The NYT: A Gleam of Renewal in Struggling Detroit

Corktown, once a desolate strip just west of downtown Detroit, is a serious hotbed of new restaurants, bars, hotels and more, all sitting in the shadow of one of the most glaring icons of Detroit’s demise, the skeleton of the old train depot, Michigan Central Station. In this ailing city, people look at Corktown as a bright example of what rebuilding can do. The resurgence of Corktown, originally an Irish enclave, began with the 2005 opening of Slows Bar B Q. These days, thanks to low rents and a consumer base hungry for things to do, the area is now a vibrant community of passionate restaurateurs, stylish shopkeepers, meticulous coffee connoisseurs and craft cocktailers.



Ottava Via.CreditImage by Anthony Lanzilote for The New York Times

The chefs at this rustic Italian trattoria visit the local farmers’ market daily to bolster a menu that includes house mozzarella, crispy stone-fired pizzas and a signature Berkshire pork porchetta topped with onion jam and pork cracklings. The high ceilings hint at the building’s origins as a bank, and a patio features a fireplace and a bocce court.
1400 Michigan Avenue; 313-962-5500;

Making a drink at Two James Distillery.CreditImage by Anthony Lanzilote for The New York Times

The first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition, Two James offers outstanding house-made vodka, gin and several types of whiskey. The tasting room is open six days a week doling out unique cocktails that feature ingredients like beet and carrot shrub (a drinking vinegar), plum bitters and orange peel liqueur.
2445 Michigan Avenue; 313-964-4800;

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