This year’s lineup for the Green Crawl includes Mia’s Tasty Grill at 26085 John R Road.

This year’s lineup for the Green Crawl includes Mia’s Tasty Grill at 26085 John R Road.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Hazel Park joins Madison Heights for Green Crawl 2023

Specials offered at venues in both cities on St. Patrick’s Day

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison-Park News | Published March 3, 2023


MADISON HEIGHTS/HAZEL PARK — Last year, Madison Heights celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with its first annual Green Crawl, and this year the event is expanding to include Hazel Park venues, in addition to even more Madison Heights businesses.

Held in collaboration between the Madison Heights Downtown Development Authority and the Madison Heights/Hazel Park Chamber of Commerce, the event will feature a variety of pubs, cafes, restaurants and more, each offering their own specials March 17.

Andy LeCureaux, a member of the Hazel Park City Council, said he’s excited.

“After the pandemic and the shutdowns, people are really itching to get out and be amongst people again, and an event like this shows a neat diversity of food,” LeCureaux said. “Really, it’s good for everyone to get back out there and discover these places. And the business owners have been taking a risk all along, so it’s good to help them. Some have been around for decades while others in this lineup are less than a year old, but with this event they’re banding together, recognizing there’s strength in numbers. We should be supporting all of them.”

Roslyn Grafstein, the mayor of Madison Heights, said the event began as a DDA initiative but grew to include Hazel Park businesses when the local chamber of commerce got involved.

“When you’re going along the John R corridor, you don’t necessarily realize when you’ve gone from one city to another, so it seems appropriate to include both,” Grafstein said. “It’s a promotion that doesn’t cost the businesses anything, either. The idea is to bring more people into our downtown and theirs as they go from one venue to another.”

The mayor noted that Madison Heights set up its DDA in 1997, but she didn’t know the city had a downtown until 2016.

“And many people in the city still don’t know we have a downtown,” Grafstein said. “It’s been a very slow process for a number of reasons. What we’re doing now on the DDA board is working on ways to promote the downtown and highlight it. It’s not what you think of as a traditional downtown. And part of our zoning rewrite is to attract new businesses to come in. We want to make it more friendly for pedestrians and non-motorized travel, so that if someone has dinner at one place, they will feel like walking to another place for dessert, or to browse a shop, having it all in one place where you don’t have to get in your car since you can walk to everything.”

Sean Fleming, a member of the Madison Heights City Council, participated in last year’s crawl.

“I think it’s a great idea, getting people to travel to places in our city and now Hazel Park,” Fleming said. “Linda Williams, the director at the chamber, has done a great job with this event, bringing together our two communities along the John R corridor. And I believe this will bring more visitors from each city, and raise awareness for these businesses, some of which are newer. I also think that everyone agrees we’re in a difficult economy right now, so this is another way to help the local economy and have a good impact on it financially.”

Mark Bliss, the mayor pro tem of Madison Heights, echoed that sentiment.

“Our businesses, particularly our restaurants, are the lifeblood of our community, many of which would be considered hidden gems that folks who live in other communities haven’t even heard of before. So with an event like this that crosses city boundaries, while we’ll also get Madison Heights people visiting places in Hazel Park, the reverse will also be true, which is great news for our local businesses that are certainly not as well known. And conversely, I think both Madison Heights and Hazel Park have phenomenal restaurants and bars and breweries that are sometimes overshadowed by what’s happening in Royal Oak and Ferndale, so this is an opportunity for them to get the visibility that they deserve,” Bliss said.

“I also think that everything is done one brick at a time, and this type of promotional event is a significant brick as we’re building the foundation of the future of the DDA,” Bliss added. “I would say the future of our DDA is uniquely Madison Heights. We will not be a Royal Oak or a Ferndale, or even a Hazel Park, but I think the entire concept of having mixed-use businesses and a lot more restaurants and small business retail is all a strong vision for the future. And it only works if our existing businesses succeed, so something like the Green Crawl that draws attention to the ones we already have really helps the future.”

This year, the lineup includes:

• Cadillac Straits Brewing Company, 27651 John R Road

• Celina’s Sports Bar & Grill, 623 W. 11 Mile Road

• Mia’s Tasty Grill, 26085 John R Road

• John R Grill, 26623 John R Road

• Biggby Coffee, 222 W. 11 Mile Road

• Boodles Restaurant, 935 W. 11 Mile Road

• Woodpile BBQ, 630 E. 11 Mile Road

• Salty Dog, 26033 John R Road

• Amori’s Market, 26122 John R Road

• Smoked Lotus BBQ, 21509 John R Road

• Eastern Palace Club, also at 21509 John R Road

• Hazel Perk Cafe, 21403 John R Road

• Dee’s Quick Bites, 21411 John R Road

• We Juice, 906 E. Nine Mile Road

Call Staff Writer Andy Kozlowski at (586) 498-1046.