October 2019 Food News: The Latest on the Metro Detroit Culinary Scene

A movie theater with a cocktail bar opens, Gather in Eastern Market closes up shop, and drink tours to check out next month
Film Lab
Film Lab, a new theater and bar in Hamtramck, serves up drinks inspired by movies. // Photograph courtesy of Dereck Tedders

This month, metro Detroiters welcomed Film Lab to Hamtramck’s cinema and cocktail scene, said farewell to Eastern Market restaurant Gather, and celebrated the ongoing success of Le Culture Cafe. Here’s the food news you need to know.

In The News

Le Culture Café: Reservation site Open Table released its list of the 50 best date restaurants in America on Oct. 2, and Le Culture Café in Eastern Market made the cut. The soul food and seafood spot was lauded for being “laidback and casual with upscale food.” opentable.com 

Now Open

Frita Batidos: Offering Cuban-inspired street food, Ann Arbor’s Frita Batidos has opened its second location. Based in Detroit, the majority of the new restaurant’s meat, cheese, and produce is sourced from Michigan. Frita Batidos, 66 W. Columbia, Detroit; 313-725-4100; fritabatidos.com

The Film Lab: Half bar, half microcinema, The Film Lab is now open in Hamtramck. The independent theater, which has nearly 50 seats, offers an array of cocktails, beers, wines, and popcorn. The drinks are inspired by films that play at the theater. A recent example includes a cocktail called Bowie’s Bite, which is an homage to David Bowie’s film The Hunger.  The Film Lab, 3105 Holbrook Ave., Hamtramck; thefilmlab.org 

Brewery Faisan: Founded by Rachel and Paul Szalga, Brewery Faisan opened its doors on Oct. 24. Located on Detroit’s east side, the Belgian-inspired taproom and microbrewery houses a 4,000-square-foot production area. The company will use a 15-barrel system to brew its beers. Brewery Faisan, 1087 Beaufait St., Detroit; 313-290-2987; breweryfaisan.com


Founders Brewing Co.: In light of its recent racial discrimination controversy, Founders Brewing Co. has closed its Detroit taproom “until further notice.” After a transcript of a deposition in a discrimination lawsuit, in which a general manager with the company refused to acknowledge an employee’s race, was released to the public, some bars around the state have decided to no longer serve beers from Founders as well. Founders Brewing Co. Detroit Taproom. 456 Charlotte St., Detroit. 313-335-3440; foundersbrewing.com

Gather: Kyle and Lea Hunt have closed up shop at their restaurant, Gather, and it’s second-level bar, Cøllect. Gather opened two years ago, and sold farmer-to-table dishes that were inspired by in-season produce found at neighboring Eastern Market. The couple will continue to own and operate Huddle, a walk-up ice cream business located near the Shinola Hotel. Gather, 1454 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 586-850-0205; gatherdetroit.com

On Our Radar

Which Came First?: Opening on Nov. 1, Which Came First? is joining the Fort Street Gallery food hall in downtown Detroit. Specializing in customizable chicken sandwiches, with choices like grilled or fried, breast or thighs, and adding an egg, Which Came First? plenty of options for chicken fans. Which Came First?, 160 W. Fort St., Detroit; 313-230-0855; fortstreetgallery.org

Downtown Detroit Markets: The Downtown Detroit Markets return to the city on Nov. 13. Each business featured in the market this year will have its own glass huts. Look out for edible cookie dough from Detroit Dough, tea from Eli Tea, and sweets from Good Cakes and Bakes. Other sellers include Mongers’ Provisions, an artisanal cheese and cured meats shop, and Lush Yummies Pie Co. Downtown Detroit Markets, 630 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 888-300-9833; bedrockdetroit.com

Upcoming Events

Cooking with Que: Detroit Vegan Brunch: The Kitchen has partnered with 8 Degrees Plato to create the ultimate vegan brunch experience, mimosas included. The menu includes a Harvest Breakfast Scramble, Vegan Sausage, Grits, a Kale Medley, and a mimosa bar complete with toppings such as fresh fruit and Michigan-grown lavender. Seating is limited. Nov. 2. $60. The Kitchen; 6529 Woodward Ave., Suite A, Detroit; cookingwithque.com 

Hard Cider Bus Tour: Hosted by Motor City Brew Tours, this bus tour includes three stops, including Westview Orchards and Winery in Romeo, Big Red Orchards in Washington Township, and Blakes Hard Cider in Armada. Food and cider samples will be provided at each stop. Nov. 16. $65. Visit motorcitybrewtours.com for more information. 

Detroit Vintage Bar Crawl: Exploring some of the “hidden gems” of the Detroit bar scene, the six-hour bar crawl will include a look into Detroit’s unique history. Hosted by Crawlers Party Bus, this event has pick up and drop-off locations in Detroit and Chesterfield. Nov. 29.  $35. Visit crawlerspartybus.com for more information.