Dual concept restaurant brings 2 dining experiences to 1 Village location

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 6, 2023

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GROSSE POINTE CITY — A new eatery is coming soon to the site of the former Marais restaurant at 17051 Kercheval Ave. in The Village.

The Grosse Pointe City Council voted unanimously March 20 in favor of both a Class C liquor license and a site plan for outdoor seating for Sidecar Slider Bar and Shift Kitchen & Cocktails, a dual restaurant in the same space.

“We’re excited to have a new restaurant concept coming to The Village,” City Planner John Jackson, of McKenna Associates, said.

He said the background of the owners “is impressive,” noting their success with other locations of these restaurants in metro Detroit.

The owners proposed two outdoor dining areas — one on the St. Clair Avenue side of the building, and a dining platform that will occupy two parking spots on Kercheval Avenue in front of the building, Jackson said.

“We’re anxious to see outdoor seating made available,” Jackson said.

However, he said the owners would need to reduce the length of the dining platform on Kercheval by about 2 feet and make sure it was compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. Jackson said there were some elements that the restaurant owners would need to design outdoor seating around as well, including a tree, a decorative bench and a light pole.

Additionally, the platform and outdoor furniture need to be removed during the winter.

“The applicant has indicated they will not be using (outdoor dining areas) in the winter,” City Manager Peter Dame said.

Dame added that if they decided they wanted to start offering outdoor dining during the winter, they could reapply with the city to get permission to do this.

Jackson said they will be required to use quality furniture and other materials, not flimsy patio furniture that could blow away during a storm.

Council approval was subject to several conditions, including reduction of the platform length.

Stephen Simon, the primary owner of the Grosse Pointe Sidecar/Shift Kitchen location, said Sidecar “is like a family sports bar. … It’s going to appeal to all ages.” He said this portion of the restaurant has lots of TVs.

“The Shift concept is more of an upscale wine bar,” Simon continued.

He said they started creating these dual concept restaurants to take advantage of larger spaces that might not attract enough business as just one type of eatery.

“We’re really excited to be down there,” Simon said of The Village location. “We’re happy (the space) was available.”

City officials were enthused about welcoming a new restaurant to the downtown.

“I’m excited by the developments in our city and Village,” City Councilman Dave Fries said.

Councilwoman Maureen Juip agreed, saying she was “really excited … about the new energy” in The Village.

Likewise, City Councilman Donald Parthum Jr. was pleased to see a new business coming to town.

“I, too, am happy to see somebody invest in our Village,” Parthum said.

The company has locations for Sidecar and Shift Kitchen in other cities, including Birmingham, Lansing and Farmington, although not all of the locations feature the dual restaurant concept. Simon said a dual concept Sidecar/Shift Kitchen will be coming to Plymouth in the next month or so.

“They have a really good record,” said Kelly Allen, an attorney representing the restaurant owners. “It’s a fabulous concept.”

Simon said they hope to start work on renovations soon. Their goal is to be open by late May or early June, he said.