The Berkley-based shop knows all about the pride that comes from making a map of the Upper and Lower peninsulas with your hands. It sells Michigan-centric gear: sweatshirts, hats, mugs, pins, t-shirts, toys, candles, water bottles, and more promoting the Great Lakes state. Many of the products it stocks are also Michigan-made, according to its website.
While the Berkley location of this indie business calls Metro-Detroit home, Peninsulas embraces Up North via a Cross City location. It’s spreading the love of our fair state far and wide – and what’s not to love about that?
Shop made-in-Michigan at Yellow Door Art Market! The Berkley-based shop champions local makers, featuring goods ranging from clocks to candles, shirts to soaps, magnets to art prints.
Yellow Door offers a great selection of Michigan- and Detroit-focused fare and many fun and funny items (one example: cutting boards emblazoned with sayings such as “Wine makes football more interesting” and “I like pig butts and cannot lie”). There’s handmade jewelry; essential-oil-infused beard oils; stickers emblazoned with inspirational sayings; and candles that smell like Michigan things (by Wyandotte-based candle brand JKM Soy Candles). It’s a treasure trove of delights: the perfect place to purchase a gift (for a loved one or yourself). Treat yourself to a dose of whimsy and step inside Yellow Door!
Book Suey is for book lovers! And for lovers of sweet connection and community.
Housed in the Bank Suey building in Hamtramck, this co-op book shop fosters community by regularly hosting events such as author readings, a flash fiction writing club, a mending circle, and a monthly book club.
Patrons browsed the shelves during my trip to Book Suey, but there were also people just hanging out, reading or chatting. I could see why they found the shop so appealing: it exudes warmth. Twinkle lights, potted plants, and ample sunlight streaming through its several windows – not to mention the gorgeous details it maintains by being housed in a hundred-year-old building – give it cozy, down-to-earth vibes. Written staff recommendations add a personal touch to its offerings, a carefully curated selection of fiction and nonfiction, including a section devoted to Michigan authors and publications.
The warmth of the ambiance is superseded only by the warmth of Book Suey’s staff. I only interacted with one staff member during my time there, but they were lovely, enthusiastically affirming my book choice, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (the staff-recommended pick piqued my interest!).
A love of bookshops is practically embedded in my DNA; I don’t need an excuse to visit them. But I especially don’t need an excuse to visit Book Suey. Its sweet vibes, staff, and community events make revisiting a given.
Dabls MBAD African Bead Museum is an igniter! Visiting it sparks joy, inspiration, creativity, community.
The Detroit-based museum is many things. For starters, it’s a community-fostering and educational space for African Americans, a space for founder Olayami Dabls’ “community to understand the immense power of their African heritage,” as explained on its website.
The Our Story section of Dabls’ website gives a detailed backstory of the museum and its mission that’s wholly worth the read. It explains how Dabls went from working for 15 years at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to build his museum “with the intention to use art for its original purpose in Africa. Instead of using art for entertainment or to make money, he uses art to stimulate emotional and cultural healing.”
While Dabls is a place for African Americans to connect with these aspects of its mission, it welcomes everyone. People of all racial and ethnic backgrounds travel from all over the globe to visit the museum, from far-flung locales such as Germany, the UK, Switzerland, and Gabon. International visitors are featured regularly on the museum’s Instagram account.
A trip to Dabls might start with a visit to its bead gallery. Selling beads that span the decades (some are hundreds of years old), it’s an absolute delight to browse – especially if you’re a crafter. Loose beads are for sale at all manner of price points, crafted from all manner of materials. But fully-formed necklaces are for sale, too.
In the gallery, ’80s-era ceramic beads mingle with beads carved from wood and bone; Lucite beads glisten like marbles. There are beads made from ebony wood and brass, from precious stones such as jade, carnelian, and amber – even 500-year-old hand-carved quartz beads (sold for $80 apiece on Dabls’ website). It’s a glorious site to behold, this bead shop: a kaleidoscope of colors, artisanship, and possibility.
