The legendary Detroit establishment, Honest John’s, has been sold for an undisclosed price according to a report by Crain’s Detroit Business. This is the third act for a place that started out near the Detroit River by the Belle Isle Bridge and moved to Midtown in 2002.
Word is owner John Thompson is looking to retire and so he sold to Dave Kwiatkowski, who has ownership stakes in Sugar House, Wright and Company and a new coffeeshop to open in Midtown.
For us, this was the quote that summed up why we’re not too worried about losing a neighborhood standard, as property developers have been after that property for quite a long time to serve the red-hot residential market in greater downtown Detroit.
“A lot of people were interested in it,” Kwiatkowski told Crain’s. “But a lot of people trying to buy it were aiming to rip it down and develop the land because it includes the vacant lot next door. The reason we all got along so well is that we wanted to keep it Honest John’s.”
Kwiatkowski and his partners have done a solid job with their other establishments. The easy thing would have been to tear the place down, but instead, the beer shall continue to flow. Sure, there may be some changes, there always are with new ownership of anything … but this could be a small win for transition without erasure.
After all, places that create nightlife and fun like Honest John’s are a big reason why people want to move to the city in the first place.
Want to know more about the neighborhood? See our post on $250,000 to be spent on the park across the street or our review of Selden Standard around the corner.