Wayne County

602. Dabls MBAD African Bead Museum – February 4, 2023 – Detroit, MI

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!

6559 Grand River Ave.

Detroit, MI 48208


601. Roses Fine Food and Wine – January 29, 2023 – Detroit, MI

Roses left me absolutely charmed!

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!

10551 E. Jefferson Ave.

Detroit, MI 48214


598. Pivot Maker Collective – December 30, 2022 – Detroit, MI

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!

4160 Cass Ave., Ste. B.

Detroit, MI 48201

595. Sweet Potato Sensations – December 11, 2022 – Detroit, MI

A repeat visit to the Redford Theatre meant an excuse to check out Sweet Potato Sensations!

The Detroit-based bakery is located across the street from the iconic movie theater. An icon itself, it’s been in operation since 1987, crafting cakes, cookies, cheesecakes, pies, and other sweet treats.

Of course Sweet Potato Sensations sells sweet potato pie! And sweet potato cheesecake, sweet potato cookies, sweet potato cobbler, three-layer sweet potato cake – even sweet potato ice cream. It’s a cornucopia of sweet-spudded goodness!

And if sweet potatoes aren’t your thing, Sweet Potato Sensations offers baked goodies in other flavor varieties, as well. Try the decadent 3-Layer German Chocolate Cake or Cream Cheese Pound Cake.

Need something savory to wash down all that sweetness? Sweet Potato Sensations also offers meal-centric items such as the Salmon Croquette Sandwich, Black Eye Pea & Collard Green Soup, and The Chop Meal, a dish consisting of a fried turkey chop, sweet potato pancakes, and regular or sweet potato-infused grits.

The bakery’s interior is a cozy café, done in rich earth tones (or perhaps, sweet-potato tones?). Seating allows guests to enjoy Sweet Potato Sensations’ wares right then and there, and clothing and other goods by local vendors are for sale, as well.

I enjoyed my purchase from the bakery on the go, devouring a mini sweet potato pie in my friend’s car before I could even remember to take a picture of it. It was delicious, with creamy sweet potato filling and a buttery crust. I can’t wait to find another reason to be on Sweet Potato Sensations’ side of town so I can try more of its treats!

17337 Lahser Rd.

Detroit, MI 48219


594. Redford Theatre – November 4, 2022 – Detroit, MI

The Redford Theatre is a sweet piece of Detroit history that’s definitely worth experiencing!

The Detroit-based movie theater has a rich past. It opened in 1928, and while the Redford Theatre has had several owners and ups and downs in its 95-year history, it’s belonged to the Motor City Theatre Organ Society for decades. The nonprofit uses proceeds from event sales to maintain not only the pipe organ that’s been with the building since its inception (and that’s often played during show openings and intermissions), but also to restore and maintain the 1,610-seat theater.

The group’s efforts are evident. The Redford Theatre is a work of art. Hand-painted Japanese murals, rich reds and golds, velvet curtains, and intricate artistic detailing make this jewel box of a building a delight to behold. Viewing a film at the Redford makes me feel so fancy!

It also makes me feel like I’m in on a well-kept secret. A visit to the Redford is a magical night out on a budget! Tickets for single moving viewings are generally $5 ($6 if you add the $1 convenience fee when you purchase online), and prices at the cash-only concession stand (which sells water, pop, popcorn, candy, and other snacks) are incredibly modest. It’s a refreshing change of pace in this inflation-riddled time to spend under $10 on a night out.

The origins of the films screened by the Redford Theatre span the decades of its lifetime. There are black-and-white films from the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s; films from more modern times; and everything in between.

As of the writing of this post, there’s a Three Stooges festival scheduled for the weekend of April 21-22 and a March 10 showing of The Notebook. There’s a Silent Movie weekend in mid-April featuring films from 1928 (to commemorate the Redford’s 95-year anniversary) and those made by modern-day kids (via the International Youth Silent Film Festival Detroit Regional showcase). There’s a showing of 1959 award darling Ben-Hur and the 1988 darling of my childhood, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (I loved that movie as a kid!).

And there are special events that (understandably) fetch higher prices than those $5 movie nights. Examples include the Candlelight Concert series, which has the Redford’s stage awash with hundreds of lit candles, and meet-and-greet movie showings with VIP guests. The latter category includes a sold-out March 11 event featuring William Shatner, who will be here to give a talk and take photos with moviegoers after a showing of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

The theater’s eclectic collection of offerings is reflected in what I viewed during my two visits to it. The first time I visited the Redford Theatre, in early November, I saw the 1979 concert documentary Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The second time, a month later, I went for the annual Holiday Mystery Movie, which turned out to be the silly-cute 1945 rom-com, Christmas in Connecticut.