I found a pretty strand of beads already fashioned into a necklace at Dabls’ bead gallery. Round, amber-colored beads streaked with black, they appear to be Lucite. The necklace has a ’70s vibe and regularly finds its way into my wardrobe rotation, making it well worth its $20 price tag.
Dabls himself was manning the shop the day of my visit and was kind enough to give me an overview of the beads housed there. He also gave me free rein to browse the art displayed on the grounds of the museum. It was cold and snowy on the day of my late-January visit, but I didn’t let that stop me from exploring!
That brings us to the art-installation component of Dabls. The 18 art installations on Dabls’ campus are stunning displays of color, texture, and creativity. They’re my favorite kind of art: found object. Scrap metal, wood, mop heads, a tractor: materials such as these meld together to form stunning displays, all artistically enhanced with brushstrokes and splatters of colorful paint.
One display toward the back of the campus is especially stunning. The exterior of the N’kisi House hosts a mural bursting with vibrant colors and textures. It’s an absolutely gorgeous site to behold.
The exterior of the bead gallery is no slouch, either. As you approach its entrance on Vinewood Street, your eyes will be dazzled by an abundance of art: gorgeous, rainbow-colored murals and found-object sculptures.
If you’re looking to experience such a dazzling, treat yourself to a trip to Dabls! Admission is free, though the museum does accept donations; see the Support the Expansion page of its website to donate and learn about its growth plans. I expect that growth will lead to further kindling of creativity!
The Detroit-based café and bakery serves up sweet vibes along with its sweet treats. It’s a place where you can get a delicious baked good; a great cup of coffee; a fresh-made loaf of bread; an artfully crafted panini, soup, or salad; or a bottle of natural wine. Or take a class on topics such as cake decorating and bread-making. You can even join one of Roses’ monthly wine clubs, opting for one of two subscriptions: one of which offers a fresh-baked loaf of sourdough bread along with the featured bottle of wine (Wine and Bread club? Yes, please!).
I came to Roses as a Sunday afternoon treat: a caffeine-and-dessert-fueled journaling session. I sat at the long counter facing the food-prep area and ordered a rose latte and a raspberry oat bar.
The rose latte was wonderful with its rich espresso flavors, delicate foam, and sprinkling of crushed dried rose petals. And the raspberry oat bar was absolutely delicious. I expected it to be dry and crumbly in texture, but it was oh-so-soft, with lusciously sweet raspberry jelly and a delectably moist oat crumble. WOW, do I want another one of those oat bars!
I topped off my time at Roses with an espresso, which was such a wonderful treat, rich and flavorful.
I savored the ambiance of Roses much as I savored that espresso. The café is incredibly cute. It’s housed in this charming old building whose exterior is painted mint green; roses and other flowers in shades of pink, peach, red, and yellow garland the doorway.
The interior is small but cozy. Chandeliers crafted from faux flowers hang from the tin-paneled ceiling, and little round marble-topped tables hold vases of flowers on their gleaming surfaces. Blackboard signs showcase the shop’s fares in colorfully chalked script, and a rack near the back houses Roses’ carefully curated selection of natural wines.
Custom-made cakes are a big part of what Roses offers. Check the Custom Cakes section of its website to see pictures of its gorgeous cakes with their elaborate designs done in buttercream frosting.
Roses’ website is also where you can view its current class offerings. Check it out and daydream about a visit to Roses. Then make that visit happen and experience the charm for yourself!
RH House, offering luxe dishes and drinks in a sophisticated setting! This is the perfect place to hole up on a chilly Saturday night with a ribeye steak and piece of cake. I speak from experience!
