Meet the Bunny Mary; Road real talk; Deleting surface parking lots; Ferndale’s Mezcal

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Devon talks about the Bunny Mary, a cocktail for Easter. Plus, surface parking lots in cities are like broken teeth; the Hudson’s project looks like it’s getting a new hotel; and Devon shares a couple of places in Ferndale he really enjoying and thinks you should check out, too.

Daily Detroit’s podcasts are meant to be heard. That means there are emphasis, tone and audio elements that a transcript can’t capture. Our transcripts are generated using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors, so please check the audio before quoting it.

er Staes 0:18
Hello, friends and welcome to a Friday edition of your Daily Detroit sharing what to know and where to go in Southeast Michigan. It is Friday, April 15 2022. And from east of Woodward. I’m jer Staes

Devon O’Reilly 0:30
and from west of Woodward with a Bunny Mary in hand. I’m Devon O’Reilly.

Jer Staes 0:35
A Bunny Mary, sir. I have questions.

Devon O’Reilly 0:39
Well you should have questions.

Jer Staes 0:42
I have so many questions. It’s like a bunny stuck in your drink? What’s going on here.

Devon O’Reilly 0:48
I know. We can’t We can’t let the listeners down. We always got to have some kind of a cocktail or drink for them. And I was racking my brain trying to think of what we could do for for Easter. And lo and behold, I harken back to when I had had a Bloody Mary. But basically a bloody mirror of carrot juice. So you know your your vodka, celery, salt, ground ginger, some Old Bay seasoning pickle juice, wish to share, you know, season two season to taste. But the big. The big reveal is its carrot juice instead of your Bloody Mary mix, which actually creates a smoother, Bloody Mary that I think I like better than the traditional.

Jer Staes 1:28
Okay, because I was going to ask you, I’m sitting here going carrot. All right. All right. I’m willing to believe you on this one.

Devon O’Reilly 1:34
Try it if you want. I mean, you know, Easter, maybe not traditionally thought of as a drinking holiday. But I mean, it’s a big brunch holiday. And you know, brunch goes along with that. So maybe make yourself a bunny marry on Sunday morning, have yourself a mimosa and enjoy. Enjoy the holiday. Speaking of carrots,

Jer Staes 1:52
this is a place I’ve had carrot cake. That’s quite good. I want to say happy birthday this week. For a little small thing like like, it’s not a huge deal. But it gives me an opportunity to shout out a Detroit classic, the downtown location of Avalon international breads, turns six. And I remember going to the opening and seeing all this it’s in the bottom of that park garage off of Woodward. It is something where I wanted to shout this out not because that particular location, though it’s nice and all that it’s an Avalon international breads has been around since the late 90s. And they were really people who are at the forefront of kind of the retail revolution. And the influx. They’re in the cast corridor and midtown. And I just wanted to give them a shout out because they’ve been so successful and weathered the pandemic and, and all the things that they’re doing. And owner Jackie Victor told the story to me years ago, and she’s been on the podcast. It’s been a long time. But she told me the story years ago. And I think it is so insightful. We’ve talked about retail and places to go and all that kind of stuff many times on our Friday shows she was one of those people with her partner at the time, who set up their business in a way that was very welcoming to the public. They had so much advice to say don’t do it in Detroit, if you do it in Detroit, you need all these bars and security and have those big blank walls or whatever. And they bucked the trend and opened up something with lots of windows, very accessible, nice outdoor seating. And that all seems super basic to you and I but at the time, in Detroit in many neighborhoods, that was revolutionary to say we are going to have a business that people are going to want to come to. And I think this even plays out to this day. People don’t want to shop at businesses that look like jails. And I know that the security situation all that other stuff. People can have their debates and whatever. But if you want people to come it can’t look like a jail and I think Avalon prove that and then was able to double down and when as they expanded to suites and, and all kinds of stuff and they continue to invest in the city. I think 90% of their employees live in the city. So I just wanted to give them since they’re celebrating that little birthday, a little bit of a little bit of pop for that.

