Update: Corktown's Rubbed restaurant nears opening

Though it's taken a little longer than originally planned, the sandwich and charcuterie shop Rubbed is moving quickly now as it prepares for a spring opening. Rubbed owners Abbey Markell and Jason Frenkel are turning to crowdfunding to close the funding gap and get the community involved in the shop's opening.

Rubbed is offering market rate rewards in its crowdfunding campaign. "We're a for-profit business," says Markell. "We didn't want to just ask people for money." Taken that way, one could look at the rewards as orders placed in advance.

Markell says she receives several calls a week from people asking if Rubbed is open yet. The pair have been building anticipation while catering a number of events at Detroit businesses, including Two James Spirits, the Sugar House, and Frontera.

"We were hoping to be open by last fall but that may have been aggressive on our end. Especially with the catering jobs," says Markell. "Still, we're less than a year in development."

Markell and Frenkel are planning to temporarily open for Corktown's busiest day, the St. Patrick's Parade. The end of March would then be devoted to a number of pre-opening events, including the Rubbed After Dark dinner series and the Rub Down party. They hope for Rubbed to officially be open in April.

Markell estimates that the restaurant is 80 to 90 percent done. The small things remain, including the city permit process. But Markell says that talking to other business owners around town has assured her that the city's permit process is moving at a faster pace these days. The pair recently made a trip to East China, Michigan, where they picked out a tree to be turned into a single-piece, three foot-wide counter top.

Rubbed will be located at 2015 Michigan Ave.

Source: Abbey Markell, co-owner of Rubbed
Writer: MJ Galbraith
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.

Related Company