Coming out of a long year of stay-at-home orders, restaurant closures and an overall hard time for the tourism, service and hospitality industries, Detroit’s Greektown strip is ready to shake off the dust and show visitors what is new on Monroe street.
Greektown’s oldest restaurant, Golden Fleece, has received a makeover with a refreshed, modern look for the dining room and a more focused menu that highlights almost entirely Greek ingredients, from the new vegetarian and vegan options on the menu to the classic dishes like the house-made, impeccably seasoned lamb gyro, pastisio and more.
The beverage program at Golden Fleece has also been updated. Diners can now sit at a bar in the back of the restaurant and browse the selection of imported beer and wine from Greece, as well as unique spirits besides the popular Greek aperitif ouzo.
Second generation owner Yanni Dionisopoulos, who runs Golden Fleece and the upstairs club Exodos with his cousin Spero Dionisopoulos, says if you can’t get to Greece, come to Greektown for the same hospitality and products you can’t find elsewhere in Michigan.
Now that the Golden Fleece renovation is complete, they’re readying to debut their Greek market and wine bar next door, Bakalikon. During the pandemic, they refashioned nightclub Exodos as a pop-up retail space and found that selling imported Greek food was a new way to reach customers.
Set to open this week or next, Bakalikon will sell prepared foods, bakery items, Greek cheese, olive oils and will have a massive Greek wine and spirit selection. Dionisopoulos says big sellers are Greek snack chips, croissants and imported cheeses.
“These are things people remember from their childhood and they couldn’t get anywhere unless they were in Greece, and we have them and they’re top sellers,” he said, adding that in researching items to stock Bakalikon with, he found more Greek wines and spirits than he even knew existed.
“There’s a Greek gin, there’s a Greek olive vodka, there’s Greek liqueur … we’re bringing in a lot of stuff that is unique,” he said, mentioning Greek liqueur Mastiha, which he calls “Ouzo’s cousin.”
“Anybody that tries it says ‘wow this is so smooth, this is delicious,’ and eight out of 10 people buy a bottle,” he said.
Bakalikon will open soon at 527 Monroe. Golden Fleece is next door at 525 Monroe in Greektown. Call (313) 962-7093 or visit goldenfleecedetroit.com.
More dining changes in Greektown
The updates from the Dionisopoulos family businesses aren’t the only new things to look for in Greektown.
The designers behind the revamp of Golden Fleece, Olon Interior have also done work at the Atheneum Suite Hotel and Pappy’s Sports Bar & Grill. Pappy’s is being rebranded as the Three Legged Goat and will make its debut later this spring.
At the Antheneum, look for a new lobby area, meeting rooms and a new restaurant and bar. Called the Lobby, the dining concept has an American menu with craft cocktails and is under the wing of chef Petro Drakopoulos.
Up the street, Red Smoke Barbeque will soon unveil its new bar, Pig’s Tail Cocktail Lounge. The bourbon-focused hangout will have 40 seats in the lounge and another 50 on the rooftop. Owner Tasso Teftsis, who also owns Astoria Pastry Shop, hopes to debut Pig’s Tale by the Detroit Tigers’ home opener on April 1.
For subscribers: Detroit’s Greektown prepares to reinvent itself again
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