In Detroit, TV Chef Michael Symon’s Restaurant ‘Roast’ is Toast
As celebrity restaurants go, Michael Symon's Roast in downtown Detroit had a long run. Thirteen years is a long run. Just for comparisons sake, Mark Wahlberg's Wahlburgers in downtown Chicago lasted a year. It's replacement, a Gordon Ramsay restaurant (Gordon Ramsay Burger), well, we'll see how long that goes for.
Sorry, we're closed
Symon's Roast closed "abruptly" on Saturday, according to a Detroit Free-Press story. All that's left is a website with just ten words on it. It was the crown jewel of the then resurrected Westin Book Cadillac hotel. And realistically, this story is a repeat of countless other eateries, big and small that have suffered the same fate in the past two or so years, since the Covid pandemic hit. Also, if you start to connect the dots, the hotel was owned by a Cleveland businessperson, and it's been sold recently to a group from New York and Chicago.
But the same write-up went on to say that it wasn't a matter of quality, Roast was still getting it done in the past year or two. So between Covid and business, it's history.
It'll be interesting what replaces Roast with the new ownership coming in. And Symon is a celebrity chef and what do celebrity chefs do? They open restaurants. The pandemic has been rough on Symon's group. His flagship restaurant, Lola, in Cleveland closed. Several of his B Spot places have done so, too, though some are reopening as Mabel's BBQ.
Ah, but there was Cheli's
As for this out-of-towner, Symon's place was "up-scale" (pronounced "expensive") The downtown Detroit spot I miss most is Chris Chelios' place next the Comerica Park. Burgers and beers for less than $10 a pop.