Hey, it's Jer.

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We do this to help us make things you're actually interested in, and find ways to keep the project funded. Thanks in advance for a few minutes of your time. It really helps.

Let's get to the stories. As always, my commentary and context is in italics.

🗞️ What to know

🏗️ On the former site of Joe Louis Arena, a luxury JW Marriott hotel will rise on Detroit's riverfront. [Crain's Detroit]

This is part of the $396 million Hotel at Water Square project by The Sterling Group. The hotel will have 600 rooms, plus restaurants, ballrooms, and meeting rooms across 25 stories. A pedestrian bridge will connect it to the largest convention center in the region, Huntington Place in Detroit — making this a premier pick for travelers. The plan is for it to open in 2027 and it is expected to help boost Detroit's tourism industry as a hotel connected to your convention center is something a lot of places have.

💰 The City of Detroit was awarded $20 million toward the Joe Louis Greenway, another key step toward completion. [Urbanize Detroit]

☀️ The City of Detroit is getting national attention for working to convert vacant land in the city into solar farms. The Solar Neighborhoods project, pending city council approval, intends to build solar arrays on about 200 acres of land, generating enough energy to offset the electricity currently used by 127 municipal buildings. The initiative is part of setting a national model to address climate change and will also include community benefits such as funds for energy efficiency upgrades to neighboring homeowners. [ABC News]

This is one of the stories we discussed on our Friday edition of the Daily Detroit podcast. [Apple Podcasts] [Spotify]

After 36 years, The Rattlesnake Club in Detroit has closed.

They just could not recover after the COVID pandemic due to changing dining habits, lower office occupancy and declining traffic which impacted revenues. The employees were offered severance pay. [ClickOnDetroit] [Metro Times]

I want to spend a little bit more time on this one, as it seems some covering this story didn't know the significance this place had, or maybe never dined there.

When I started my professional career in the late 90s/early 2000s, this was one of THE places for "official Detroit," to see and be seen. They weathered a number of storms in the city and kept going.

The location near the river seemed great, but it never could truly seem to cash in on the improvements happening around them as the Riverwalk expanded and Bedrock invested in a nearby park.

That strip of Jos. Campau is looking better than it ever has, but it didn't seem to translate to more for them. Their building is now owned by Bedrock, which had been in the Stroh family.

At one time, the white chocolate ravioli was a must-have dish— and if you had a business meeting that mattered, there was a good chance it was at The Rattlesnake Club.

To be fair, in decor and style, The Rattlesnake Club was of its era. It had a loyal following, but never seemed to be able to break past that. And they were a go-to for many when it came to events.

In the press statement, they talked about how the event business dropped off. And that's something I'm noticing across the board. It's a hard time for restaurants out there.

The COVID experience has shaken the snow globe of our world, and it's taken way longer than most people expected for all the little bits inside to settle back down.

Despite what some corporate big bosses say (especially those with commercial real estate), I don't think we're going back anytime soon to a five-day in-person work week, at least not for knowledge work employers of choice that want top talent.

Downtown Detroit restaurants have seen their businesses shift from serving office clientele to being a weekend staycation and regional tourist destination.

As for the rest of the region, from the reporting I've previously done, it seems you've got more people staying close to home or on their well-worn paths unless it's a night or day out. There's a few areas of town that are "destination dining," with the rest being filled in by fast casual or favorites.

Anecdotally, we've even seen changes here - our download patterns for the show have shifted. Tuesday-Thursday is what was a "normal" week, and Mondays and Fridays are catch-up time similar to weekends, or for those who work on say a factory floor or in hospitality and can't do their job remotely.

selective focus photography of bottles
Photo by Hermes Rivera / Unsplash

>> Speaking of "bringing people together," we're doing just that with our July Happy Hour! This will at The Royce in Downtown Detroit on Thursday, July 11 from 4pm to 7pm. Let's have some wine and chat! It'll be on the second floor. [RSVP to our Eventbrite]

Engineer Randy Walker imitates art at the opening of Chicken Guy! in Livonia

After just one year, Chicken Guy! has abruptly closed their Livonia location.

The chain is the brainchild of well-known gastronomic celebrity Guy Fieri, and featured mostly chicken and signature sauces. Me and Engineer Randy went to the grand opening. It had drive-thru lines around the block, and at the time there was talk of 20 Michigan locations in several years. So far, it looks like one is on the way to Soaring Eagle Resort in Mt. Clemens. [WXYZ]

Possibly unpopular opinion: Can we stop it with the new chicken joints?

They keep opening, but there's only so many people in the flock to serve. Unless your great uncle has blessed you with a recipe from generations ago and you have an actual twist on the concept, we don't need yet another place that take a tender, a wing, or a leg and dips it in a sauce that I guarantee you is probably just like the other sauces.

It feels like the cryptocurrency boom (chicktocurrency?), but at least we aren't leaving totally empty after it's over — we at least ate dinner.

I want to do an episode on what we have too much of, and not enough of with food in Metro Detroit.

Email me - jer -at- dailydetroit - dotcom or leave a voicemail at 313-789-3211. Let me know so we can talk about it, we may use it on the show.

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