Sometimes on the show, I get to have conversations that are just fun. Comedian Paul Elia is not only hilarious, but has huge love for his hometown.

Being from Detroit has helped him succeed in Los Angeles.

“The biggest thing I brought from Detroit was the Detroit Hustles Harder mentality. Not a lot of people have that, man. So when I was in LA I would be doing standup until two in the morning, and then I would just see a few people there. And I’m like, why is there only seven comics here at this open mic? I always thought there would be more. These are people who want to accomplish their dreams… three of the seven people there are from Detroit. I would see Ron Taylor, I would see Darius Bennet, I would see Tre’ Stewart, I would see other Detroit comics who also moved out west and we’re just grinding together, man. Definitely, I was on some hustle energy right when I came to LA.”

Elia is recording his TV special across four shows at the Detroit House of Comedy on October 13 and 14. Bringing that work back home was important to him — and on the podcast, we talk about why.

We also get into the idea of falafel coneys, why his mom had a Matt Rife T-Shirt, and a whole lot more.

Also available on Apple Podcasts or for direct download.

⚡️ What to know

» The façade of historic National Theatre in Downtown Detroit will be restored by Bedrock and used as part of a “world class” performance venue.

From the press materials:

The meticulous deconstruction and rehabilitation process is part of a holistic initiative to restore one of Detroit’s most beloved venues with the spirit, design principles and cultural impact of the original which opened in 1911 but has fallen into complete disrepair since its closure in 1975.

Bedrock is working to restore the National Theatre in consultation with tvg Hospitality, an experienced venue operator based in both the U.S. and U.K.

They expect phase one on this and a number of other projects in that immediate area of Cadillac Square to officially break ground around the time the NFL Draft comes to town. [Bedrock]

G. Michael Staley - via City of Detroit

» The head of the Detroit Department of Transportation, Mikel Oglesby, is leaving.  Named interim director is G. Michael Staley (who until now headed up paratransit). Oglesby is a Miami resident, and will stay through October to help with the transition. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will evaluate the performance of Staley over the next six months and make the call if he's going to name him permanently.

Although there are plans to add a form of bus rapid transit and there’s a new transit hub under construction at the State Fairgrounds, the department is dealing with a chronic driver shortage that is hurting reliability.

» Cold weather doesn’t have to doom an area to people moving out. With Michigan and Metro Detroit’s trouble holding onto residents, inspiration for solutions might just be a little to west in Minnesota, says Lou Glazer. [Michigan Future]

» An update to the tragic Carmody case. Turns out the driver from Romulus was intoxicated both with narcotics and alcohol — and possibly suffered an overdose while driving, according to Detroit Police. A warrant was filed with homicide charges with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office. [Fox 2 Detroit] [Free Press]

🥩 News bites

» Friday show co-host Devon O’Reilly spotted that the patio over at Sullivan’s Steakhouse is set up. It’s located on Washington Blvd. in Downtown Detroit at the Book Cadillac Hotel. It occupies the old Roast space.

They’re slated to open in September and will offer “dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, signature cocktails and lively music.” [Sullivan’s]

I know Devon is looking forward to this one.

» Experience Zuzu and Upstairs Bar open this weekend in downtown Detroit. [WXYZ]

I’m really interested to check these two out. I think the Upstairs Bar concept is kinda wild, and I’m here for it. From a press release:

Upstairs Bar is a techno-fantasy brought to life, melding Detroit’s distinctive sound with Japan’s colorful anime aesthetic. Live DJs and a top-of-the-line sound system contribute to the edgy and exclusive party energy.

» Downtown Farmington is getting a new brewery. Called “Heights Brewery,” the 3,500 square foot space will be near Farmington and Grand River. [Free Press]

🔁 Keep it going

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Until next time, remember that you are somebody  — and I’ll see you around Detroit.


p.s. This newsletter was written to that new Jon Batiste album, “World Music Radio.”

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