The restaurant based in Rochester Hills actually had me tempted to order a salad. I know I couldn’t have gone wrong with the RH Salad, a mix of greens, tangerine, apple, feta, candied pecans, dried cherries, red onion, and a honey-balsamic vinaigrette. But the 16-ounce ribeye called to me from the midst of the dinner menu. That menu features decadent pastas such as the Pappardelle Sausalito (pappardelle noodles tossed with hot Italian sausage, cremini and shiitake mushrooms, and a tomato-basil cream sauce) and Scallop Carbonara; seafood dishes including sea bass and teriyaki-glazed salmon; steaks, chops, and chicken (see the RH Prime Rib and a 28-ounce bone-in Tomahawk ribeye that’s been dry-aged for 28 days); sandwiches; starters; salads – even a Build Your Own Wagyu Burger with topping options such as Gruyère, egg, and garlic aioli.
Navigating through those tantalizing choices, I stuck with the ribeye, and I’m glad I did. It was the most beautiful piece of meat. Look at it, resplendent in its char-marked glory and glistening juices! It was absolutely as delicious as it looks, tender and flavorful. It was such a treat to enjoy with a mix of veggies and my starch of choice, a creamy risotto.
The richness persisted as I ended the meal with RH House’s Eight Layer Carrot Cake. As the name suggests, this was not a dainty petit four of a dessert. No, this was a veritable slab, studded with candied pecans, striated with layers of cream cheese frosting, and drizzled with caramel. It was an oh-so-decadent end to an already luxurious meal.
What a perfect place this was to celebrate my 600th visit for 100 Places in the D! Whether you’re looking to celebrate your own milestone or a run-of-the-mill Tuesday, you can’t go wrong with RH House. It’s open daily, and I’ve barely scratched the surface of its menus: it offers happy hour, lunch, brunch, a well-stocked bar – and of course, dinner and desserts.
Have a fun and flavorful night on the town at Regale Craft Food & Drink! The Macomb-based restaurant and bar is a classy, convivial place to grab a well-crafted drink and sample delicious dishes.
Regale’s menu consists of shareable-sized dishes representing a variety of cuisines. Lamb Empanada and House-Made Gnocchi sit alongside Kimchi Fried Rice and Wild Mushroom Croquettes. As explained in the About section of Regale’s website, the “moderately portioned dishes are perfect for sharing so that everyone can experience a variety of offerings that Chef Shawn has carefully created.”
I can attest to that! Admittedly, I didn’t share either of the dishes I ordered at Regale. But I did order two dishes that represented wholly different cuisines: the Poutine (total TGIF fare!) and the Curried Vegetables (my attempt to balance the Poutine’s decadence with healthfulness).
The Poutine came out before the Curried Vegetables, and I was so into it that I ended up crushing the entire dish. How could I not when the fries came topped with a heaping mound of tender beef brisket, creamy cheese curds, crispy fried onion, sumptuous demi-glace, and a generous drizzle of sour cream? They were so rich, so flavorful, SOOO delicious!
Because I filled up on that Poutine, I didn’t get to savor enough of The Curried Vegetables until I finished them later at home. Served with rice, this was a comfort-food dish in its own right. It was a delight to eat the steaming-hot veggies and rice complemented by the creaminess of the coconut milk, the crunch of the cashews, and the vibrance of the curry and cilantro.
Speaking of complementary: if you’re looking to get a well-balanced cocktail at Regale, you can’t go wrong with the Date Night. Consisting of a date-infused vodka complemented by ginger, thyme, and green cardamom, the well-balanced cocktail is a very easy sip. And if sweet-and-spicy is your thing, go for the Ghostarita: a lively concoction of ghost pepper-infused tequila, chili, and mango.
Regale’s craft cocktail menu is intriguing enough that I can’t see myself veering from it. But if I did, I’d have a well-curated selection of beer, wine, and spirits to choose from.
Careful curation: that’s what Regale is all about! Well-prepared, flavorful food and drink, inviting ambiance, and stellar service meld to make a place people want to be.
Snag yourself a statement find at Pivot Maker Collective! Support local artists in the process.
