Tag Archives: Motown

Re: View Detroit – Midtown

Those who visit Detroit will often tag Midtown as the home of art and education. Playing home base for mainstays like Wayne State University, Detroit Institute of Arts and Detroit Historical Museum puts this neighborhood on the map, but there’s more to it than that.  Here are some other hot spots to check out as you make your way down Woodward Avenue:


The Whitney, Detroit’s most iconic mansion

The David Whitney House (4421 Woodward Ave.), an icon in Detroit and Michigan Historic Site, was built in 1894 containing 42 rooms, 10 bathrooms, 20 fireplaces and 218 stained and lead glassed windows from Tiffany’s of New York. Fast forward nearly 120 years and the building, now a restaurant dubbed The Whitney, welcomes guests to experience fine dining and a lesson in history. The Sunday brunch, at $34 a head, comes strongly recommended by many here at Franco. With endless mimosas and a bottomless buffet in an atmosphere unlike any other in the city, The Whitney is Sunday must-do. Side note: there’s a rumor about this place being haunted, if that kind of thing excites you.

An enjoyable traffic jam

Traffic Jam & Snug (511 West Canfield) is the first and oldest brewery in Michigan and has even graced the Food Network stage, featured on “Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives” in late 2011. Word on the street is the menu has some killer, homemade ice cream. I’ll have to check it out because ice cream is my favorite dessert, ever. Franco’s Senior VP Tina Kozak says, “The Thrice Diced Salad is one of my top-10 salads of all time.” Because I haven’t had the chance to visit this joint, I also inquired with fellow food-lovers and knowers all of Detroit food, the folks at Eat It Detroit. Here’s what they had to say:


What’s a Ghettoblaster?

Another popular spot for beer aficionados and pizza lovers of all walks of life is Motor City Brewing Works. This restaurant, located at 470 West Canfield, is known around town for its uncommon and ever-changing

selection of craft beers, like my personal favorite the Ghettoblaster. Their menu also boasts some of the most amazing and creative pizza combinations my palate has had the chance to enjoy. I recommend a visit to this place in the summertime, when the joint turns into an open air restaurant.

Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk Cookies – need I say more?

By expanding into a new, larger space, it’s no secret that Avalon Bakery has crafted a recipe for success. The bakery, which opened in 1997 on Willis Street in Midtown, has grown to now include a location at Detroit Henry Ford Hospital called Avalon on the Boulevard, and will soon move down the street on Willis to a larger space that will add amenities like a café and drive-thru service.

Cup of Motown Joe

“We’re always trying to elevate coffee to the level that people think about wine,” says James Cadariu, co-owner of Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co, according to a recent article in Hour Detroit Magazine. While this coffee company has been roasting unique flavors in the area since 1994, their recent Midtown venture, Great Lakes Coffee Bar brings the java straight to its fans. Also on the menu is a surprisingly expansive list of “beer, wine, craft cocktails and food from small, artisanal producers we admire,” according to their website.

Whol-ly cow! A big name grocer in the D

As many of you already know, Whole Foods is well on its way to a mid-2013 opening in Detroit (3670 Woodward Ave.) and I couldn’t be more excited for what this means. Bringing a national grocery chain to downtown sounds like revival to me – especially a grocery chain of Whole Foods’ caliber. Despite the numerous doubters, find out why even the Wall Street Journal sounds convinced it will succeed, here.

Live Midtown

Interested in relocating to downtown Detroit? Definitely consider the Midtown neighborhood and visit www.detroit.curbed.com, www.livemidtown.org or www.citylivingdetroit.com to start your search. This area isn’t your typical college town, but offers much to do, see and eat.

Genna Young is an account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5014 or young@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter at @GennaYoung.


Re: View Detroit – Franco tours downtown one bite at a time

Motown, Hockeytown, the D, Motor City – we all know I’m talking about Detroit and I don’t know about you, but I’m awfully tired of our city being the poster-child for post-industrial demise. Instead, (as usual) I choose the “glass half-full” outlook; I look at this city through rose-colored glasses, seeing every misfortune as an opportunity for change, because after all, change is growth and growth is success.


So, every few weeks I’m going to break down the most popular neighborhoods in Detroit in an effort to highlight the hot spots and expose some hidden gems. I’m kicking off the series with the neighborhood Franco calls home: downtown.

Franco’s office has been located in the GM Renaissance Center since it was built in 1977 (and we’ve been downtown since we were founded in 1964!). Michigan’s tallest building, the RenCen is filled with places to eat, shop and stay and is located along the Detroit RiverWalk, an awesome place to grab lunch or take a stroll. The riverfront also plays host to numerous events when the Michigan weather decides to play nice.

One of my other favorite outdoor spots downtown is Campus Martius Park, the place I consider the heart of downtown. It’s located along Woodward Ave. and is a beautiful place to go in both the winter and summer months. The Campus Martius district alone is comprised of 20,000 office employees (and growing thanks to Dan Gilbert and the whole Detroit Venture Partners team), 750 residents, 50 retail shops and more than 35 places to get your eat on.

Speaking of food, here’s our Franco-complied list of must-taste foods in the downtown district:

  • Shawarma from Bucharest Grill – this is my personal favorite. Immediately after finishing one of these bad boys I want to rewind life so I can re-enjoy it. Most of my coworkers would agree.
  • Saganaki from Pegasus Taverna – who doesn’t love a little flaming cheese? This is my family’s go-to restaurant in Greektown.
  • Lafayette Coney Island – Sara Bloomberg says, “a coney, no onions and well done chili fries. A Bloomberg tradition on a hot, late summer night. We’d pack in the car and head downtown for a coney dog.” It’s always been Lafayette for me. What about you – American or Lafayette?
  • Paella at Vincente’s Cuban Cuisine – both Tina Kozak and Stephanie Casola noted this as one of their favorite dishes in Detroit. Tina says, “Paella at Vincente’s is the closest you can get to Spain. I’m a paella snob. I know this for certain.”
  • Burger at Honest John’s –We suggest the regular fixins (i.e. cheese, lettuce tomato). They don’t do fancy, but it’s one of the best burgers around.
  • I’ve also heard the newly revamped and reopened London Chop House is excellent – I’ve yet to dig deep into my pocketbook for that meal, though.
  • Sushi overlooking the Detroit River right here at Joe Muer Seafood in the RenCen. The view from both inside and on the patio is pretty amazing.
  • Finally, helloooo goat cheese mac during happy hour at Roast. And that Roast Burger with the Quail Egg. Don’t get me started.

We could go on, but let’s not. My mouth is watering.

If you’re looking to make your way around downtown, you should give the Detroit People Mover a whirl. It’s just 75 cents a ride and drops you just steps away from almost all of the downtown hot spots like Comerica Park, Ford Field, Detroit Opera House, Joe Louis Arena, Fox Theater, The Fillmore Detroit, Greektown (not just the casino), the GM RenCen and more. Or take a hike! Around the city that is. Unlike many other big cities, most of Detroit’s downtown attractions are within walking distance of each other.

Can’t get enough Detroit? If you hurry, you can snag the August City Guide issue of HOUR Magazine. It’s all about Detroit. In addition, here are some of my favorite sites to follow: Dig Downtown, Curbed Detroit, Positive Detroit and HuffPost Detroit.

Genna Young is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5014 or young@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter at @GennaYoung.