Three new restaurants and bars have opened in the Greektown neighborhood of downtown Detroit, and three existing businesses have been renovated.
The area’s longest-standing Greek restaurant, Golden Fleece, reimagined its interior space while it was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. With a full renovation, the restaurant was modernized with a Greek-themed design, art, and plants.
The restaurant now has a bar area and an updated menu of Greek favorites, adding vegetarian and vegan options. Owners Yanni and Spero Dionisopoulos also will open Bakalikon this spring, a new Greek wine bar and grocer that will feature Greek wines, upscale meze (appetizers), and grab-and-go Greek products. During the pandemic, they have operated a pop-up of Bakalikon in the Exodos Rooftop space above.
“For over 50 years, Golden Fleece has celebrated Greek culture, and we continue to expand that authentic Greek feel through opening Bakalikon, as well as through Exodos Rooftop,” says Yanni Dionisopoulos. “The pandemic has hit our Greektown community hard, but we’re committed to meeting that challenge together as a community.”
The Pig’s Tail Cocktail Lounge and Rooftop, a new cocktail lounge, is slated to open in time for Tigers Opening Day on April 1. Located above the Red Smoke Barbeque, the second level offers 40 seats and will feature 100 types of bourbon along with other types of drinks. It will also have a rooftop lounge with an additional 50 seats with views of Old St. Mary’s Church, Monroe Street, and Greektown Casino-Hotel. The proprietor, Tasso Teftsis, also owns Astoria Pastry Shop and Red Smoke Barbeque.
“During this last difficult year in our business in Greektown, my neighbors have showed that they will not give up but instead double down on their community,” Teftsis says. “Many have made major renovations and others have taken the time to make their businesses more attractive. We are very conscious of our role to enhance and preserve our history and heritage in Greektown.”
In turn, the Atheneum Suite Hotel has renovated its lobby, meeting spaces, and bar, incorporating modern, Greek-inspired design. The hotel opened in 1992 and honors the neighborhood’s Greek history and culture. Construction of the renovation took place over five months. The hotel’s new bar and restaurant concept, The Lobby, features an American menu with international influences and hand-crafted cocktails.
“The Greektown district has been a vibrant area within Detroit for decades,” says Athina Papas, board president of the Greektown Neighborhood Partnership and whose family owns Pegasus Taverna and Atheneum Suite Hotel. “Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Greektown’s spirit of hospitality and our patrons are at the forefront of everything we do. We look forward to welcoming guests to our district in a safe manner.”
Pappy’s Sports Bar and Grill has also made interior renovations during the pandemic and will rebrand as the Three Legged Goat this spring, with outside improvements and new signage.
The design for Golden Fleece, Atheneum Suite Hotel, and Pappy’s Sports Bar and Grill was spearheaded by Olon Interior in St. Clair Shores.
Greektown Casino-Hotel also plans to activate the south side of Monroe Street with new businesses in the near future. No further details were disclosed.
Greektown is the traditional center of Detroit’s Greek community. The neighborhood is one of the last surviving Victorian-era commercial streetscapes in Detroit. The Greektown Neighborhood Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the long-term economic and cultural vibrancy of Greektown.