Pivot is an art gallery and shop in Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood; it opened at the end of last year. I stumbled across it during a stroll through the neighborhood, after visits to Bon Bon Bon and Nora.
I wasn’t planning on buying anything when I stopped in; I was simply intrigued by a storefront I’d never seen before. But then I spotted this necklace. It was comprised of gleaming copper circles, linked together to form a triangle. It was gorgeous!
The artist who crafted the striking statement piece, Danny K. Dunbar, was working the shop that day. The copper circles were pennies, Danny explained. That was why Danny had dubbed the piece “changemail” – a punny name reflecting how the shiny, reworked pennies resembled chainmail.
Pivot held more of Danny’s beautiful pieces, plus work by other local artists: paintings and other wall art; candles; clothing; and more. Danny, the originator and organizer of Pivot, explained that the space would also act as a gallery, spotlighting different artists’ work. The first artist showcase happened in February, as Pivot hosted works of painter, sculptor, designer, and curator Uta Brauser.
I don’t know about you, but artist showcases are sounding like the exact antidote I need to cure my end-of-winter doldrums. That’s why I’m following Pivot’s Instagram account (pivotdetroit) so I’m up on the shop’s happenings!
Cozy up to The Backdoor Taco and Tequila Bar! You’ll be privy to its selection of over 150 tequilas, plus margaritas, craft cocktails, and of course, tacos.
The bar based in downtown Rochester has a Not Tacos section on its menu, too (yes, that’s literally what it’s called). So if one of The Backdoor’s seven taco varieties isn’t speaking to you, you can order nachos, flautas, or another Not Tacos treat.
Tacos are always speaking to me. I ordered two of The Backdoor’s tasty Pork Carnitas tacos, opting for the “Street Style” preparation: tacos incorporating two corn tortillas, with diced onion and cilantro atop the filling, and served with a lime wedge. As part of the Make It a Combo! deal, I added sides of rice and beans.
Waiting for my tacos, I sipped a Blackberry Beret margarita on the rocks (Hornitos Reposado tequila and triple sec infused with muddled blackberries, agave syrup, and fresh lime juice) and soaked up the ambiance of the sleek, dimly-lit bar. The Backdoor’s small interior lends an intimate vibe, aiding in its aim to embody a speakeasy. Its nondescript storefront and location behind its sister restaurant, D’Marco’s, further enhance that vision.
Everybody wants to steal away from the real world sometimes – and if you can do that and eat tacos, even better. The next time you’re seeking solace in the form of shredded chicken or shrimp tacos, sidle up to The Backdoor’s bar!
Compelling cheeses and Christmas cheer: that’s what The Cheese Lady was doling up this December!
The downtown Rochester location is one of seven in this female-run business. It’s the sole shop in the Metro-Detroit area, operating out of a grand Victorian house with sky-blue siding and gingerbread trim. The other six stores are further afield, in Michigan cities including Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and Muskegon.
Given The Cheese Lady’s name, it’s no surprise that the dairy-based good is its focus. But The Cheese Lady is no run-of-the-mill cheesemonger. According to its website, it has curated “an impressive selection of 150 artisan cheeses from all over the world.”
That’s a LOT of cheese! And I can attest to the impressiveness of The Cheese Lady’s selection. I went there to pick up a cheese that my friend loves, a mango-ginger Stilton. The white Stilton was studded with chunks of ginger and fruit. For myself, I got the delightfully aged Deer Creek 7 Year Cheddar. It was the perfect touch in a homemade mac ‘n’ cheese.
I went to The Cheese Lady for those tasty cheeses, but I was tempted to buy more. Neat displays of fruits, nuts, crackers, and jams festooned with holly garlands enticed me. The staff was brimming with holiday cheer, too. Everyone I encountered was lovely. Their helpful and kind customer service no doubt extends beyond the holiday season. That and the gorgeous selection of cheeses will bring me back to The Cheese Lady!