Devon O’Reilly 4:10
Matter of fact, we talked about Easter brunch, I’ve I’ve ordered and later today I’m going to pick up a quiche from Avalon bakery which you can order ahead of time you do need 24 hours so if you’re if you’re listening with time you can order a quiche head and you can get the vegetarian or the meat quiche and it I’ve had it before it’s delicious. So looking forward to that for Easter.

Jer Staes 4:30
You will have to pry those sea salt chocolate chip cookies out of my cold dead hands. Those are I love those things. I’ve loved them for years.

Devon O’Reilly 4:38
Yes, that’s another another staple of Avalon. I’ll have to pick one up when I go pick up my quiche.

Jer Staes 4:52
Alright, let’s get into the news. This just happened this morning. Dan Gilbert and the owner of the Chicago Cubs. The Ricketts family have backed out of their bid to buy legendary English soccer team, Chelsea FC. You know, this got a lot of buzz this week. In fact, it was our most downloaded episode in a while for Fletcher’s conversation about what happened. And I wanted to share the update Sky News. And I’ll tell you, I always lean towards sources that are closest to a story. So Sky News covers a lot of English Premier League. That’s kind of like the the cornerstone place for that right now. They say that, quote, they couldn’t reach an agreement on the structure of the deal between the three parties, unquote. So it seems like with all of this buzz and everything else, they didn’t really have their ducks in a row for this internally, before they went in.

Devon O’Reilly 5:41
I you know, I’m kind of just watching this from afar as I’m not a huge soccer fan. Obviously, I know enough about Dan Gilbert. I know Chelsea’s a huge team. So it seemed like this was somewhat controversial in terms of there’s a lot of people, a lot of Chelsea fans, it seemed as it were, that we’re not happy about the possibility of this, you know, the owner group, the ownership group as a whole, including Dan Gilbert owning a piece of a, you know, Premier Premier League team, you know, it is kind of interesting that it fell apart. Because at that level of deal, you think you would have your ducks in a row and be prepared, but clearly something went wrong there.

Jer Staes 6:13
Well, and in England, there’s a lot of resistance to American ownership, right? Because American sports, for the most part, run very differently. You know, here sports, you buy a franchise, and you’re always a pro team. In England, especially with soccer, it’s like, if you don’t do well, you can go down to a lower league. And that is something that is completely a foreign idea to American sports fans. So to them, their worry is is that if an American comes in, they’re not going to understand their culture, they’re going to want to you know, maximize profit, which I mean, honestly, I can’t blame them for to be real.

Devon O’Reilly 6:47
Yeah. I mean, the thing is, though, Jer, owner pro ownership, and I’m talking about American sports and European sports, primarily soccer, it’s getting to the point where it’s such a high stakes game, you know, so to speak, that we’re talking about multibillion dollars for any franchise. As a fan, it gets tough because you can only exercise so much control the pool of people who could potentially buy a $3 billion franchise is so small, you don’t always get to just pick your you know, multi billionaire and so it’s gonna be tough going forward because there’s gonna be a lot of men out hurt fans. Who else can afford these but you know, several dozen people in the world at this point.

Jer Staes 7:40
Crain’s Detroit business reports that the Hudsons project has a little bit of an update this is something that I think to a lot of onlookers feel slow even though it there is progress. Like every time I go downtown, I see progress. I know you’ve noticed progress. What they’re saying is that they’re going to be getting an Edition Hotel. This is not officially announced at this point. That brand is owned by Ian Schrager is a co founder of studio 54 in New York City, and if you don’t know what studio 54 was, go look it up. That was a crazy place

Devon O’Reilly 8:11
And he’s still trading off the studio 54 name that was, I think, 40 plus years ago, that place was open, but I mean, still legendary, but man, maybe you could put something else in your name?

Jer Staes 8:20
There’s a lot of bands that are still touring on their legendary name with like, one band member and like a coffin pulled on stage.

Devon O’Reilly 8:27
Fair enough. Fair enough, Jer.

