Distinctive Latin dining


The building at 4100 Third Avenue, Detroit, might currently be a shell with brick walls, but the owners of upcoming restaurant Vecino already know what the centerpiece will be: a long communal table. “That’s the idea behind the name Vecino, which means ‘neighbor’ in Spanish,” said attorney Luke Wietrzynski, who is developing the restaurant with his wife, Adriana Wietrzynski-Jimenez, and mother-in-law Eva Lopez-Jimenez, a former restaurant operator. “We’re hoping by kind of pushing everyone together at this communal table that you’ll sit next to someone else, spark a conversation…we want to be a cornerstone for the community.” They plan to have a revolving menu focused around Latin and South American flavors – starting with Peruvian, Mexican, and Brazilian – but have chef Francesco Tola use them in non-traditional ways. Like taking something found in a taco and putting it in a ravioli. When they open next year – hopefully late spring, early summer – there will be a full bar with spirits not often found, like mezcal. Vecino will also be incorporating a community garden down the street and use the produce in their own kitchen, donating excess to the community.

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Birmingham, Michigan

Metro Intelligencer is a periodic column about the vibrant and changing restaurant/dining scene in the metro Detroit area, reported/written by Dana Casadei.