Asian-fusion restaurant The Peterboro, set to open in Detroit’s former Chinatown this fall, will have a menu as fused as its atmosphere. Owner Charles Inchaustegui, current general manager of The Sugar House, plans to make the dining experience surreal and cool by mixing old-school Chinese restaurant design with Victorian steampunk.

Chef John Campau will draw from his Filipino heritage and serve Spam fried rice, cheese sticks wrapped in egg roll paper, and homemade fortune cookies with fortunes made up by the Peterboro staff. Inchaustegui estimates he will hire about 30-50 staff members.

The Peterboro will be part of transforming Chinatown, a neighborhood that has seen much better times. The Peterboro and its neighbors will be part of the large scale change with the intention of turning Chinatown into an “it” destination. The pieces would appear to be falling into place for Chinatown’s renaissance with the M-1 Street car uniting key Detroit neighborhoods, the new Joe Louis Arena that will draw in a steady haul of people and Midtown Detroit Inc., one of Detroit’s development power players, having bought Chung’s Restaurant for their unannounced purposes.

“The little two block area is promising, give it 5 years, and it will be a huge part of the community,” said Inchaustegui. “In between Mack Ave and Fox Theatre, is nothing. There are some condos, that’s it. To bridge the two parts of the city, Midtown and Downtown, developing this new area, will bring the city closer together. Huge chunks of abandoned city blocks are being bought so people could, if they wanted to, walk from Mack and Woodward to Tigers Stadium without feeling unsafe.”

Photo courtesy of The Peterboro
Photo courtesy of The Peterboro

The Peterboro, on 420 Peterboro Street (at the corner of Cass) will fit about 100 people. There will be a 500 sq. ft. outdoor patio. There is a tentative plan for patio seating out front on its extra deep sidewalks. It will be housed in the same complex as tattoo parlor Iconic Tattoo, craft beer store 8 Degrees Plato, and Downtown Detroit Bike Shop. The Peterboro will be the last establishment in the building to open because of the level of work involved.

They will completely redo the old tin ceiling and cut the floors for plumbing. They are in the process of building out the interior space and creating community bathrooms for the whole spot. Doors to the central hallway from all the complex’s businesses will lead to these bathrooms.

We are as excited for a vibrant Chinatown as we are for homemade fortune cookies. Things are looking up for Chinatown, and we do not need a cookie to tell us that.

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