwork and ceramic tile floors. All construction was overseen by the Livonia-based firm the Nam Group, a company in which Maheawiyan is also a partner.
 
Maheawiyan says the space, which was totally gutted from previous tenants, was designed with specific attention to hygiene and cleanliness: in addition to having an open kitchen (so customers can see what all the cooks are doing), bathrooms are totally touch-less, including the toilet paper.
 
The menu is a selection of appetizers (like falafel, hummus, and grape leaves), salads, pitas, and larger plates (like kabobs and ghallaba). They are open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and closed on Sundays.
 
Source: Adam Maheawiyan, owner of La Palma
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Shinola to open flagship retail store in Midtown this June

The excitement surrounding the Detroit-based manufacturer of watches, bicycles and leather goods Shinola is palpable, and already the brand is getting buzz from national news and entertainment media outlets – not bad for a retailer whose products only just went online last month and hasn't yet opened a storefront.
 
Well, that will soon change. The Detroit store, located in Midtown on the ground level of Willy's Overland Lofts, will open this June. This will be the flagship store, and one of only two in the country (with the other in TriBeCa). The Midtown space is 5,000 square feet, with half dedicated to the company's bicycle assembly. Guests will be able to watch the bikes being assembled without walls or glass barriers. The rest of the space is designed as a retail store and community "hang out" – "A place not just to shop but more of a community hub," says Daniel Caudill, Creative Director of Shinola.
 
They'll work with Avalon Breads to provide pre-packed foods to complement juices from a local juice company in an environment with comfortable seating and an outdoor landscaped area. The retail portion will offer a combination of their products, "thoughtfully selected to serve (the Detroit) market," as well as other American-made products that pair well with the Shinola collection. It will also include "curated products and one-of-a-kind items we are calling 'Issue of One.'"
 
The space will retain its industrial features with blonde wood fixtures and warm leather furniture. One of the highlights of the space is the original skylight. "The space will feel light, modern and warm," says Caudill. "It will be a place you'll want to shop in, hang out and ultimately spend time in." It will also be used for events, from screenings and art exhibitions to talks and roundtable discussions around design and American manufacturing.
 
Shinola's plans also include partnering on and producing events, from last year's inaugural Dlectricity to being the official timepiece and timekeepers of the Detroit Grand Prix this June and the title sponsors of Detroit Restaurant Week, which starts this Friday, April 19.
 
Source: Daniel Caudill, Creative Director of Shinola
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

Hellenic Museum celebrates grand opening in Detroit's cultural center

Though they've been hosting special events for over a year now, the Hellenic Museum in Midtown officially celebrated its grand opening this past weekend.
 
The building, located at 67 E. Kirby in Detroit's Cultural Center, was purchased from Wayne State University in 2009 for $355,000.
 
The Hellenic Heritage Society, the nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the promotion and celebration of Detroit's Greek heritage and growth of Greek culture, has spent the last four years restoring the building, formerly the Detroit Children's Museum, which included a new roof, a whole new geothermal heating system, air conditioning and more repairs, all while building up the inventory that is now the museum's collection.
 
Detroit's Hellenic Museum is one of only two such museums in the country (the other one opened about 15 years ago in Chicago). Joan De Ronne, vice president of operations for the Hellenic Museum, says, "The reason for the establishment of the Hellenic Museum in Michigan is because there is really nothing that was a reflection of Greek history and culture other than a small exhibit at the DIA and (in the libraries)," despite the tremendous impact Greek culture has had on the whole of Western civilization. Additionally, the roots of Greek culture in metro Detroit run deep, beginning with the immigration of the Greeks to the area in the early 1900s into Greektown. "So many (cultural) contributions have been made and those things are being lost. We want to preserve the story of their contributions, not just to Hellenic culture but also to greater metro Detroit as a whole."
 
The museum's collection consists of heritage items collected from families and churches – books, artwork and pottery, an eighteenth century bridal gown. The museum is also collecting the oral histories of local Greek families, which will eventually be available on the Hellenic Museum website.
 
The museum will continue hosting and partnering on events that celebrate and promote Greek culture – music, art, food, and history – such as the annual Greek Independence Day Parade that was held in tandem with their grand opening last Saturday.
 
