Pie-Sci opening second location; National brand buys into Slows BBQ; Hoots Wings are coming
Plus Cornerstone re-opening in Ferndale and things to know around town
Hey, it’s Jer. It’s been a beautiful day out. Welcome to the newsletter. As always, my thoughts are in italics.
🍕 News bites
» Popular pizzeria Pie-Sci is expanding to Oak Park. Opened in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood in 2016, the spot on Trumbull has built a legion of fans for their quirky and creative takes on pizza. We can confirm they aim to open at 8150 W. Nine Mile this fall, with hopes of Labor Day. 🤞
Oak Park has nearly 30,000 people in their roughly 5 square miles and has been on the rise with new places and things to do. The area around this location on West Nine Mile between Pinecrest and Rosewood has seen a number of improvements lately.
When I say Pie-Sci is creative, I mean it. Their weekly special right now is “Kraut at the devil,” with Garlic oil, caraway seed crust, mozzarella, corned beef, topped with sauerkraut and Thousand Island drizzle.
I’ve had it a number of times and if you’re culinarily adventurous in any way and you haven’t checked out their menu, you should.
» Shifts in ownership at Slows BBQ: If there’s one thing I’ve learned is that the only constant is change.
When Slows opened in 2005 in Detroit’s Corktown — and I remember when it happened pretty clearly — it caught the attention of the media and a large chunk of the regional public.
And that’s led to expansion, an enduring brand and financial success. Something very hard to cook up.
The news is the Cooley family — Phil, Ryan and Ron — sold their stake and national BBQ fast-casual chain Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue out of New York for an undisclosed amount. The founding chef and others are staying on as part of the ownership group.
Mighty Quinn’s Barbecue has about 15 locations in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Dubai — with another opening soon in Maryland.
They plan to keep Slows as a complimentary brand, but there’s no doubt that scale of food buying, consumables, and financial back-of-house will help the bottom lines of both. Inflation is driving food and other prices through the roof, and the word scale is mentioned three times in a piece in Nation’s Restaurant News.
In a Crain’s Detroit piece, Phil Cooley says that things have changed personally for the family and he’s doing more design work now.
Detroit News writer Melody Malosh is upbeat about the deal, and mentioned there are menu tweaks coming in light of the new workers that’ll be across the street at Ford’s massive Michigan Central Project.
In the Freep, we get details about the second food truck that will be available to book to come to your neighborhood through a services called Your Neighborhood Bites.
This isn’t the first well-known local brand to get a cash infusion to grow bigger. For instance, Buddy’s Pizza sold a majority stake to private investment firm CapitalSpring in 2018.
Now that Slows has the investment dollars, I expect to see an expansion run and the wall of coverage in town says a second food truck. Wall of coverage: [ClickOnDetroit] [Crain’s Detroit] [Detroit News] [Detroit Free Press] [WXYZ]
» Hoots Wings is coming to Southgate. Hoots is a fast-casual chicken place that sells similar wings, sauces, legs, tenders and breasts but without the cleavage and short skirts. Although I don’t have a date yet, the renovation of a former Dunkin Donuts at Eureka and Drake looks pretty close to completion.
» Chicken Guy! by Food Network star Guy Fieri is opening April 1 in Livonia. I got a lot of requests to give it an honest review, so I put it on me and Engineer Randy’s list for a podcast taste testing.
They expect to open something like 20 locations in Michigan, so a lot of eyes are on how well this embassy of the Flavortown empire does. Again, a wall of coverage around town this week over this, so I’ll just pick one: [Eater Detroit]
There’s 22 sauces so I have no idea how we’re going to do this taste test. Divide and conquer? One sauce per bite? Most common flavors? Signature flavors?
» Cornerstone Barrel House recently closed in downtown Detroit — but is re-opening in Ferndale. They just couldn’t seem to find footing in the city after the pandemic. Details are light, but I’ll share more when I have them. [Cornerstone]
Never been here before? Sign up for future notes.
Already signed up? Tell a friend!
📰 What to know
» Amazon is (finally) hiring 1,200 people before the launch of their Detroit fulfillment center. [Crain’s Detroit]
The $400 million project at 8 Mile and Woodward was supposed to open last year.
» Michiganders facing tough times face long waitlists for a federal voucher program for housing. [Free Press]
There are 65 agencies in Michigan, all with waitlists, often long. Also an issue nationally, over the past few years:
Detroit’s Housing Commission had 22,000 applications and selected 7,000 for the waitlist
Ferndale’s Housing Commission had 5,000 applications and 700 were selected for the waitlist
» Wayne State University will cover tuition and tuition-related fees for new undergraduate students whose families earn $70,000 per year or less and have less than $50,000 in assets.
Wayne State Guarantee is a new program funded by a combination of federal, state, and other Wayne State scholarships and grants. You have about two weeks to apply if you want to get in this fall. [Wayne State University]
» Construction on a roundabout at the intersection of Greenfield, Normandy and Beverly on the Royal Oak / Beverly Hills border will start next month. [Road Commission for Oakland County]
» Work to remove a travel lane and resurface Woodward Avenue in and near downtown Ferndale resumes in four days. [Ferndale Moves]
Starting March 20, the punch list also includes:
Targeted improvements to curbs
Shortening of pedestrian crossings
Parking-protected bike lanes
Improved visibility at intersections
Accessible curb ramps
» Local media requires local support to succeed. Our Patreon members, in large part, make this email newsletter and daily podcast possible. Consider being like Paul, Keith and Christina (all very cool people, in my book) and support us. In an age of more and more paywalls and threats to local information, your support helps keep us going and free for everyone.
🎙 On the podcast
» Todd Scott of the Detroit Greenways Coalition joined me on the show Monday to talk about what’s happening in 2023 with Metro Detroit’s greenways, biking and pedestrian infrastructure, and more.
» What is the state of soccer in Michigan? Robert Kerr from Michigan Soccer Central joined me and Fletcher to celebrate 100 episodes of his show covering the beautiful game in this beautiful state.
» The Change Collective was announced recently with great fanfare and a video from former U.S. President Barack Obama. But what does it mean locally? What is the project doing in Detroit, one of just three cities they’re getting started in? Dexter Mason stopped by the podcast to tell us more.
Thanks to everyone behind the scenes who helps make Daily Detroit go.
As always, feedback and tips - dailydetroit - at - gmail - dot - com.
Until next time, remember that you are somebody and I’ll see you around town.