Inside The Beautiful Brakeman Beer Hall At The Shinola Hotel
Welcome to an interview addition of your daily Detroit recorded on Thursday, March twenty first two thousand nineteen I'm spend gossips. I'm Nouri go Gye sharing. What's annot? And where to go in metro Detroit today, we take you inside Detroit's newest beer hall, the brakeman. That's right. It's opening Monday. We went down today for an advance peak and spoke with the partners from no hospitality, Joshua Picard. And Luke Oestroem brakeman occupies a wedge shape building. It was formerly a surface parking lot and butts Parker's alley it's part of the shinola hotel development. That's creating a lot of buzz downtown. Can I gotta say anytime you take out a surface parking lot in the middle of the city. I'm all for it. Yeah. For sure let's get to that conversation, right? After this note from a sponsor daily Detroit is brought to you in part by the rattlesnake club. It's open for lunch dinner or small plates. You can check out views of the international skyline and the Detroit river walk. The rattlesnake. Features a seasonal menu of locally sourced ingredients daily happy hour specials and in. Award winning wine list. Make your reservation today at rattlesnake Detroit dot com. Joshua Picard doing. I'm Luke opium. All art. So Luke and Josh nice place. You've got here the brakeman tell us a little bit about this place. Looks like you're getting pretty close to opening. We are we are. Indeed. Since like, the final road final countdown. If you will we're opening Monday this Monday at four PM, and yeah, we're excited about it. It's a little bit of a departure. What we've done before we have a bunch of restaurants out of New York, and we got hooked up with some great partners here in Detroit the guys over at channel and bedrock to do the shinola hotel. And this is kind of the last piece that is about to open, which is Merican beer whole. And it it's a departure of some of the other experiences in the hotel, and quite frankly from what we've done before, you know, we do a lot of bigger more high end restaurants, and this is a little bit more down and dirty. Come as you are drink some great American beer and eat some fried chicken in the back. So so Josh why Detroit then you're really established in New York City some. High end luxury restaurant experiences. Why why Detroit what fits that? With the brand. You know, we I grew up here. I grew up in Huntington woods went to university of Michigan had always wanted to try and find a way to come back here, you know, times of change in New York City. It's become very hard to do things in New York City. I kind of was watching my kids grew up in New York and with the development of the food network in the late nineties, I began to realize watch my kids up that the the food culture now is everywhere, and it certainly is in place secondary markets like, Detroit and Baltimore. And there's a great demand. Negate passion for great restaurants. So it seemed like a great place to come both to develop and do new things to come home. And do something new and kind of bring something here that wasn't here before. Can you guys talk a little bit about the menu, and what people can expect here at brakeman? I'm the whole idea is a little bit of a celebration of American beer hall. So, you know, we have the experience is intended to be pretty interactive. If you come here as a guest show up to the front door, and then you actually go to a beer token booth at the front and you get tokens for the beer bar. And it's all draft beer each token. Seven bucks every beers the same price you can get a flight of three tastes a few different ones. Also for for single token. We do also have a liquor bar. Not tokens stuff cost different prices. Allegra bar, obviously. So it's interactive tokens. You get your beers. We'll get eight beers on draft it we're trying to keep it mostly quote, unquote. Local. It's not all Detroit beer, it's more mid west selection of craft beers. There might be every now and then a nod to something craft from New York where upstate New York, and they'll rotate seasonally as much as possible we can rotate 'em as much as we want and then full liquor by the liquor. Has a couple of frozen cocktails fun things like frozen Bolom frozen grown stuff like that. Which would be pretty fun and then the full call bar good American whiskey selection in the back. We have this other little plot right here called penny reds, which is our fried chicken spot. Opening simultaneously, the brakeman, and is really the food for the brakeman. So inspiring coming off the street just penny reds, but you can also get food from here and again interactive. If you want beer, you'll get a beer if you want food you go get food, and it's a short little menu buckets and biscuits is the whole idea fried chicken and Honey butter biscuits few chicken sandwiches, bunch of sides little co lab with the ladies over sister pies. We'll do one pi day rotating type of thing which is kind of cool, and we have some you know sodas and some Tallboy beers in there also which is a little departure from the beers. We have on draft. Whereas that's a little more craft than the brakeman was a little bit more old school PBR, easy, stroz Miller high life stuff like that. And you can. Bring those in and out. No problem. It's to be casual like this. So it's, you know, there's no there's no reservations, there's no waiters. Say like, it's it's serve yourself. Basically let's dip done before. It's very new Ken. How have we do have some beer tap tables? You can reserve where you get to buy the table for an hour. It's also a little bit quantity controlled not just time. So people are killing it. But the reserve those bureau tables, either when you come up with walk in but different, but what we've done more, casual know waiters. We've got TV's for the first time we've always been kind of anti TV in our restaurants, probably about fourteen screens here to play the sports things make sense for their beer garden. Now looking around it looks like a lot of fun stuff in here to see beer pong. I see shuffleboard the meal a great place to hang out on any given night. I mean, that's the kind of you know, we wanted to be. So you find little hidden moments. All around the spots. We we made some custom beer pong tables for those who want to partake shuffleboard. You're right foods ball was this alleyway out here. And actually all these window bays. It's a lot of windows in. Here's you can see they all open up kind of like garage doors. So when. It's warm out. You sort of indoor outdoor from every angle air fluent through. We'll have some seating out in the alley way. We'll throw some ping pong tables out in the alleyways. Well, and you know, Gregson fried chicken frozen cocktail place beer pong watching sports. Do whatever you want to do four tokens. Get you a pitcher beer, sixty five beer. Yeah. Bunch of cups couple ping pong balls. And you know, added over there only games will be three except