Back in business: Kuzzo's reopening on Livernois

After shutting down last summer amid the Livernois streetscape work and investing hundreds of thousands into the restaurant, Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles on the Avenue of Fashion is reopening for business Saturday, March 14.

“Kuzzo’s has been a part of the community on the Avenue of Fashion since 2015, and during this time we’ve seen incredible growth, redevelopment, and all sorts of new businesses and enterprises who have joined us in this thriving business community,” Ron Bartell, owner of Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles, said in a release.

Since shuttering in August, the restaurant has been making renovations, investing nearly $350,000 in the kitchen. Some of the improvements include custom-designed equipment for frying chicken, waffle irons, new fryers, and additional food storage and prep areas.
The namesake dish at Kuzzo's

The restaurant also worked on staff training and recruitment during its hiatus. Restaurant spokesman David Rudolph says Kuzzo’s teamed up with the city of Detroit’s Detroit at Work Department and ServeUp Livernois pilot program.  

“Through this program, a number of Detroiters were trained in the art of hospitality and customer service, and Kuzzo’s had the opportunity to interview and hire interested candidates to join their serving staff,” Rudolph added.

The dining room has also been freshened up with new portraits of musicians from Notorious BIG to Malcolm X from Detroit artist Desiree Kelly.

Meanwhile, customers craving the What Up Doe and shrimp and grits but trying to avoid crowds amid COVID-19 can get it delivered. Kuzzo’s has partnered with Uber Eats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and Black and Mobile, a new Black-owned food delivery service.

"We are grateful to be partnered with Kuzzo's Chicken and Waffles. It speaks volumes to how committed they are to help our community by working together with other Black-owned businesses so we can make a change,' said David Cabello, founder and CEO at Black and Mobile.

Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles is located at 19345 Livernois Ave. The restaurant is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.


Read more articles by Dorothy Hernandez.

Dorothy Hernandez is a freelance writer and editor who frequently writes about food at the intersection of culture and business. She has contributed to NPR, Midwest Living magazine, Eater, and a variety of other publications. Visit her website and follow her on Twitter @dorothy_lynn_h.
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