Source: Joan De Ronne, Vice President of Operations for the Hellenic Museum
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

TechTown goes beyond tech with SWOT City and Retail Boot Camp

"(There was a time when) TechTown was trying to be all things to all people," says TechTown President and CEO Leslie Smith. Now, with community partners like Hatch Detroit and D:hive, which are better-suited to validate and launch ideas, TechTown is able to focus on what they do best: validate and launch businesses.
 
Two programs TechTown runs that focus on launching businesses are SWOT City and Retail Boot Camp.
 
"In 2008, when the economy crashed, we found ourselves involved in a new economy initiative that suggested entrepreneurship was a new career path for many people," says Smith. TechTown also found themselves involved in businesses that were decidedly non-tech. "We looked at where was the most ripe opportunity for businesses and the existing market demand; from these places these programs were born."
 
SWOT City places new businesses to fill community voids and promote entrepreneurship, connects neighborhood businesses with key resources and provides personal coaching and information sessions to address a business's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT).
 
"SWOT attempts to address underserved populations in the city of Detroit who don't necessarily have the information or transportation to even get to TechTown," says Smith. "We saw we were not serving the city in as many ways as we could, so we developed a neighborhood strategy that allows us to go to them and meet them where they are." They did their initial testing in Midtown and the North End before launching in Brightmoor last October, a socioeconomically challenged neighborhood that has already seen positive results.
 
In six months, the partnership with Brightmoor has provided 400 hours of technical assistance, retained 53 jobs, completed 15 business assessments, and created one business and four jobs with six more businesses currently in the pipeline. In late March, TechTown announced their next community partnership is with the Jefferson East Business Association to develop the East Jefferson commercial corridor.
 
Retail Boot Camp is a new program offered by TechTown, which acts as an aggressive accelerator program for brick and mortar retail businesses. Applications for the first round are being accepted through this Friday, April 19. The intensive 10-week evening program starts in May with the goal of launching a dozen new retail storefronts in the city within the year.
 
Source: Leslie Smith, TechTown President and CEO
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

Alley Wine wins zoning ordinance change, moving forward and hoping for fall opening

Alley Wine sounded like such a lovely idea: open up a wine bar in an alley in a converted garage with doors that open to the alley and a backyard that can be used for outdoor seating and recreation. The idea sparked a lot of interest, securing it as a semi-finalist in the first-ever Hatch Detroit contest in 2011.
 
There was just one problem: the proposed building was zoned as residential property. Before any kind of planning in earnest could move forward, the building had to be re-zoned for commercial use (and as a liquor establishment at that, which is not without its own complications).
 
For the past 20 months, partners David Knapp and Lynne Savino have been working on getting this Midtown property at 655 W. Alexandrine re-zoned for commercial use by the city. "I knew we had a major roadblock with zoning issues," says Knapp, who works as an architect and is familiar with zoning restrictions.
 
They started with the Board of Zoning Appeals, which took several hearings over six months to ultimately have their request rejected. From there they went to the City Planning Commission, this time with the help and support of Midtown Inc.'s Sue Mosey. The Alley Wine concept happens to be in keeping with her master vision for more mixed-use development in Midtown, which also includes more non-motorized transit development (Alley Wine will be accessible only by foot or bike). "We were kind of a pilot case for the rezoning," says Knapp.
 
"Mosey and (Midtown Economic Development Manager) Karen Gage really spearheaded on our behalf to work with the City Planning Commission staff," says Knapp. They conducted informal hearings to garner public support and drew up the official language to push the request forward. The request was first approved by the commission, then by City Council, then by Mayor Dave Bing.
 
While Alley Wine is still a way off from opening -- they still need to secure tax credits and building permits and apply for financing and a liquor license, none of which could be started before the rezoning was finalized -- Knapp hopes for a fall opening.
 
Source: David Knapp, co-owner of Alley Wine
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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The Butcher's Daughter contemporary art gallery to open in the Auburn in May

Ferndale contemporary art gallery The Butcher's Daughter is moving into the Auburn in Midtown this May after four years in its previous Ferndale location. "We had looked for about a year for the right property," says Butcher's Daughter Director Monica Bowman. "Eventually I met Sue (Mosey) and she got me involved in the Auburn. It was heaven-sent."
 