for obviously the beer pong. You'll get your new by the pitcher said if you will and then play away, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the appearance of this place looks great, you know, white and black or the primary colors looks like you've got kind of glazed brick on the walls some mirrors here on the on the support beams and everything can you talk a little bit about some of the finishes and everything that are in here. And we're the was this all done like a local design firm or it was a it's a collaboration. We use SEO studios out of New York who also did the the channel hotel, and obviously sent Morella where we have a restaurant there. So they worked on the space with us as well. It was an empty lot most recently. So it's it's a ground up building that it's been Bill and you're right. There's a lot of it's it's predominantly kind of white and black and would color in you see that a little bit in the in the brand in also but distress mirrors, and glazed brick said a lot of metalwork, you know, a lot of great lighting all lightings pretty important for us and designed because it really creates the bible think. So there's a lot of lights in here, obviously. Which is great. It'd be a little bit of an industrial town of garage feeling the brakeman which is actually the break on a train, which actually has also what China is I watch was one of the brakeman watches, and it's quite an interesting corner that's developed here between Rakman opening here. The element hotel just opened across the street the sirens next door over there, you got Vado's and right and company. They're down the Sira. Now does this guy opening for the guy from New York opening place called sid goals we small bar with alive? Bam does carry out. So it's kind of becoming this new. We're excited to be part of this kind of changing neighborhood here. You mentioned it twice. How do you feel like brakeman's fits into the shinola brand? What is really attractive for us about partnering with them and doing this project here a lot of it really had to do with the physical layout of all the different spaces put together, and you see that in the hotel. It's some old buildings a lot of billions and some new buildings kind of all put together in this alleyway that runs through the block in this new annex building over here, and for us who do you know, we curate a lot of restaurant food beverage lifestyle experiences. It's always a little bit of a joyful gift. When you have a lot of stages to do different things. So we started talking to them. We kind of rallied everyone around the idea of let's do a lot of different things instead of one singular thing, so not just a hotel guest, but Detroit community as a whole can have a lot of different experience than come here for a lot of different reasons. So, you know, whether you're hanging out in the living room, which is a very Cheinal experience and channel hotel in liver or you're having a talion meal and a pizza at San Morello. Oh, or great cocktail evening bar or you're like playing beer pong down the way, you know. I think shinola is they I believe really tries to be like super approachable to to everyone, and they try to offer that like user experience for everyone. So I think this fits in pretty good as far as, you know, being really come as you are casual have a good time. All right near what'd you think about the brakeman? I'm really impressed. And know these guys came from New York City, originally, even if they have some local tie ins, but it reminded me a lot of the area on the bottom of the standard hotel at the skyline. Ooh. So it's real kind of hip outdoor place. And I think they're going to create something really similar here at the hotel at that place is going to places going gonna rock during the warm weather when they got all those garage doors open. It's going to be a nice spot for sure especially walking around afterward. Like, you know, the place this kind of backup to an alley. And I thought that was a pedestrian alley, but then looking down at it's actually closed alley. Yeah. So they're going to have the ping pong tables yet reach up and get your beer. Threat to the window. I think it's absolutely brilliant. And we talked about the this before that that little block right there right behind the YMCA's. Really, you know, the the narrow streets and everything like and there's the new hotel opening in the metropolitan right down the block the shinola hotels right around the corner a bunch of little businesses right there. That's going to be a really vibrant little spot there. It's going to be great. And you know, I I walked into the thinking us guess from New York coming to Detroit and opening up a a beer hall. But then talking to them afterward in realizing just how hard it is to do business in New York City. I mean, I lived there and spend you lived in Brooklyn years ago right now. And even then gosh, this was eight or nine years ago. It was still a pain in the butt to do anything in New York City like being businesses try and closed because it's just so difficult to do stuff and so expensive. So the fact that they brought eight or nine people from their team in New York and have not moved to Detroit. I feel really good about this. And I think it's really awesome. What they're doing. And what had Joshua say in New York, you need a lot of money here in Detroit. You just need a good idea. Oh, this possess line of the entire thing. Which would have caught on the interview. All right before we let you go friends wanted to take a minute and wish a happy one hundred fiftieth birthday to legendary Detroit architect Albert Kahn. He was born on this day in eighteen sixty nine in Germany Khan. Of course was best known as an industrial designer, but he also designed many office buildings hotels and other types of structures examples of his work here in Detroit include the Fisher building Cadillac place the Packard plant and the Maccabi building on Woodward and midtown the architecture firm that he started back in eighteen ninety five it's still going strong from the Fisher building con- passed away in nineteen forty two. But we owe a huge debt of gratitude to him here in Detroit what copays a history. Well, thanks for listening. If you love the show, be sure to tell a friend. It really does help us to grow the show. Also want to give out some thanks this week as it's our Thursday show. Although we do intend to have a bonus episode for your feed this weekend. Stay tuned for that. Thanks to Jair stays silent. Jair today. He was behind the scenes made that interview happen. Also, thanks to our contributors, Shannon. No sereni. Randy Walker Bob and Dave over at podcast, Detroit. Nary thank you for helping out today on the interview, it's great to sit in the big chair with that I'm spending. And I'm sorry, go J take care of each other. And we'll see you around Detroit. You're listening to the podcast Detroit network. Visit WWW dot podcast Detroit dot com for more information.