Maccabees at Midtown opens quietly in Midtown, gains buzz fast

There aren’t many new restaurants in the Midtown/Corktown/Downtown neighborhoods that open nowadays without a whole lot of fanfare, often months in advance starting from the day the concept is announced. But Maccabees at Midtown, which officially opened on Dec. 30, opened like a phantom; without any major announcements or media coverage it sprang forth into existence and started serving what the locals already seem to agree is some pretty phenomenal food.
 
Maccabees owner Petar Berishaj is not new to the restaurant game, or to Detroit. He owns the local franchise Gateway Deli, which operates dine-in and catering locations at 333 W. Fort St., another at Ford Field, and two more in Southfield and Troy.
 
"Bottom line is, I love Detroit," says Berishaj, "since I was a little kid working at Lafayette Coney Island when I was 15 years old. I want to be part of the renovation."
 
Maccabees was going to be another Gateway outpost, but Berishaj saw a much larger potential with this particular spot and the liquor license that was available.
 
Located inside of what was formerly known as the Maccabees Building, which the restaurant’s name honors, Berishaj particularly liked the location for its close proximity to all of the cultural institutions and hospitals in Midtown (and all of the hungry workers at both), as well as the building itself, which has built-in clientele with Wayne State University’s administrative offices.
 
Berishaj says the design of the space, which sat empty for some time and was only a vacant shell when construction started, echoes the colors and theme of the Maccabees Building, replicating everything down to the chandeliers (which were designed and fabricated by Speedcult).
 
Maccabees now has its liquor license and is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. They serve "new American cuisine," including some deli favorites.
 
Source: Petar Berishaj, owner of Maccabees at Midtown
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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