Another Ferndale business, Treat Dreams, was intended for the space but the decision was made not to move forward, leaving the space available for someone else to snag. Bowman saw it as the opportunity she had been waiting for. "We had always intended to (move) to Detroit. It is literally like a dream."
 
Auburn developers the Roxbury Group are building out the space according to Bowman's specifications down to details like placement of outlets and light switches, an added wall, and special lighting accommodations. "They went all out. It's like your imagination coming to life," she says.
 
The Butcher's Daughter is moving from a very small second-floor space that was not handicap-accessible and didn't easily invite foot traffic, things that Bowman felt were hindrances to her business, into this 1,200-square-foot space with tall ceilings. The new, larger space allows Bowman to show more works, larger pieces, and expand her programming in ways she couldn't in her previous location.
 
The Auburn was a particular draw because of its proximity to all of the major cultural institutions of Midtown as well as other galleries like Dell Pryor and Re:View. It is also home to design-focused home décor and gift stores Hugh and Nora.

"I can't imagine not having my business here," Bowman says. "It's so centralized and integrated. It's a nice community to really add to what's already going on."  
 
Bowman plans on opening in May.
 
Source: Monica Bowman, Director of The Butcher's Daughter
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

826michigan expands programming to Detroit, finds home at Model D

826michigan, a nonprofit dedicated to helping students ages 6-18 with their creative and expository writing skills that also owns and operates the Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair in Ann Arbor (along with their own writing lab), has expanded its reach from Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti into Detroit.
 
"We've always had in our minds as an organization to work in the city of Detroit," says Amanda Uhle, Executive Director of 826michigan. "It wasn't the right time in the early years when we were establishing ourselves, then in 2011 our board members did a strategic plan and found we were not only stable but ready to grow."
 
Over the last year and a half the organization has been working on expanding into Detroit and has started offering programming in the city. Last October, they received funding from the DTE Energy Foundation for the first year in Detroit. "We have a deep commitment to the city," says Uhle. "We wanted to start when we were ready and could sustain our work (here)."
 
Currently located in a temporary office in the Model D house at 4470 Second Avenue in Midtown, 826michigan is building its volunteer base as well as relationships with the city's public schools and libraries. 826 programming is mostly on-site at these institutions, though they do hope to have their own retail space and writing lab similar to what they have in Ann Arbor in the next 12 to 18 months.
 
826 programs are currently offered in three Detroit public schools. In five years they hope to double their reach from 2,500 to 5,000 students, half of those in Detroit. Volunteer training sessions are held every fourth Tuesday of the month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. starting this week at the Model D house, where people can learn more about the program and meet the staff.
 
Source: Amanda Uhle, Executive Director of 826michigan
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

Great Expressions Dental Center celebrates grand opening in Midtown

Though it has been open since Feb. 19, the new Great Expressions Dental Center in Midtown is celebrating its grand opening this Wednesday, March 20 with an open house from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
 
Great Expressions is a Michigan-based company that has operated for over 35 years, with 50 offices located in metro Detroit alone. The new Midtown office is located in the plaza at 360 Woodward Ave., next to the Starbucks. The interior was totally renovated from top to bottom over three months.
 
"Our CEO was taking a look in the city to see where is the right fit for us," says Ryan Torresan, director of marketing for Great Expressions Dental Centers. "With all of the momentum and growth (in Midtown) it seemed like a good fit."
 
With a large number of students and working professionals in the immediate vicinity of this Midtown office, their schedule for their first month of operation has already been full.

"We haven't seen a shortage of interest," Torresan says, from people who live nearby and were sick of having to drive to the suburbs to see their childhood dentist, and from people who work in Midtown who find it convenient to schedule a dental appointment on their lunch break or after work. They also have options for people without dental insurance.
 
During their grand opening they will have refreshments, lunch provided by Lunchtime Detroit, and oral health aid giveaways. Visitors can also meet the medical staff and tour the office.
 
This is the second Great Expressions Dental Center in the city of Detroit (another location is at 11532 Morang on the East Side). They later plan to also expand into downtown.
 
