Highland Park native's new restaurant helping better community

Woodward Avenue Bar and Grill attracting large crowds

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – It is a small place in a pretty non-descript building, but what makes the new Woodward Avenue Bar and Grill special is where it is located.

It is in Highland Park, something the neighborhood has not seen in 20 plus years. 

Woodward Avenue Bar and Grill is the newest restaurant in Highland Park. It has only been open for about two weeks and business is already taking off. 

Lawrence Johnson is the owner of Woodward Avenue Bar and Grill.

“A little something for everybody. For the most part, it is here to serve the whole community,” said Johnson. 

It is a community he grew up in, is a part of, and a place he has seen both good and bad happen.  

“I am just tired seeing a decline,” said Johnson. 

He said over the years Highland Park has gotten the rough end of the deal when it comes to growth.

The city is just 10 minutes away from Downtown Detroit where there are new businesses, new stores and new restaurants, but Highland Park hasn’t really received the benefits until now. 

That is why he placed his restaurant in Highland Park. It is something his community can call its own.  

“Why better someone else’s community when I can actually start something here?” he said. 

Within two weeks the city and neighborhood has supported him and the Woodward Avenue Bar and Grill a little quicker than he expected. 

“I can’t keep food or liquor. I have a delivery day, a certain delivery day. I never make it to that delivery day,” said Johnson. 

So what is bringing the people back for more?

“Lamb chops, steak bites and the hamburgers.  The liquor is liquor,” said Johnson. 

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