Hidden gem in Detroit


Tucked behind a blue door in the back of Coffee Down Under in Detroit’s Financial District is a speakeasy and restaurant named “shelby” – paying homage to the fact that it sits upon the original footprint of Fort Shelby. When owner Turan Kajeepeta, who also owns Coffee Down Under, first toured the dilapidated subterranean space, all he saw was potential. He stumbled upon an old bank vault that had sat empty for decades – and immediately was drawn to the idea of playing up the idea of new versus old. “The new interior design uses steel and stone, but it’s softened by plush velvet on the barstools and banquette seating. The original crumbling crown molding was left ‘as is’ to show the layers of history,” Kajeepeta noted. To enter this speakeasy/restaurant, which by the way has no signage, guests pass through Coffee Down Under and tell the barista they are “here to see shelby.” This hidden gem is under the direction of head bartender, Andre Sykes, executive chef, Matt Tulpa and head chef, John Yelinek. A popular prix fixe menu includes a three-course dinner and two craft cocktails for $99. The menu rotates every few months and includes à la carte items as well. Located at 607 Shelby Street. shelbydetroit.com

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