DETROIT — Firebird Tavern, located in the heart of Detroit’s Greektown district on Monroe Street, is now open. The restaurant is near many of Detroit’s concert and sports venues, makeing it convenient for fans to enjoy pre and post event food and libations. On Fridays and Saturdays, the second floor transforms into a unique nightspot featuring local DJ’s and dancing. The second floor can also accommodate private parties and corporate events from 20-150 people.
Over the past year Firebird Tavern’s owners and operators, Owen Burke and Tony Piraino, both of Troy, set out to find a location to encompass everything they thought a Detroit restaurant and bar should be. Up until December of 2012, Burke and Piraino owned and operated martini bar Pulse Lounge for the past eight years. After Quicken Loans purchased the building where Pulse was located, Burke and Piraino scoured the city to find a home for their newest endeavor.
Once they learned 419 Monroe was vacant, they jumped at the opportunity.
“This building has most of the original exposed brick and hardwood floors from over 100 years ago,” Burke said. “We recently restored the hand crafted wood designs, stained glass, and lighting fixtures which all add to the old world feel to the space. At the same time, the space also has some modern touches like WiFi, flat screen TV’s and a jukebox that everyone has come to expect in today’s modern establishments.”
Through research, Burke and Piraino discovered the building was built in 1880 and operated as a saloon with the owner living on the second floor. Over the century, this location was a small upholstery factory for the auto industry, a café and an authentic old time barbershop.
“It’s great to watch the business come full circle to what the original intent of the location was set out to be.” Piraino said. “We couldn’t believe it when this location became available. Besides the close proximity to all major venues, the building really tells a story all it’s own — one of resilience and strength, which is pretty ironic because that’s the way people around the country view the city of Detroit in their media outlets.” Piraino also is one of the creators of the D-Drop, Detroit’s most prominent New Year’s Eve event that has taken place for the past three years.
Firebird Tavern’s menu features fresh salads, sandwiches, burgers, and clever appetizers. Firebird Tavern proudly carries 40 plus beers, always changing out the selection based on seasonal offerings. Their prior experience of crafting award winning cocktails at Pulse Lounge will carry over at the new Firebird Tavern which also lends to the uniqueness of the experience.