Hello and welcome to the weekend! Jer here.  We’re going to keep this edition fun.

My Friday podcast co-host Devon O’Reilly had a chance to stop in the new Library bar at the David Whitney Building, and snapped some photos to share. It replaces the old WXYZ bar, as the hotel has changed flags from an Aloft to Autograph Collection, a more upscale brand.

Having traveled, I always thought the more modern feel of Aloft clashed with the David Whitney’s very historic vibes. The David Whitney is one of Detroit’s architectural gems, built in 1915 and is one of the city’s comeback stories.

But this isn’t just a refresh of what was there. It’s a rebuild.

From wood paneling, to plush chairs, to a fireplace with a picture of David Whitney over it — Library is a very different bar than the predecessor.

It’s kind of in soft opening mode right now. But this looks like a place that’ll be peak cozy for the winter months.

You’ll find The Library at 1 Park Avenue, Detroit.

Me and Devon talk about it — and a lot more — on our most recent Daily Detroit podcast.

» Alba in Detroit’s Corktown has also launched. Located in the former Astro Coffee spot, the Mexican and Italian-inspired specialty coffeeshop is the latest spot to get your caffeine fix. Alba means “sunrise” or “dawn” in both Spanish and Italian.

I went, and check out the reel above for the quick tour. It’s a bright, clean, airy space. [Website]

You’ll find it at 2124 Michigan Avenue in Detroit.

The FYI: What is a soft opening or a soft launch?

In the case of a soft opening, that’s when a new place does a limited event for friends, family and contacts — who are often asked to give direct feedback.

A soft launch is similar, but while open to the public hours may not be consistent, menu items will be changed in the future, etc.

There’s an understanding that the establishment and staff is still getting their legs under them. It’s a preview, sure — but I never review anything other than looks, vibe and highlights off of soft events or launches.

Some may disagree with me — but personally — I don’t think a full critique-style review is fair until at least a couple months in. It’s why I label things “first look” or something like that.

🗓 Holiday cheer this weekend

» Noel Night returns for a 49th edition. It’s one of my favorite events of the year in Detroit. It’s basically an open house of the Midtown Detroit and Cultural Center districts with access to museums, arts, cultural institutions, historic churches, galleries, and small businesses on Saturday evening.

  • Live music performances and other interactive holiday experiences
  • Holiday shopping at local businesses and pop-up winter marketplaces
  • Make-and-take activities for families
  • Santa visits
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Food trucks and hot beverage stands

Oh, and it’s free! A couple picks I’d make is make sure to check out the shops on Canfield and turning onto Cass. The Detroit Institute of Arts is never a disappointment.

Here’s the performance schedule, here’s the map, and here’s the website.

» Tea in the Commandant’s Quarters at the Dearborn Historical Museum. Visit Dearborn’s oldest building, formerly the headquarters of the Detroit Arsenal. In service from 1833-1875, it’s now a trip back to our past. This Saturday, Dec. 2 from 1p-4p is an open house with tea service, showing off their new exhibits. The museum will be open until 6p. [Website]

» The Eastern Market Holiday Markets are this and next Sunday. They say it’ll feature plenty of Michigan-made gift options including clothing, art, jewelry, beauty products and more. 10a-4p. [FB event]

🗞 In case you missed it

» Detroit vs. Everybody will have a new retail home near the Fox Theatre after a building collapse in Eastern Market. The new location is owned by Olympia Development, who reached out to help. [Metro Times]

» Detroit's legendary Dutch Girl Donuts is returning under new owners. According to a press release they will re-open in early 2024. The new donut proprietor Paddy Lynch also owns The Schvitz in Detroit's North End and is a third-generation funeral director with Lynch & Sons. Plus, there's been a long-standing connection between the former and current owners' families.

» Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the most beautiful aquarium of them all? Why, Detroit’s Belle Isle Aquarium, of course. Although it doesn’t have the physical size of some others, there’s no doubt that there’s charm to the 1904 building.

Other top spots were the Butterfly House & Aquarium in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in second, and Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, California in third.

And yes, for this particular purpose, I’ll take the word of Aquarium Store Depot. 😂

Above you’ll see I include a neat little video of how their fish get fed.

Thanks for reading! Have some big announcements coming up next week. Stay tuned.

If you want to support the project, buy us a coffee (or two), become a member on Patreon or send me a note to dailydetroit -at- gmail -dot- com to sponsor.

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