Jer Staes 8:29
But apparently this has been the deal for a while. Now. I will note that Edition hotels are owned in part by Marriott. So that of course, always, there’s some sort of bigger tie in to change and things like that right? edition has spots in Miami, New York Times Square, Hollywood and many places around the world. And one thing I noticed looking at their website, one, all the designs are very clean, modern, like there’s still a warmth to them, but it is very 2022. And the other thing is that they’re growing very quickly. There are coming soon labels all over it for all kinds of different cities. So this doesn’t necessarily surprise me. Now, this Detroit edition across the street from Shinola to me and like we can debate about this, Devon, but it continues to signal that this is going to be a luxury district on the Woodward as I said in the previous show Somerset level store vibes. I feel like that’s the master plan for Woodward. I think Woodward is going to be this place where the people who own things they’re they’re all leaning in toward we’re going to have Somerset near the riverfront.

Devon O’Reilly 9:34
No, we’re not. We’re not going to debate that Jer. Because you’re you’re 100% Right. That’s what it’s going to become. And it’s kind of at this point. I don’t think it’s bad. But like this conversation is back and forth. It’s like Who is it for? Look, I’m be honest, it’s not for the residents. It’s for it’s for people coming into the city for events, people coming in from the suburbs. There’s going to be luxury hotels, luxury stores. We talked about Gucci potentially an Apple Store. Dan is shooting for the moon on in terms of tenants here and that can be baited both good or bad? I know, I’m not here to say one way or another right now, but at the same time it is what it is. These are going to it’s a luxury hotel. I think there’s a demand for it, especially when we talk about the events that we’re going to start having here. So yeah, this is going to be high end, Woodward is going to be the kind of epicenter of the commerce and luxury brands and you know, famous famous logos and storefront. So it is what it is Jer,

Jer Staes 10:26
I’m gonna throw a curveball at you, Ethan because we didn’t prep about up in our Twitter feed a few weeks, a couple of weeks ago, Stephen Henderson pitched his idea that Woodward kind of like south of the Fox Theater, etc. You could draw the line, whatever 1075 depending what you want to do, close it all down to road traffic, and just make it for buses and streetcar and make it basically a walking promenade from say Jefferson, all the way up, and then maybe have some cross streets that will, you know, help traffic flow. But if you’re going to make it a shopping district, what do you think about that idea?

Devon O’Reilly 11:00
Well, I personally love the idea, Jer, I mean, I don’t need to drive around that area you need what you need is a couple through streets to get across Woodward, because that already is really tough, you know, going even across maybe on Grand River or Madison. So you need people to get across Woodward. But I would tell I’m totally down. For this idea. I think you can nitpick about where I’ve actually heard some semi serious conversations about starting a Grand Circus and taking Grand Circus park down to Jefferson and turning that into what you said more of a promenade style thing, you could extend it over to the fox, I could see that too. But I mean, these aren’t, these aren’t pie in the sky ideas it’s been talked about.

Jer Staes 11:33
So this is what I think needs to happen. There needs to be a garage or series of garages built, of course, with retail on the bottom, and maybe some residential laptops, let’s do mixed use. But the parking has to become more reasonable. Because in our region, and I know downtown Detroit and all that other stuff. In our region, there are a lot of places with far more reasonable parking, if you’re going to go shopping. So if you’re going to run into this, and you’re going to do this, I think Uncle Dan or whoever the city, you know, it needs to be closer to a Royal Oak than paying 10 or $20, to valet or something like that it needs to have that accessibility. And it needs to be in a garage so that those cars are tucked away. And you can manage the flow of traffic so that it’s easier to work with. And then you also open up some options for parking for for sport, sporting events, because I think you’re going to need that I want more mass transit everywhere. I’ve that guy. But I also understand that if you want that constant foot traffic, you’ve got to increase the amount of times that people go there. Like if you go to a Somerset there are there’s constant foot traffic. They’re constant people there. That is not the case in downtown Detroit, when it comes to shoppers. And so you need to create an easier on ramp. And as part of this, I think overall, I think maybe needs to be some competition with parking to bring down those prices, because it’s just not functional for most people. And there’s still so many surface lots. Oh yeah, let’s get rid of every surface lot possible.

