Top of the Pontch, Jefferson House, Urban Cellars opening in the Crowne Plaza Hotel Pontchartrain

As the Crowne Plaza Hotel Pontchartrain undergoes a serious exterior overhaul to prepare to welcome its first guests this June, the overhaul happening inside is just as ambitious, both in design and concept.
The Jefferson House will be the Pontch's primary restaurant, located across from the lobby. The look is modern meets old world: copper leaf ceilings, plush cream-colored chairs, dark-stained wainscoting covering the walls. It's warm and rich and comfortable, refined without being too stuffy. They'll serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and will also have a 40-seat outdoor patio on Jefferson. Attached to the Jefferson House is Urban Cellars, the hotel's sizable bar, which will specialize in craft cocktails.
Overseeing the operation of both concepts is executive chef and director of food & beverage Justin Vaiciunas. The menu Vaiciunas has created for Jefferson House and Urban Cellars is an exploration of cutting-edge American fusion cuisine. Expect to see the highest-quality ingredients in exquisitely artful presentations, though not impossibly high-end (or high ticket). The Jefferson House and Urban Cellars will open in June with the hotel.
The lobby will have a quick grab-and-go café called Tabatchi, which will serve Starbucks coffee and pre-prepared sandwiches and sushi for busy travelers. The hotel will also feature up to 15,000 square feet of completely renovated banquet space.
In addition to these new concepts, long-term plans include re-opening the second-floor terrace, as well as re-opening the iconic Top of the Pontch.
The 25th floor restaurant, bar and lounge will be totally reimagined – in contrast to the Jefferson House's neutral palette and old-world appeal, the new Top of the Pontch will be flashy, all glass and waterfalls, bringing Vegas style to Detroit. The menu will be ambitious fine dining.
Looking ahead, developer Gabriel Ruiz plans on building the hotel's second tower, which was part of the original Pontchartrain's design though never built, and connecting both towers via skywalk to Cobo Center. These plans are at least three years out.
Source: Justin Vaiciunas, Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage of the Crowne Plaza Hotel Pontchartrain
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.