New Black-owned restaurant, Detroit Pizza Bar, opens on city's west side

Posted at 11:26 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 23:26:29-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Friday was the soft opening for Detroit Pizza Bar, a new $1.3 million project near Livernois and 6 Mile that turned a formerly vacant building into a pizza destination.

"Way more crowded than we anticipated," co-owner Marcus Jones said of the soft opening. "It’s a beautiful thing.”

It's been non-stop all day long for the staff at Detroit Pizza Bar, from a ribbon cutting in the afternoon to their official open house in the evening.

“Today has been nothing but love," Jones said. "There's been a lot of people coming in from the neighborhood supporting.”

That support from the neighborhood is exactly what Jones and his business partner Akunna Olumba wanted. This project has been in the works a long time and is meant to bring a sit-down, neighborhood restaurant to an area that Jones says is primarily fast food.

“Just the concept of having a restaurant and a bar, it’s something that feels good to have it in close proximity to the neighborhood," customer James Jeremiah Beasley Jr. said. “We would typically have to go out to Royal Oak or other places like downtown in order to experience something like this.”

All the employees are from Detroit and 97% live within a 2-mile radius. It's food made by the neighborhood, for the neighborhood.

“We do live in the area, we stay around the corner," customer Candra Mcghee said. "It’s good we have a Black-owned business right in the neighborhood.”

Mayor Mike Duggan was also on hand to celebrate. The project was aided by the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund, a $150 million public private partnership to improve 10 Detroit neighborhoods, including the area near McNichols and Livernois.

“I thought to myself, I've been looking for the first person who would step up and say, I see the potential of this strip,'” Duggan said.

"I love the way they pizza came out, it was great. And the wings? Fire,” customer Christopher Murray said.

It’s only day one, but Jones and his partner are thrilled with the turnout. They hope this new destination is here to stay, and by the looks of it, the neighborhood hopes so too.

“They're proving what we've anticipated. If we build something for the neighborhood, they’ll come out and support and they’re doing just that,” Jones said.

The grand opening will be on April 8 at noon.