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s one of metro Detroit's premier party hosts, it comes as no surprise that when Dennis Archer Jr. decided to open a restaurant in downtown Detroit in early August, it was an immediate success. Central Kitchen + Bar, located in the stylish lobby of the First National Bank building, is an American gastropub-here, set in a slick, sleek, comfortable atmosphere.
"I have a passion for hospitality and a profound respect for hospitality done well," says Archer, an attorney by profession. "My business calls for me to travel regularly, and during those travels, I am often exposed to many of the country's most notable restaurants, lounges and hotels. These experiences, coupled with my passion, inspired me to contemplate opening a restaurant in my hometown."
With a lot of meetings, research, tweaking and, most importantly, the right team, Central Kitchen + Bar was born. The core crew includes Archer, Christopher Brochert, Ken Karam, Colin Brown, Nadia Afaily and executive chef Christina Stanco.
In addition to its pleasing aesthetics (thanks to Ron and Roman architects in Birmingham), Central Kitchen + Bar is already one of the city's hot spots. Its central location overlooking Cadillac Square and Campus Martius gives it perfect positioning for that.
Of course, food matters most, and chef Stanco and her team deliver. A few favorites: pei mussels (sop up the juices they simmer in with the grilled baguette), calamari (this version stands out), Detroit Burger (everything a burger should be), rainbow trout (almost too pretty to eat), steak frits (superb), fig flat bread (be adventurous) and tacos (like no others). The desserts are amazing, the wine list is very cool and affordable, and its specialty cocktail (among several others) called The Lemonade Stand is deliciously addictive.
"I realized that this is an amazing time for entrepreneurs in the city and that I would be remiss if I did not seize the opportunity to realize a personal dream of mine-opening an accessible, yet delectable dining establishment that emphasizes the importance not simply of delicious food, but of all aspects of a customer's dining experience," Archer says.
Visit for lunch, dinner and late night snacks, except Sunday when it closes at 6 p.m. (kitchen at 5 p.m.).
CHUCK BENNETT IS THE CREATOR AND EDITOR OF THE SOCIAL D, AN ONLINE MAGAZINE THAT HIGHLIGHTS THE SOCIAL LIFE IN METRO DETROIT. VISIT THESOCIALD.COM.