Rose's Fine Food is located on the east side of Detroit, in an area that has seen its fair share of ups and downs. Our dream is to be a part of bringing stability back to this neighborhood by providing a spot where its easy and comfortable to access delicious food made from scratch with quality ingredients. The items on our menu will boast produce from many of the farms in the city, and we will bake our own breads, pies, cakes, pastries, and anything else we can think of in a wood burning oven. Picnic baskets stuffed with the bounty of summer will sail out the doors in the arms of hungry patrons, bound for a lunch on historic Belle Isle. Instead of building a new building to house our dream, we chose a vintage diner with all the charm and memories still intact. Unfortunately, you can't cook food with charm alone, otherwise we'd be all set. The reality is that the kitchen in this otherwise lovely little restaurant basically doesn't exist. There is no working stove, there is no oven to make our pastry with, no fryer, there is a gaping hole in our ancient freezer wall, and all of our gaskets on the cooler doors need replacing. We are in the diner every day now vigorously scrubbing away the 50-plus years of grease and cigarette smoke, but the pros need to be called in to clean ancient grease from the places we simply cannot reach. The list goes on, and it is all a labour of love. Each day that we've been in the diner we've been greeted with a steady stream of neighbors passing by who stop in to tell us how happy they are that the place will be open again, how exciting it is to finally have something in the neighborhood to be proud of. They share their stories of eating at the diner 30 years prior, what the old days of Detroit were like, and how pleased they are that it seems to be headed in the right direction once again. All these people have made such an impression on us that we just can't wait to get open to serve them our home cooking!
Risks and challenges
Since we've already signed a lease on the diner, we're in this for the long haul, and glad to be! The most tangible risk in our area of town is safety. Our diner is a metal scrapper's dream, and while we do have an alarm system and are installing further security, it remains that safety is an issue. We are hiring an off-duty Detroit Police unit to patrol the area on our behalf, and are getting our neighbors involved in keeping an eye out for anything unseemly. We've also had safety assessments done on the area, which have produced a snapshot that appears much more quiet that it seems like it would be. Fortunately, it looks worse than it really is, but we are erring on the side of cautious.
Another potential snag is the permitting process that we face in a city that is reinventing itself as a more functional municipality than it once was. Detroit's bankruptcy is no secret, but the processes we face to get open might be more difficult because of the bankruptcy changing the way departments have done things in the past. The great news is that we are not alone in opening a restaurant in Detroit, and we have a very close-knit food community here with lots of information and mentoring available. Everyone shares what they've learned and how best to navigate the bureaucracy, because in this town the rising tide floats all boats!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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