Just today, actually, Joe and I were offered four muffins from Avalon Bakery from a lady sitting next to us as she was leaving. Not wanting to come off as rude, we took all four of the muffins —a delicious start to an average day in TechTown.
Food is great —that everyone can agree on. Thus it makes sense how the acts of discussing, finding, and eating food can bring people together. No wonder so many important conversations tend to be held with and centered around meals (like family bonding at brunch or getting to know someone over dinner). Detroit too reaps the benefits that food and restaurants can offer.
Mabel Gray, a successful and chic new eatery located in Hazel Park, resembles an intersection between the “old Detroit” and visions for a new, revamped future. After reading an article detailing “Hazel Park’s suburban sapphire,”I couldn't help but draw parallels between the restaurant’s qualities and the growth trends of the Motor City’s startup scene.
First and foremost is the location. Snugly situated in the“friendly city” (as Hazel Park is known as) the eatery’s location would surprise most. Whereas most trendy, young restaurants are located in either midtown or downtown, Hazel Park strikes the average foodie as a curious choice for a restaurant vying to be recognized. But by stepping outside the realm of normal locations, Mabel Gray has pioneered a potential path for expansion (in terms of location choice) when it comes to other restaurants and businesses. By stepping outside the delineated comfort zone, Mabel Gray has increased not only the likelihood of more businesses taking similar risks, but also the investment appeal and economic viability of a new area.
Sadly, DukeEngage’s stipend is a little tight so I may not be able to indulge in the somewhat pricey delicacies Mabel Gray has to offer. But reading about the restaurant both satisfied my inner foody and gave me hope on the future sustained success of Detroit’s startup scene.