Source: Ryan Torresan, Director of Marketing for Great Expressions Dental Centers
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

Sherbrooke Manor celebrates grand re-opening, now leasing

After barely seven months of construction, the Sherbrooke Manor apartments in Midtown are hosting a grand re-opening open house this Wednesday (March 13) and are currently in the process of leasing.
 
"We expect (units) to go very quickly," says Lis Knibbe, a principal at Quinn Evans Architects and the developer of the Sherbrooke Manor apartments. "We are so proud of how it came out. It exceeded our hopes."
 
The 100-year-old building was initially opened as six luxury units and was later renovated into 24 low-cost units. Knibbe looked into the building in August 2011 and purchased it in July 2012. She praises the work of the Monahan Company, which handled all of the renovation work. "They worked their butts off, even on weekends."
 
Sherbrooke now has 14 upscale units featuring granite countertops, energy efficient stainless steel appliances and washer/dryer units in each apartment, refinished original hardwood floors, and historic trim. Common areas feature a sunroom, a central wooden staircase, and leaded glass windows. Six of the units have plaza balconies. Each unit has windows on three sides.
 
"We were able the salvage the whole building," says Knibbe. "You always have high hopes for every building you work on but this one just exceeded everything we could have hoped." Because it was originally built as high-end housing, the building retained its bare bones structure to enable the development team to bring it back to its former glory. "It's such an elegant space and we were able to recapture that elegance of the building."
 
For leasing inquiries, contact leasing agent Michael Martorelli of Center City Properties at 313-782-4056.
 
Source: Lis Knibbe, developer of the Sherbrooke Manor apartments
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Run Detroit will hit the ground running this April in Willys Overland Lofts

Detroit has lots of runners. The annual Free Press marathon drew in about 24,000 last year, the annual Corktown Race (held before the Corktown Parade, coming up this Sunday) attracts over 5,000, and even smaller races attract a big crowd. Yes, Detroit has lots of runners, but the one thing it doesn’t have is a running store.
 
Until now.
 
Run Detroit is set to open this spring inside Willys Overland Lofts in Midtown. Owners Justin Craig and Alia Polsgrove are both runners themselves (which is how the couple met) and recognized the needs for a running store in the city.
 
"There are just a lot of runners in Detroit," says Craig. "There are a lot of people who live here and work here but there’s nowhere to shop. We kept hearing the same thing from people (about the lack of retail options)."
 
Craig, a Seattle native, managed a running store out there. He and Polsgrove, who is originally from Michigan, visited Detroit last summer for a race. They had been kicking around the idea of opening a running store and saw the space at Willys, so they made contact with the DeMattia Group (the developers of the building) and from there things moved quickly. They sold their house and moved to Detroit.
 
The store will act as a community hub for runners offering apparel (fashionable brands that "look good but also perform well"), accessories, and expertise. "We will make sure you get the best shoe for you," Craig says. "We will offer superior customer care to get people comfortable, with a lot of advice and tips to help people along the way to reach their goals but stay healthy while doing it."
 
The 1,300-square-foot space will be an open space with hardwood floors, exposed brick, comfortable seating, and plenty of natural lighting. Buildout is on schedule and they expect to open in April.
 
Source: Justin Craig, co-owner of Run Detroit
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

Bikram Yoga Detroit to open this spring in Midtown

Detroit certainly seems to have a yoga jones of late. There’s a new sign up at 55 Canfield: Bikram Yoga Detroit will be opening on the ground floor of the 55 West Canfield Lofts this spring.
 
Sarah Weckerle is a certified Bikram Yoga instructor and is a partner in this new studio with her sister Sue Weckerle and Sue’s husband Paul Howard (the couple are also partners in Midtown’s Bronx Bar and Cliff Bell’s in Foxtown).
 
Bikram Yoga is the original hot yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s. It consists of a series of 26 postures that never change. "Any class you go to will be exactly the same," says Weckerle. The repetition and consistency also makes it easier to learn the postures and learn your own body. "You can see your improvement a little faster."
 
Weckerle has been practicing yoga since 2000 and attended a nine-week teacher training with Choudhury in 2004. She taught in California for four years before moving back to Michigan and attending Eastern Michigan University while teaching yoga in local studios in the western suburbs. "When I finished my graduate degree I realized I really did just want to keep teaching yoga." Because her sister and brother-in-law already had the business background and Midtown footing, the pieces all fit together for her to open her own studio.
 
