After experiencing the restaurant nightlife in different countries around the world, Kiera Henderson made it her mission to bring that dining experience back to metro Detroit.
But she didn’t want to go off on this new adventure alone, so she shared the concept with India Irving, and brought on Lia Gant — who is trying to open her own restaurant — as a silent investor, to establish Knock Twice Speakeasy, a small plate restaurant in West Bloomfield.
While each of the women makes unique contributions to the restaurant, their combined efforts are improving the nightlife scene in the area. The restaurant is not your standard dining spot. It’s hidden on Farmington Road and requires a password for entry.
“The buzz is already there as our messages are flooded with DMs and request for the ‘password,’ Irving said. “We grew from 400 followers to almost 8000 overnight. Our wish is to keep the buzz and grow with our clientele and with the times.”
Henderson says that she chose to open a new restaurant in the suburbs because many of the area’s newest eateries are opening in Detroit.
“There was a need in the suburb — much of the focus in recent years has been Downtown Detroit,” she says. “However, many of us 30-somethings with families live in the suburbs, including the owners.”
The team invested $240,000 into the project at the former 5000-square-foot space once occupied by The Lark, which shut its doors in December 2015 after doing business for more than three decades.
“In November 2022, I opened a trendy brunch location also in West Bloomfield called We’ve got Brunch, and immediately saw the need for an evening spot,” Henderson explains. “After a brief search with my realty connections, I found the Lark — the only issue was it was not in an ideal location and needed much renovation. The number one question I received before purchasing was how will people find it?”
The restaurant’s dark glam design features a custom five-tier chandelier that hangs from the ceiling, velvet furnishings, and outdoor fire pits. It also offers live music, and poetry readings. The theme of the establishment is chic and intimate, and caters to adults only.
“The focus of Knock Twice is to create an ambiance that one could easily vibe to,” Irving told Hour Detroit.
The new spot, which had its Grand Opening on April 15, will make its debut in phases including an indoor restaurant, a patio space, and a cigar bar.
With its indoor and outdoor areas, the space can service up to 100 diners at a time. In addition, as many as 25 guests can be accommodated in the secret VIP basement.
The kitchen is in the hands of executive chefs Melvin Swain and Leon Singleton who have put together a menu of small American small plates such as salmon bites, personal pan macaroni and cheese, vegan tacos, vegetarian ravioli, wings with gold, and vegan tacos, to name a few. Dessert options at the restaurant include cheesecake, peach cobbler biscuits, and s’mores made at the table.
The menu’s pricing is between $15 and $40.
“I love that Knock Twice Speakeasy has an intimate yet still inviting look,” Henderson says. “I love that people can come eat and have a drink and listen to live modern music without the hassle of traffic, parking and standing room only.”
“Most of all, I am loving the embracement and positive feedback from our soft opening,” she adds. “The first thing I always hear was it was needed!”
Knock Twice Speakeasy is located at 6430 Farmington Road, West Bloomfield. It is open every Wednesday and Friday from 4:49 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. for walk-ins and reservations.
For more information, visit Instagram.com/knocktwicespeakeasy. And check out Henderson’s other businesses Pareik Gallery and We’ve got Brunch, or Irving’s other businesses Restaurant Fashion Bistro and Pick Up and Go Mobile Game Bus.
Read more about other local speakeasies Mai Tiki and Shelby in Detroit at HourDetroit.com.