Gina’s Jazz and Soul Food Offers Good Times in Detroit

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ina Russell will quickly tell you that she attributes the success of her restaurant, Gina's Jazz and Soul Food, to the fact that the food is so good.

"People have always enjoyed my cooking," says Russell. "And although I've studied gourmet cooking, I love to cook soul food-my way. And apparently people love it, too."

Tucked deep in the hood, so to speak, Gina's Jazz and Soul Food, on Warren Street on Detroit's east side, is frequented by folks from all over town and the suburbs. She opened in 2009, originally in a cozy little spot in Eastpointe. She quickly needed to expand, so she relocated to Eastland Mall.

"The mall experience wasn't quite right for my future plans," explains Russell. "Mainly, I wanted to make Gina's a comfortable night spot with food, liquor and entertainment."


With that, she moved to the current location where she is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On Friday nights, she features live, quality jazz entertainment-in most cases local artists with national appeal, including Deon Yates, Lin Rountree, Girard Gibbs and James Carter, to mention a few.

"I liken it to the Dirty Dog (Jazz Cafe) in Grosse Pointe," says Deon Yates, who is the entertainment director at Gina's and is also a nationally known jazz musician. "The food is different at Gina's, but it's the same concept-quality entertainment while you eat some great food. At Gina's you eat amazing down-home cooking while enjoying a concert."

There's a $10 cover at Gina's on Friday, and most of the entrees, which come with two sides, are around $12.

"I can't really say what our best dishes are, because everybody tends to order everything," says Russell. "Like I said, all my food is good."

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