Despite the recent surge of yoga studios and yoga pop-ups in Detroit, Bikram Yoga Detroit will be the first Bikram Yoga studio in the city. The room will be kept at 105 degrees with 35 percent humidity. They will offer a variety of packages, from drop-in class pricing to packages to blocks of time up to one year unlimited.
 
Construction has already started on the space, and they are hoping for a mid-April opening.
 
Source: Sarah Weckerle, co-owner of Bikram Yoga Detroit
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

An Office in Detroit will let you have your own office in Detroit

With all of the talk of various one- and two-person tech start-ups, social entrepreneurs, and all the other Detroit DIYers getting ink as far and wide as Forbes and the New York Times for the youth-driven independent entrepreneurial spirit currently thriving in Detroit, there is just a wee small problem that doesn’t get addressed. Many of these folks are just small enough to not need or want an office of their own, whether for financial reasons or issues of plain practicality. What that leaves is a whole lot of remote workers cramming into coffee shops and holing up in their homes for long stretches of the day, day after day after day.
 
And this is the very ailment that An Office in Detroit seeks to alleviate.
 
If you’re a freelancer or a mobile office worker, you may be seeking an alternative to coffee shop culture -- where you never know whether there’s going to be a seat, what the music or atmosphere will be like, or how much you have to keep spending so as not to overstay your welcome. You may also crave some of that human interaction and office camaraderie you gave up when you left the world of nine-to-fivers.
 
An Office in Detroit is designed to be a co-working space offering the office environment, social interaction, and networking opportunities that satellite workers too often miss out on.
 
"Maybe you’re not necessarily looking to incubate a business, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to be around other like-minded people," says Hayley Roberts, Communications Director of Michigan Suburbs Alliance and spokesperson for An Office in Detroit.
 
Located in a 500-square-foot space in the Metropolitan Center for High Technology (2727 Second Ave., Suite 200, Detroit), An Office in Detroit will include all the essentials (WiFi, quiet and communal seating, and a printer, copier and scanner) with plans for eventual 24-hour access. Rates are low and flexible with a variety of membership levels ($5 for day passes, $30/month for regular weekly use, $100/month for unlimited access).
 
They plan to open March 1.
 
Source: Hayley Roberts, Communications Director of Michigan Suburbs Alliance and spokesperson for An Office in Detroit
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.

Avalon's new production bakery set to open, will relocate flagship location this summer

The Avalon International Breads long-awaited expansion -- which has been in the works at various stages since 2008 -- is finally coming to fruition.
 
The nearly 50,000-square-foot Avalon City Ovens production bake house located in an old warehouse at 4731 Bellevue on Detroit’s East Side is celebrating its grand opening this Friday, Feb. 22 with an opening party with food, music, and tours of the facility. This event is free and open to the public.
 
This production facility will enable the popular bakery to expand its wholesale business so it can offer more products to more markets. In particular, Avalon owners will be expanding their offerings at Plum Market, which itself is expanding into Chicago, as well as at the national retailer Whole Foods, which is (as you may have heard) expanding into Midtown.
 
The expansion efforts go beyond the new wholesale production facility. Avalon International Breads will be vacating its longtime location at 422 West Willis and will open a much larger retail store with its own full bakery in-house at 441 West Canfield in Midtown. The new retail location will have 45 seats (compared to the current location's 15) and will feature an expanded list of menu offerings (including homemade soups) with extended hours and, eventually, a drive-through.
 
"Hopefully, we’ll be known as the place for breakfast in Midtown," says Ann Perrault, co-owner of Avalon. She also acknowledges the current location’s reputation as the number one place in Midtown to get a parking ticket and the overall difficulty of finding a parking space nearby, and of finding a place to sit inside once you finally park. "We’re hoping all of that will be easier (at the new location)."
 
This will enable them to also expand menu offerings at the café inside of the Henry Ford Hospital.
 
The bake house will be fully operational in March and they hope to be fully moved into the new Canfield retail location by the end of summer.
 
Source: Ann Perrault, co-owner of Avalon International Breads
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

Got a Development News story to share? Email Nicole here.
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