Devon O’Reilly 13:00
Surface lots in greater downtown is just an absolute idiocy to have I mean, at that point, you have to go vertical. And I know we have a lot of people who are big, big transit proponents, you know, don’t build parking decks downtown. But like you said, you’re it’s kind of you have to do this. To get this, you have to build up some large parking deck spaces downtown. If you want to close off traffic to Woodward and create you got to force people to park and then walk but they have to have a reason to put you know, it has to be cheap enough to park where they say, oh, okay, for a few bucks, I’ll park in this parking structure. And I can just walk around and wander around downtown. So it’s a chicken and egg type of thing. You do need to build more parking decks downtown, which probably some people won’t like but you need those if you want to create a more walkable downtown.

Jer Staes 13:41
100%. You know, to me, an empty surface parking lot is a broken tooth. And I don’t remember which place I heard that. But I you know, we need to fix that. You know, I don’t think people realize how much potential there is. If we can do things where we don’t just shove cars everywhere into every little spot we can.

Jer Staes 14:04
Speaking of cars, there is a new report from the National Transportation Research nonprofit trip that the true cost of Michigan’s crumbling roads is very high. In fact, they cost the average household $5,000 a year. They also mentioned that one in 10, Michigan bridges are structurally deficient. We’ve been talking about road repairs road issues, it is going to be a political hot potato in the upcoming election. But this report says that it’s fallen so far behind that it will be very difficult for the state to catch up, which is kind of news that you and I think already knew. I will add that Michigan pays the least per capita for our roads of any Great Lakes state. And so to me, I feel like there’s a fundamental issue that’s going to be difficult for either party to solve with this and it’s not going to be a popular solution either.

Devon O’Reilly 14:57
To be completely honest and I think you agree this has just been afrustrating topic

Jer Staes 15:00

Devon O’Reilly 15:01
to talk about it is we have to talk about it. But it’s really frustrating because there’s no way you can’t do this without getting some kind of a political connotation. And I hate that. But it is what it is, you know what I mean?

Jer Staes 15:11
Oh, 100%. And the other issue is that the way to fix it is completely unpopular. But it’s the only way to do it. Because, you know, there has been audits, there has been things looked at, you know, we’re dealing with high higher inflation of labor, steel, concrete. At the end of the day, though, we still pay so little per person, and then the state isn’t really growing and people, and then we keep adding more roads. This is a math problem. And partisans don’t like you when I say this. But I don’t think the Democrats or the Republicans have the political ability to fix this problem. And it’s frustrating, because we do need to address it.

Devon O’Reilly 15:47
Exactly. We can’t figure out a solution. And I mean, you know, can we agree to some baseline facts, like you said, Jer, I don’t care who you are, you have to accept the fact that as a state, we pay, we invest so little in our roads, that’s a fact. So if you complain about the roads, you have to understand, we are not paying as much for them as other states,

Jer Staes 16:06
right? It seems like a lot of money to us, but it’s not enough to do the job.

Devon O’Reilly 16:10
Let’s start there. We’re being real cheap with our road funding, you cannot argue that, okay, so that’s just a basic fact. Then you look at the situation, we’re basically chasing our tail here. And this is where it kind of, you know, whether whatever side of the aisle you’re on, you’ll kind of point to something, you know, I, you know, we drive around, there’s construction going on everywhere, roads are constantly being repaired and fixed. So if maybe you’re someone in support of, you know, current governor or Democrat, you could point to all these roads that are getting fixed, and you’re not wrong. There’s there’s miles and miles a road that is getting repaired and fixed right now. But if you’re on the other side of the aisle, there’s miles and miles of just destroyed crumbling road that you can point to and say, See, the roads aren’t fixed. I don’t know what the term is, Jer. But it’s mind boggling. Because both things can be right. We are fixing miles of road at any given time, and also miles of road are crumbling.

