Following in the footsteps of fellow 2012 Hatch Detroit
finalists Detroit Vegan Soul
and winner La Feria
, Rock City Pies
will become a brick-and-mortar reality later this year.
Rock City Pies owner Nikita Santches has formally signed a three-year lease for the space that was formerly home to Maria's Comida in Hamtramck. Maria’s, which closed late last year, is moving into a new facility around the corner on Caniff to focus on production of their Maria’s House Made Salsa
Because the space was previously a restaurant, Santches has very little work to do on the interior but plans on making the bathrooms more accessible and aesthetically revamping the dining room area with new floors, booths, and other updated design details. Construction will begin immediately upon floor plan approval from the city, which he and his father will do themselves.
Through the course of the Hatch competition Santches didn't think Rock City Pies would end up in Hamtramck. He remembers Hatch Executive Director Vittoria Katanski asking him if he would ever consider the city-within-the-city and he dismissed it quickly, but after being introduced to Jason Friedmann, Hamtramck's Director of Community and Economic Development, and learning more about the city first-hand he felt an immediate connection to it.
One of the most appealing aspects of Hamtramck for Santches was the cultural and ethnic diversity of the neighborhood. As a Russian immigrant himself, he felt an immediate connection to the many Eastern European immigrants who live and own businesses in Hamtramck. "That aspect of it is very appealing to me," he says. "I'm surrounded by people who grew up eating the same kind of food I ate and living the lifestyle that I lived. People around me have the same mentality and view on things."
He hopes to be open by this summer. He will also start wholesaling Rock City Pies to local markets once situated in the new space.
Source: Nikita Santches, owner of Rock City Pies
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg
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