Prime + Proper, an upscale steakhouse in Detroit’s Capitol Park from Heirloom Hospitality Group in Birmingham, will open tonight at 5 p.m. following a $3 million transformation of an historic space that once housed Peter Smith and Sons, a grocery store that opened in 1914.
From the Art Deco and mid-century Modern aesthetics design by McIntosh Poris Associates in Birmingham, the 155-seat restaurant located at 1145 Griswold St. —which offers sidewalk seating, a 20-seat private room in the lower level, and available rooftop seating — was outfitted with such materials as Carrara marble from Italy, custom chairs from North Carolina, custom steak knives from Barcelona, and marble and European oak floors.
The menu includes such prime steaks as a Porterhouse, Tomahawk, Kansas City Strip, New York Strip, Creekstone Farms Filet Mignon, American Wagyu Filet Mignon, among others. Prices range from $36 for a Heritage Berkshire Bone-in Pork Chop to $149 for a 42-ounce Porterhouse Steak.
Other offerings include a raw bar offering a selection of oysters, shrimp, Alaskan King Crab, and lobster. There are also four different varieties of caviar, appetizers like roasted bone marrow, five different salads, and such sides as asparagus, onions rings, mac and cheese, carrots, cauliflower, among others.
“One of our focuses was making sure we were ready to open, as our team went through a minimum of 140 hours of training,” says Jeremy Sasson, founder and president of Heirloom Hospitality Group, which owns and operates Townhouse restaurants in downtown Birmingham and downtown Detroit. “It all starts as you pull up to the valet, arriving inside, and getting to your table.
“We have our unique style of service, so you will have three people attend to your table — a first waiter, a second waiter, and an assistant waiter. What brings people back is great service, so that will be our forte. We will ramp up slowly, so there will be limited reservations until we get up to full speed.”
In addition to the main dining room and bar, the first floor includes a small butchery store, an open kitchen, a restored marble stairway that doesn’t lead anywhere (it had to be restored as part of the space’s historic status), as well as a private table located behind a wine cooler. There are 4,000 bottles of wine from around the world set throughout the space.
In the lower level is a dry aging room, a full production kitchen, and the 20-seat private room outfitted with wine cases, a large flat screen TV, and a gold leaf ceiling. The private room can be accessed from a separate entrance from the alley. In addition, Sasson plans to open an invitation–only bar in the lower level called Cash Only. The entrance to the 100-seat space will be accessed from a secret door.
In the aging room, slabs of meat rest on blocks of Himalayan pink mountain salt, while the ducks are aged for seven days. “The ducks are amazing, especially how crispy they are on the outside and how moist there are in the inside,” says Curtis Nordeen, managing director of Prime + Proper.
The restaurant will be open for dinner every day of the week, with a happy hour Monday through Friday offered from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dinner service begins at 5 p.m., and 4 p.m. on Sundays.
Detroit Artistry crafted many of the interior finishes, while XOM Creative in Walled Lake did the metal work and Steven Frank Studios in Fraser did the custom lighting.
The staff includes Walter Apfelbaum, executive butcher; Ryan Prentiss, executive chef; Sharyn Harding, executive pastry chef; and Liz Martinez, sommelier.