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Bringing Metro Detroiters Together Through Brunch & Jazz

This Sunday was the first in the series of shuttles from Troy to Detroit, put together by the newly opened Detroit Shoppe in Somerset Mall.

For the full story of what the Detroit Shoppe is about, see here, but basically, since November 1st and extending until the end of the Auto Show, the Detroit Shoppe is a museum and gift shop rolled into one. They celebrate the city’s history and foster an ongoing dedication to the city of Detroit as it stands now. 100% of the profits go toward Detroit charities.

Inside the art deco Cliff Bell's - Photo By Karpov

This inaugural trip down was to brunch, bloody marys and jazz at the gorgeous art-deco venue of Cliff Bells. The store was absolutely bustling before the tour buses arrived. As we headed downstairs, the headcount grew to over 60 people. There is a growing curiosity about Detroit and it’s cultural landmarks that has been apparent for awhile now. I believe the tours aim to harness some of this interest and showcases a series of six different, interesting places in the metro area: Cliff Bells, Eastern Market, Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum, Pewabic Pottery, the Detroit Institute of the Arts, and it concludes with American Coney Island and the Motown Museum.

Despite a bit of controversy surrounding the project, it’s possible that this kind of curiosity and openness from surrounding suburban dwellers could be good for Detroit, showing them places and improvements many haven’t seen in decades, or possibly, ever. And frankly, the more people who know about what great places the city has to offer means more people spending money in the city, meaning more jobs and more investment for all.

Additionally beneficial, of course, was the fact that Somerset donated ten dollars to city charities for every person on the bus.

It seems like one major goal of the Detroit Shoppe was to encourage suburbanites who haven’t visited in some time to reconnect with Detroit. And, from what I saw, it seemed to have worked. “I haven’t been down here in years,” one woman affirmed “but I’m so glad to be back. I had no idea Cliff Bells existed.”

But it was more than just that. The day was a good mix of Detroit residents, Cliff Bells regulars, tour people who don’t come down often, and, actually, some people on the tour that do visit often. There were some local business owners that came around as well, including Grace Keros from the iconic American Coney.

Despite different backgrounds, it seemed everyone was enthralled with the food and music. If you missed the event, check out this clip of the Cliff Bells All Star Band performing “A Child is Born,” written by Thad Jones (who, by the way, was born and raised in Pontiac).

All in all, the event made for a great Sunday afternoon that brought people together. Follow us on twitter and join the conversation at the upcoming shuttles to exciting Detroit locales.

Here are the rest of the events scheduled as of now:

Faygo inside The Detroit Shoppe - Photo By Karpov

November 12, Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum at 10 am.
Meet at The Detroit Shoppe for continental breakfast
Guided tour of the museum and lunch at the museum’s restaurant
Return to The Detroit Shoppe for shopping and Sanders hot fudge sundae “shots”

November 18, Pewabic Pottery at 6 pm
Meet at The Detroit Shoppe for appetizers courtesy of Eastern Market
Tour, shopping and champagne toast at Pewabic
Return to The Detroit Shoppe for shopping and Sanders hot fudge sundae “shots”

December 3, Detroit Institute of Arts at 6 pm
Meet at The Detroit Shoppe for appetizers courtesy of Eastern Market
Tour of the museum
Return to The Detroit Shoppe for shopping and Sanders hot fudge sundae “shots”

December 10, Motown Museum/American Coney Island at 6 pm
Meet at The Detroit Shoppe for appetizers courtesy of Eastern Market

TBD: Eastern Market

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