Mezcal Mexican Bar & Kitchen Expands to Midtown, a New State Education Budget, and More Local News

Get up-to-date on the latest metro Detroit headlines including a local chef on Food Network’s ’Chopped,’ a Holland man to swim across Lake Michigan, and more.
Photograph courtesy of Mezcal Mexican Kitchen Bar & Kitchen

Mezcal Mexican Bar & Kitchen expands to Midtown

The Ferndale-based eatery has opened a new location in the former space of Savant, which is located just west of Woodward Ave. in Midtown. Guests who try Mezcal’s Detroit location can expect a different menu than in Ferndale that includes tacos, quesadillas, tortas, and carnitas.

Gov. Whitmer signs $24.2 billion state education budget

The budget, which received some bipartisan support in the House and Senate, was signed on July 20 and will increase money schools receive for “students who receive special education services, are English language learners or economically disadvantage.” It also increases per-pupil funding for public schools, funds free school meals, expands preschool eligibility, provides $66.4 million for teacher recruitment and retention, and more.

Detroit chef wins Food Network’s Chopped: All-American Showdown 

Chef Omar Anani of Detroit’s Saffron De Twah won the title of king of the north in the cooking competition. Anani, who was named a Free Press/Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Food Fighter and a contender for the James Beard Award two years in a row, won against three other chefs representing the Northern region of the U.S. and will go head-to-head in the grand finale against the finalists from the South, East, and West for a shot at $50,000 on Aug. 8.

Holland man to swim across Lake Michigan

Bryan Huffman, who has already swam across the English Channel, is attempting to swim from Rawley Point Lighthouse near Manitowoc, Wisconsin to Big Sable Point Lighthouse just north of Ludington in an effort to help raise awareness of the importance of swimming lessons. If he pulls it off, he will be one of just nine people to make the swim.

Detroit Lions are most popular pick for NFC Champion

According to reports from NBC Sports, more than 36% of bets placed on BetMGM have the Lions becoming this year’s NFC champion, which would result in them going to their first Super Bowl. This has shifted their odds of winning the NCF from +1100 to +850. With odds of +260, the Philadelphia Eagles are the betting favorite to win. These teams are the only teams to have more than 10% of the bets to win the NFC.

Detroit restaurants are the first in the country to receive certification for reducing food waste

 Seven area restaurants have finished a program called the Pledge that awards eateries an international certification, issued by Detroit nonprofit Make Food Not Waste, for “meeting or exceeding the required steps to not only reduce food waste, but also save money, improve menus and educate employees and customers.” Those awarded the certification are Royal Oak’s Alchemi and Johnny’s Speakeasy restaurants; Corktown’s Folk café and market; Sylvan Table in Sylvan Lake; and three dining halls at Oakland University. 

New bars and restaurants to open at restored Book Tower

The historic downtown Detroit building, which sat vacant since 2009 and underwent a seven-year renovation, will see the addition of several dining and drinking options from out of town. These new spots include Wm. Mulherin’s Sons and Hiroki of Philadelphia, The Pinch of Charleston, and The Quoin of Wilmington, Delaware. Le Supréme, a “Parisian-inspired brasserie and Bar Rotunda,” will be the first to open sometime this summer. 

Birmingham Police Department’s new therapy dog has her name

After a public call for suggestions, hundreds of submissions, and a public poll, the department’s therapy dog’s name is Maple. Maple will hang out at Birmingham City Hall — just a short walk from Maple Rd. — where she will provide support for community members and city employees experiencing stress and anxiety.

Fashion brand Dez Delmar opens downtown Detroit location

The fashion brand, which was founded by Detroit designer Valdez Hodge, opened a pop-up shop on Woodward Ave. on July 14. Dez Dalnar “specializes in blending colors, intricate patterns, and unexpected silhouettes so that wearers can embrace their individuality and embrace their inner artist,” and will be open noon-7 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and noon-5 p.m. on Sundays.

Michigan attorney general charges 16 fake electors with felonies

Sixteen Republicans who acted as fake electors for former President Donald Trump in 2020 are facing eight charges that include forgery and conspiracy to commit election fraud. They are accused of “submitting false certificates that confirmed they were legitimate electors despite Joe Biden’s victory in the state.” Some of the charges carry a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

Detroit-based Iggy’s Eggies to open their second location in Ann Arbor

Iggy’s Eggies, which currently serves out of a walk-up window in Detroit’s Capitol Park Historic District, has announced it will open a new location in the former Salad’s Up space on Liberty Street either late this year or early next year. The eatery has become known for its hash browns, breakfast burritos, and eggcellent sandwiches, since it opened in 2018 — as well as the place to get Lover’s Only’s famous smash burgers and fries.

Parent group aims to recall four Troy school board members

Four Troy school board members are targeted in a June 22 recall petition by KeepTroyHonors, a group backed by the Michigan Conservative Coalition and the Oakland County Republican Party. The petition targets board members who voted for a curriculum (which passed 6-1) that removes accelerated math opportunities for 6th and 7thgraders. KeepTroyHonors must collect 8,000 signatures before Aug. 4 in order for the recall to appear on the Nov. 7 districtwide ballot.

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