Jer Staes 16:59
That is the hardest thing is that two things can be true at the same time. Yes. And I think that’s so crucial about this. That’s why when someone says, Oh, it’s a Democrat, I just ignore, like, I literally ignore the comment. Or if it’s ever above, I ignore the comment, because that isn’t looking at the issues itself. Now, what about some alternatives? Like to me, I think about what if we allowed for counties to raise dollars for themselves if they want to decide they want to do it. And then if a county wants to allocate more money towards things like transit, to lessen the load on those roads, so that it’s an areas that are appropriate, because when we talk about transit, online, people like well, blah, blah, blah, I’m like, I’m not talking about a Skoda. Right, I think there needs to be functional things where if Wayne County or Oakland County or Washtenaw County wants to do something and allocate dollars and raise their own dollars, I think they should be able and allowed to do that.

Devon O’Reilly 17:55
Jer, you’ve got my vote for that. Because given unfortunately, given the hyper partisan and hyper localized way, that we seem to be in the current sense, and, you know, everybody is just about their, their region or their county. You’re right, because people in Oscoda are, you know, their road situation is different than ours. And we need to address that differently. And if they want, if you want to raise money at a county level to fix your roads, that’s fine. And if Wayne County or Oakland County decides they want to do it on a different scale on a different level, I think they should be able to decide that so actually, your i That’s a very good signal.

Jer Staes 18:38
Devon, remember that that whole story about getting that $400 refund… that $400 from car insurance? I do? Yes. Well, apparently two thirds of people have not gotten it yet. According to a press event from the Michigan Department of Insurance and financial services, 906 million of $3 billion owed by auto insurers has been given back. This is an interesting one to me, because number one, I’m a little skeptical that we’re going to hit this May 9 deadline looking at the pacing number two, I know people and I have seen reports where their insurance company has decided to try and apply it as a credit to future service or future insurance. Now to be clear, and I want to share this with the listeners. I checked this with multiple sources. That is not what it’s supposed to happen under this law. You are supposed to get like money like a check or whatever your it’s not supposed to be a credit because then the thing is that those big companies take that money and then they make money off of that money. That money is supposed to go straight to you.

Devon O’Reilly 19:37
I think people should be getting a check. I mean, this is what they were told this is what they were promised. It’s really unfortunate to see that there’s there’s the big companies are trying to steal skim off this still kind of take this away. Yeah, this is this is a promise that was made to get a check on my wife got her check. I was not eligible for one. But yeah, cut the checks, man.

Jer Staes 19:55
We can debate about whether or not we should have done this policy. But now that we’re here Let’s get the money out.

Jer Staes 20:14
1030 at night you were coming up the stairs they were squeaking. Where have you been?

Devon O’Reilly 20:20
1030 Oh god year heaven forbid I wouldn’t be out that late these days. No. So I actually ventured out into the northern suburbs. So hey, you know, Oakland County said What’s up to them on on this past week and went to a new spot Mezcal in Ferndale, which we spoke to Meijer because we talked about it a couple of weeks ago in opening, we’ve I hope your listeners know if you listen to the show. I’m a fan of mezcal, not always easy to procure or, you know, drink out and about. So this new place called Mezcal opened. And it was it was really good. So to its name, obviously, they have a really good Mezcal program where you can get different levels of Mezcal flights, which I would recommend because mezcal, almost you treat it like a whiskey, you really have to find what you like in terms of taste. So I got a Mezcal flight, they still have a great program of your classic Mexican food, tacos, fajitas, burritos, street tacos, different dips. So all that in a very good format, kind of a nice little cozy space with a bar. I wasn’t sure what was there before because I’m not a not a Ferndale aficionado, but nice little cool space there. Right on red. Oh, Nine Mile.

Jer Staes 21:33
Considering this episode, last episode, with the amount of flights you’ve clearly taken. Someone needs to get you some Pilot Wings.

