For all the restaurants he's helped launch, Steven Reaume says that the opening of POP
in downtown Detroit has been the most exciting and inspiring yet. Reaume's been in the metro Detroit hospitality scene for around 30 years now and he's been a part of some impressive establishments, La Dolce Vita in Detroit and Pete's Place in Ferndale among them. POP, though, is different. A weekly dinner series, POP rotates professional and amateur chefs alike through a unique downtown space every Thursday night. This Thursday, Feb. 12, features Detroit Delhi
, an Indian- and Kashmiri-inspired menu from Jesse Knott
POP is located in an old private events space upstairs of the Checker Bar
, a classic downtown Detroit beer-and-a-burger bar that Grand Trunk Pub owner Tim Tharp and Grand Trunk Pub general manager Dave Gregory purchased in the spring of 2014. Complete with kitchen facilities and a bar area that's big enough to seat 65, POP is accessed through the the Checker Bar.
Reaume says that POP is a labor of love for everyone involved. Checker doesn't charge chefs to bring their pop-ups to the space, only hoping to draw customers into the bar. And they're as much looking forward to giving opportunities to less-established chefs as they are professional ones.
"There's been a lot of hard work put into POP for a return that isn't that big," says Reaume. "It's just great to open a space where a kitchen and exposure are already there for chefs to come in and take advantage of. It's one of the most rewarding things I've done."
Reaume kicked off POP's debut with his own pop-up restaurant, Noodl
, on Jan. 15. He'll be announcing a new menu and location for Noodl on Feb. 15. The pop-up will be on Feb. 28 and will feature four different gnocchi plates, each with their own Croatian-, French-, Italian-, and German-inspired sauces.
The food at POP is a la carte and this week's menu includes nacho chaat, navarathan kuruma, braised goat biryani, and chai-spiced coffee ice cream. A special cocktail menu with an emphasis on gin is also being prepared.
POP is located in the Checker Bar at 124 Cadillac Square and open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. every Thursday. Overflow seating is available in the bar and food is served until it runs out.
Source: Steven Reaume, POP manager, Grand Trunk Pub kitchen manager, and Noodl proprietor
Writer: MJ Galbraith
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