La Feria now open for lunch and dinner, celebrating grand opening with Melt this week

It's been over a year since La Feria, a Spanish tapas restaurant located in Midtown in what could be called the Cass Corridor Design District, won the 2012 Hatch Detroit competition, earning an extra $50,000 towards opening their business. Detroiters have anxiously waited as we've watched the progress at 4130 Cass Ave. all the way up through the fancy new façade and signage from D MET Design. And now, they are officially open for business.
 
"We are so excited right now," says co-owner Elias Khalil, who owns La Feria with his business partner and chef Pilar Baron Hidalgo. "it's unbelievable to see it come to fruition."
 
La Feria opened its doors to an eager public last Thursday with lunch service only for their first three days, to "work out the kinks for soft opening," as Khalil says. As of Nov. 4, La Feria is open for both lunch and dinner service. Both La Feria and the newly-opened Melt, Midtown's newest coffee shop and only candy store and gelato shop, will celebrate a joint grand opening later this week. "We really want to activate this spot of Cass," he says. "We're already seeing so much foot traffic (with people interesting in peeking inside) and doing a joint opening will create real excitement."
 
While the menu has stayed true to its initial concept of authentic Spanish tapas, Khalil says that the menu was tweaked several times before opening, adding a lot more seafood than initially planned since it is so common to Spanish tapas and because they are now more confident than they initially were in their ability to source fresh, quality seafood. (And yes, this will include sardines and soon fresh anchovies, as well as traditional dishes like empanadas and charcuterie boards with Machego cheese.)
 
They were able to secure a liquor license and have a full bar that will complement everything that they're doing on the menu.
 
Hours are not set in stone yet but Khalil says they will stay open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and play it by ear; if that works well they might also extend their hours for the rest of the week later.

"The later we're open the better for the neighborhood," he says. "This is really a crucial piece to this Cass Corridor revitalization. We're pretty interested in maintaining the Cass Corridor neighborhood in Midtown and staying true to what this neighborhood has meant to people over the years. We kept price points low for that reason."
 
Khalil's personal relationship with the Cass Corridor neighborhood is deeply-rooted, so much so that he even wrote the book on it. Read a more in-depth profile of Khlalil and La Feria here.
 
Source: Elias Khalil, co-owner of La Feria
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg

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Nicole Rupersburg is a former Detroiter now in Las Vegas who regularly writes about food, drink, and urban innovators. You can follow her on Instagram @eatsdrinksandleaves and Twitter @ruperstarski.
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