Devon O’Reilly 21:38
I know I should be. There should be some frequent flyer miles. Somewhere.

Jer Staes 21:42
I can tell you what it was. It was Torino. Oh, okay. I had the best carrots I’ve ever had there. I know that sounds hilarious. But I was having. I was doing a happy hour with a friend at Torino some years ago. It’s a really neat little corner space in these modern lofts like a block off of the Woodward. Nine Mile like nexus there. And yeah, I mean, I love places like this. I like places that kind of embeddedness stuff. I have not been but on your recommendation. I definitely will need to go.

Devon O’Reilly 22:10
Yeah, please go try the Mezcal. You know, that’s what it’s named for. They didn’t do a great job with it. So yeah, Ferndale. I mean, I’ll always give them always give them credit. They’re, they’re what every every commercial district should be.

Jer Staes 22:22
Now, I also saw something that you were in a spot that I have wanted to check out. But I mean, it’s been on my radar, but it’s not really for me, per se. So I haven’t I haven’t had the chance. It’s not too far from the studio, a couple of them, maybe a mile, something like that. It’s called BASS blue. It’s adjacent to the old in on fairy Street. I love me an old house. I went and looked at pictures online. Tell me about what this is because like I saw things about it. I saw people post about it. I do know that it’s a spot designed for women. And I am I’m not so I was waiting for an invite someone to go with or whatever and no one no one’s

Devon O’Reilly 23:00
not had could not find a woman to take you to I think boss blue is as I said, I know. Michigan accents. We put a

Jer Staes 23:08
complete Michigander as far as blues.

Devon O’Reilly 23:11
Exactly. Because Blue is no but it’s called Bob’s blue. It was started by Nancy Telem was one of the founders So Nancy Telem is the wife of aren’t tell them who’s the vice chairman of the Detroit Pistons. So a really cool spot basically, they took 100 plus year old house over on fairy street where you know, there’s just those beautiful old historic homes right adjacent to the nonferrous jute actually, and just converted this you know, I’d guess probably 5000 square foot old mansion into really kind of a intimate social club for for women geared towards women. So there’s co working space, but it’s not your co working it’s not your sterile co working space like a we work. I mean, this is really just different nooks and crannies and rooms with comfy furniture hang out at there’s a cafe on the first floor. The second floor has kind of like a little secret bar where they have a really great Happy Hour menu. There’s event space on the third floor, just a really cool cozy vibe there. So obviously your I as I as you mentioned, I did go there. But you you want to you need a female to invite you so good friend, Jeanette Pierce invited me for drinks and conversation and catch up it at baz blue. It’s great though because it is open to the public. So it should we should point out here that the Cafe is open to the public, I believe 9am to 4pm during the day, and then at 4pm it kind of becomes a members only situation but it is still you know an approachable place. We could go in, have a coffee, hang out great networking and just a friendly kind of little social club there and ferry street.

Jer Staes 24:44
You know, it reminds me that we need to get Jeanette on the show to talk about her new thing at some point.

Devon O’Reilly 24:49
The city institute here that’s what we talked about will play well. Well. I’ll plug that right now. Jeanette Yeah, Jeanette piers and the city Institute is doing they’re doing some really cool things. We talked a lot about it yesterday. So yes, Jeanette If you’re listening, we got to get you on the show.

Jer Staes 25:09
A little bit of housekeeping before I give some things, the team. We’re looking at about three shows next week because I’m going to be traveling at the end of the week. And engineer Randy has a procedure he’s doing so I wish him the best. He will be out all of next week as well. So instead of trying to kill ourselves, we decided that we can do three shows. That’s what we’re going to do next week. And of course, we’ve got that Columbus Crew game, all kinds of stuff. Don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere. But just a little less for next week. Just just for now. All right. Thank you to Cheyenne. No, sereni Randy Walker, Fletcher Sharpe, and of course, Devon O’Reilly. I’m thankful for you.

Devon O’Reilly 25:46
I appreciate you. Thankful for you, Jer and always, always great to talk to you.

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