Hi friends, Jer here.

Despite rumors, I do not dissolve like Thanos when I leave the borders of the city of Detroit. I’m writing this edition from the new Qamaria Coffee in Dearborn, on Ford Road west of Telegraph.

The local chain has found a lot of success as of late.

One of the things I value about our region is our diversity in so many ways and Yemeni coffee has always been something I’ve enjoyed.

I’m drinking an iced version of The Sheba, a drink made from Cascara, or the skins of coffee beans and seasoned with ginger and cinnamon.

No, this isn’t an ad. Just a unique flavor I wanted to share with you.

Let’s get to the stories. If this if your first time here, don’t forget to sign up free so you don’t miss another edition.

Photo of the Assemble Sound property via their Facebook page.

What to know…

» Assemble Sound, the music label based in Detroit’s Corktown that had for a time worked out of an old church near Michigan Central, will be selling that church and nearby buildings. The price is undisclosed. On social media, the organization posted “To put it simply, buying the church made Assemble Sound possible, but renovating it would make our future impossible.” [Facebook] [Crain’s Detroit]

My two cents: It’s hard to do historic rehabs, and doubly hard when costs skyrocket like they have with COVID and supply chains the way they are. With the Ford investment in Corktown next door, although surely heartbreaking for the owners — this probably makes the most fiscal sense. Hopefully, it finds life and not the end of a wrecking ball.

» Renowned local restaurant and butcher shop Marrow is spending about $3 million to expand into Eastern Market. They’re also receiving $80k in state grants aimed at supporting food production. The new location will have meat processing, a retail shop, and restaurant. The project will span 14,000 square feet and aims to be ready by 2023. [Bridge Detroit]

Claims to fame: Not only was Marrow nominated for a James Beard Award, but Chef Sarah Welch was a finalist on the most recent “Top Chef” on the Food Network.

» The Giant Slide on Belle Isle was featured in the opening monologue of the Jimmy Kimmel show, including the track “Giant Slide” from Gmac Cash. [YouTube]

It was also featured our Monday edition of the podcast. So I guess you can say we beat Jimmy Kimmel?

» The historic Hurlbut Gate is getting its groove back. I’ve been going down East Jefferson for years and seeing this amazing piece of architecture, so of course I had to talk with the project manager on the latest podcast. The work will bring back a 500-pound eagle that topped the gate. It was destroyed by lightning and had a pretty big fall. There’s also extensive cleaning and repairs underway.

» Detroit’s Riverfront remake by the bridge to Belle Isle is seriously underway. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy shared before and mid-way progress photos, teasing the expansion that will connect Gabriel Richard Park all the way to downtown Detroit in spring of 2023. [Facebook]

My two cents: I’m a big Riverwalk fan, and I see endless possibilities for how we could maximize that space. It can be beautiful and, I think, a great way to grow the city.

» The MLK Jr. Boulevard bridge in Pontiac was shut down indefinitely due to its poor condition. The bridge is closed to all automobile, bicyclist, and pedestrian traffic. Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel aims for the rebuild to be finished by the end of 2023, or 2024 at the latest. He hopes to know by November what state and federal funds are available for the project. The demolition and reconstruction will cost an estimated $9 million. [WXYZ]

» The Gucci store in Detroit opened this week, and a lot of people can’t understand how it’ll succeed. But here’s the thing. It doesn’t really matter how many in-store sales they make, though they’ll surely make some. It’s all about being next to the “cool” that’s happening here — since the future of a lot of retail is as a 3D advertisement and brand building. Retail and urban expert Dr. Conrad Kickert joined us on the podcast to talk about it.

» The city of Detroit is getting new buses and recruiting drivers. The Detroit Department of Transportation is replacing their oldest vehicles with 28 new diesel buses. These new, 40 foot buses have better bicycle racks and USB chargers under every seat. DDOT is looking to hire bus drivers, mechanics, and service attendants.

The future is coming: A test program for electric buses is also underway. The city just got a $6.9 million grant to expand their electric fleet from four to eight.

» Work has started on Downtown Detroit streets that will be used for the 2023 Detroit Grand Prix. Next year will see the race move from Belle Isle to its original location in Downtown Detroit. The major construction work is expected to be done by the end of September. [Racer]

I’m far more copacetic with the race being downtown. It is, after all, the Motor City - and there’s all kinds of economic opportunities. I have good memories of dad taking me to the F1 races back in the day when the track was down there back in the 80s.

» Hopefully they fix the sinkhole. One opened near Capitol Park in Downtown Detroit. I mean, they will fix it. But still. [WWJ]

A rendering of the sculpture from press materials.

» The “Floating Citadel” art installation debuted last week in front of Huntington Place. It is dedicated to Larry Alexander, the first chairman of the group that runs the center. The art piece was made by Detroit-based artist Scott Hocking. He drew inspiration from the City’s history and the location, near the original village of Detroit.  [Urbanize Detroit]

» The downtown Allen Park dining staple Moro’s is for sale. Thomas Moro opened the Italian restaurant in 1980. The owner is ready to retire. The restaurant space is nearly 2,000 sq. ft. It is listed for $1.65 million, including the liquor license, fixtures, and equipment. [Loopnet]

Where to go…

» Sugar Factory American Brasserie is opening in Downtown Detroit this Monday, August 29. This will be Sugar Factory’s first Michigan location. The restaurant will be located in Bedrock’s One Campus Martius Building, where Hard Rock Cafe used to be. There will be indoor and outdoor seating. That said, this might not be a place to go for weeks, as it’s booked online through the middle of September. [WXYZ]

If you’ve been to one of their other locations, are they worth the wait?

» What are you doing on September 3, 4, or 5? Maybe the 42nd annual Hamtramck Labor Day Festival? Who can miss canoe races on the streets of Hamtramck, among other tomfoolery! [Website]

» Mark you calendars for September 10, as the legendary Dally in the Alley in Detroit’s midtown returns. [Website]

» Feeling brunchy? Eater has a list of hot brunch spots to check out before the weather turns. [Eater Detroit]

» Skip Marley is playing a free concert in Beacon Park this Saturday night. Their Night Market will also be open during the concert, featuring more than a dozen local vendors offering homemade goods from artwork and jewelry to tasty treats. Market opens at 7pm, and the concert is at 9:30pm. 1903 Grand River Ave in Detroit.

» Grosse Pointe Park is doing their final “After 6” event in their downtown, also on Saturday. It’ll be on Kercheval between Maryland and Nottingham. Organizers plan a 40 foot Ferris Wheel, a high ropes course and dunk tank. A neat way to check out a pretty walkable area of metro Detroit. Runs from 6pm to 10pm.

Thanks for reading. Also thanks to those behind the scenes that help me get this out including Luciano and Shianne, as well as the whole Daily Detroit podcast team that obsessively shares links and stories.

If you find what we do valuable, consider sharing the newsletter with a friend or buying us a coffee for our work. You can do that virtually here:

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


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