West of Downtown Detroit you’ll find the up and coming area of Corktown. The good people at Visit Detroit guided me through this historic area and helped me discovered some delicious hot spots.
Before I get into the hot spots, let me tell you a bit of Corktown history. Corktown is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood and has been established since 1834. The area received its name from the Irish settlers which were primarily from County Cork, Ireland. Although the neighborhood contains tons of newer developments, it still retains some of its original Irish flare.
You can find notable restaurants like Ottava Via, SLOWS BAR BQ and ASTRO COFFEE by driving along Michigan Avenue, but some eateries are located in more secluded areas. Green Dot Stables is not on Michigan Avenue but is worth the drive to locate. Green Dot is known for it’s delicious $2 – $3 dollar sliders and horse racing aesthetic. Every week the restaurant chooses a special mystery meat slider. This week’s special slider was alligator. I wasn’t bold enough to try it but I’ve heard it was pretty good. I would suggest ordering their Fried Chicken slider with maple syrup and the Poutine. It kind of tastes like a chicken and waffles combination.
DETROIT: GEARING UP
Motor City was once the car-churning beacon of the American Dream, but last December Detroit came to a juddering halt when it was declared bankrupt, unable to pay its spiralling debts. When the motor industry left, so did much of the population who could still afford to, taking with them their tax dollars and leaving empty neighbourhoods in their wake.
But in the aftermath of the city’s decline something curious happened, Detroit jump-started itself again, fuelled this time by a young generation of entrepreneurial Detroiters and newcomers tapping into the cheap property and fighting spirit to generate a new creative energy.
One neighbourhood that has become a beacon of this renaissance is Corktown, poignantly in the shadow of ‘ruin porn’ favourite, the colossal, abandoned Michigan Central Station. It’s main drag, Michigan Avenue, now hums again with bars, cafés and restaurants such as SLOWS BAR BQ, Astro Coffee shop, The Sugar House and Gold Cash Gold Detroit (it’s name taken from the building’s former life as a pawn shop). There’s a boutique inn here too: the two-bedroom Honor & Folly decorated with locally-crafted goods. This summer, its owner Megan McEwen is opening a Michigan country escape on the Leelanau Peninsula, a four-hour drive north of the city.