Detroit has never been nationally known for having a strong local restaurant scene. While it can be argued that there certainly have always been some great restaurants in the Metropolitan area, the economic climate since 9/11 has made it difficult for independent restaurants to thrive. As small restaurant owners ourselves, we Larks try to support locally-owned establishments, many run by the hardest-working and best people you could want to know.
In the news of late there has been much hoopla about all the new restaurants opening in downtown Detroit. The last few months have already seen a slew of openings including Selden Standard, Gold Cash Gold, Antietam and others. Eater Detroit published an article this week titled “Detroit’s Most Anticipated Openings of Spring/Summer 2015“. It highlights 15 new ventures opening in the city proper over the next six months. That’s a lot of new restaurants in an area that has already seen so much activity in the last year. And while we wish each and every one of these new establishments success and prosperity, one can’t help but wonder how many will make it in the long run. The restaurant business is a challenge to say the least, with costs so high that only about one in 50 non-chain restaurants survives for more than 10 years.
We hope that readers of this blog will support these and other new establishments in and around Detroit, in lieu of going to the chain restaurants that flood the market here and around the country. Of course it’s safer to dine at a national chain where you know you like the food and atmosphere, but each dollar spent at a chain is one less dollar spent supporting the restaurants that give a city its local flavor. And we must not forget the old standards, the tried and true, the spots found all over town that opened in some cases decades ago, run now by the original owner’s children or grandchildren. Have you forgotten about a place like this down the street from your office? Your house? Revisit it. Say hello to the hard working owners and managers and let them know you’re happy they are there, day after day, working hard to stay afloat and to give this great city of ours a personality, character, a heartbeat. This is our city and it’s up to all of us to support the establishments that make Detroit a great place to be.