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Downtown's Colors Restaurant goes local with food, worker training

The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan plans to open Colors Restaurant, an establishment focused on sustainable, local food and workforce development, in downtown Detroit by October.

Colors Restaurant will open with a staff of about a dozen people at 311 E Grand River Ave in the Harmonie Park area of downtown. It will serve modern, American cuisine made mostly from local food. It will also have local beers on tap along with home-brewed pop. The restaurant will serve as a training ground for people interested in a career in the food-service industry.

"Our goal is to be hyper local," says Phil Jones, general manager of Colors Restaurant. "That's the first step. We're hoping this will help people transform their lives."

The Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan, an affiliate of the national group Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, is launching Colors Restaurant in partnership with Michigan Works!. The Detroit Regional Workforce Fund has also invested a $30,000 grant into the restaurant. The long-term goal is to provide workforce training opportunities to displaced workers in Metro Detroit.

Colors Restaurant will also strive to be a locally sourced restaurant, meaning it receives a majority of its consumables from local farms and businesses. That will include Michigan-grown produce and locally brewed beers. The restaurant will also partner with Midtown-based Motor City Brewery Works to manufacture its own pop.

"The ultimate goal is to have 80 percent of our food locally sourced," Jones says. "Our produce is going to be local. Our meats will be local."

Source: Phil Jones, general manager of Colors Restaurant
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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