Detroit – For over 100 years people have been meeting at this old church in the Atkinson Avenue neighborhood of Detroit, but now people are gathering for a new reason, delicious food and drinks! In March of this year, the church opened its doors again, as The Congregation, a café. Betsy Murdoch, one of the owners, says she came up with the idea for the place when she was talking with some friends.
Betsy and her husband moved to the neighborhood about 5 years ago, and while they loved their home, they felt like the neighborhood was missing a place to gather and get food or a drink. It was shortly after a conversation with their neighborhood, where they discussed this very problem, that the nearby church went up for sale. Betsy and her husband jumped on the opportunity and started transforming it into a café.
“Our focus was definitely to maintain the integrity of the building,” explained Murdoch.
One of the major features you see in the space is a large organ. While the church was built in 1920, the organ is much older, dating back to 1820. While it no longer plays, they are working on getting a grant to restore it. You will also spot beautifully restored stained glass around the building, as well as old pews, and other church furniture. The décor is homey, designed to feel like an extension of your living room.
Out front their sign says “Café, Coffee, Cocktails, and Community” and that is exactly what they offer. They serve Great Lakes coffee there, tea, and a variety of wine, beer, and spirits. To pair with their coffee and cocktails, they have a warm and comforting menu. You order café style and can get soups, sandwiches, salads, and some breakfast items. They also feature baked goods from local bakeries.
They have a large heated outdoor patio, with some bonfires in their side lot, offering all the fixings you need for s’mores. For more information watch the video above. If you want to visit The Congregation, they are located at 9321 Rosa Parks Blvd. in Detroit.