From juicy burgers to savory Asian salmon dishes, Central Kitchen+ Bar will make your mouth water. Owner Dennis Archer, Junior wanted to create a restaurant that was welcoming to everyone.
He was first inspired to start a restaurant in downtown Detroit upon seeing the growth in the city in the early 2010s. As he puts it, he noticed “there’s nowhere to go, where I really want to go.” At the time, the restaurants in the area were pretty much on two extremes, fancy and expensive, or more like dive bars and quick eats. While on vacation with his friends the idea took root and he started looking for a place.
He came across a spot in the First National building, right in the center of downtown by Campus Martius. He remembered making deliveries there when he was a child working for a law firm and knew he found his spot.
The place was stripped down, allowing Archer to make it his own. He decided to pay homage to the building’s history in the restaurant’s design. You can spot an old safe deposit box from when it was First National Bank, and the original columns and ceilings are displayed to give the spot its unique character. They also found historical pictures of Detroit and put them on the wall as giant murals.
The name itself is a call back to history. In the area across the street from the restaurant, there used to be a big public market called Central Market. The restaurant took its name from that.
The menu has changed a bit since they first opened in 2015, but they’ve kept the favorites and introduced new ones. Always popular is their house burger which features a special blend of meat, tomato jam, and beef bacon. A classic bar dish that they’ve put their own spin on is Mediterranean wings which are served with marinated feta, olives, and lemon. They have a variety of handhelds, tacos, and salads to chose from as well. Recently, their brunch has become very popular, and a great dish to try from that menu is the avocado toast, which is topped with arugula and grilled artichoke salad and a sunny side up egg.
For more information, including the black-owned brands they are featuring for Black History Month, watch the full video above.
Central Kitchen+ Bar is located at 660 Woodward Ave #4A, inside the First National Building in downtown Detroit.