I will definitely be making the Redford’s Holiday Mystery Movie an annual tradition! Not only was it fun to be exposed to a classic Christmas movie I’d never heard of, I also enjoyed seeing the already-gorgeous Redford gussied up with holiday trimmings. The stage in front of the movie screen boasted both a tinsel-drenched tree sparkling with colorful lights and a model train set careening through a miniature Christmas village.

Whatever time of year you’re seeking magic, you’ll find it when you step into the Redford Theatre! Check out its upcoming shows on its website, and embrace this beautiful piece of Detroit’s past.

17360 Lahser Rd.

Detroit, MI 48219


593. Michno’s Café – November 4, 2022 – Redford, MI

Michno’s Café is a neighborhood bar oozing comfort and charm! The Redford-based pub offers down-to-earth environs; friendly, fast-moving servers; a well-stocked bar including a sizeable selection of Michigan craft brews; and a food menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, fish-n-chips, and other hearty pub fare.

With this visit, Redford is now represented on 100 Places in the D! It’s always exciting for me to feature another city on the blog. And it’s always exciting to celebrate the start of the weekend by taking that first bite of a rich, juicy cheeseburger, which Michno’s served up to me! I can also attest to its Trish’s Ultimate Reuben being excellent (a friend shared hers with me). And its fries. Michno’s fries were delectably crispy.

If you’re looking to feel at home in a cozy watering hole with fantastic food and fair prices, you can’t go wrong with Michno’s!

25524 5 Mile Rd.

Redford, MI 48239


586. Nain Rouge Brewery – October 8, 2022 – Detroit, MI

Nain Rouge Brewery, serving up sinfully good beer!

I discovered the Detroit-based brewery during birthday celebrations for moi last month. Friends ordered its beer during dinner at Smith & Co., and we noticed the brewery was right across the way. So we popped over for a round of drinks after, before continuing on to Willis Show Bar.

It turns out that Smith & Co. is the only restaurant to serve Nain Rouge’s wares. The brewery also works with Eastern Michigan University’s brewing school, according to its website, aiming to “help promote diversity in the beer industry.”

What an awesome partnership! Obviously, Nain Rouge Brewery’s character is nothing like its namesake’s, that legendary creature who is said to cause mayhem in the D. Nain Rouge the brewery was, in my experience, a welcoming place devoid of drama – a chill space to enjoy pre-show drinks. But the “red dwarf,” as its name translates, has left its imprint on the brewery – in the form of its devilishly delicious beer.

Nain Rouge’s current tap list boast a range of choices, from an amber lager to a coffee stout to a honey- and hibiscus-infused wheat beer. There are three kinds of IPAs, a kölsch, a pilsner – even an Oktoberfest selection. I went for the Wisehead Chocolate Vanilla Porter, and it was right up my alley: rich, tasty, smooth.

Maybe that’s how Nain Rouge the imp is able to sneak in and cause a ruckus: by being as smooth as Nain Rouge the brewery’s beers. Maybe Nain Rouge Brewery has more in common with its namesake than I initially thought!

666 Selden St.

Detroit, MI 48201


585. Smith & Co. – October 8, 2022 – Detroit, MI

A Saturday night spent with friends in Detroit: is there anything better? That’s especially the case when you’re dining on Smith & Co.’s Nain Rouge Mac & Cheese!

The Midtown/Cass Corridor-based restaurant and bar serves up hearty fare in a convivial environment. The interior ambiance can be described as upscale industrial: concrete floors, exposed beams, and destressed elements mixed with leather banquettes, gloss, and mod lighting.

Delving into the menu’s array of sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and entrées, I saw several choices that enticed me – the Korean Fried Chicken sandwich being one. I even toyed with the idea of getting a salad, intrigued by the Fried Green Tomato with its medley of kale, kamut, beans, radishes, red onion, snap peas, feta, croutons, mint, the titular tomatoes, and balsamic vinaigrette.

But the Nain Rouge Mac & Cheese won out – and I’m SO glad it did! The noodles were doused in creamy beer cheese and tossed with barbecue sauce-infused pulled beef, chunks of bacon, and fried onion. It was rich, flavorful, indulgent – the exact qualities you want a birthday dinner to have.

The drink I imbibed at Smith & Co. embodied those same traits. A luxurious mix of Kahlua, vodka, coffee, and dalgona topped with coffee foam, the Espresso Martini Chamber Seven was so nice, I ordered it twice! The current selection of specialty cocktails includes the Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned and a seasonal sangria. Beer from nearby Nain Rouge Brewery is on draft, and for those who don’t drink, a Zero-Proof section features two mocktails and drinks from the likes of local leisure soda vendor, Casamara Club.

Celebrating my birthday with friends at Smith & Co. was wonderful – namely because of those friends’ company. But the delicious food and drink amplified the experience. Thanks, Smith & Co., for helping make this special day even more special!

644 Selden St.

Detroit, MI 48201


583. Detroit Public Theatre – October 2, 2022 – Detroit, MI

Get swept away by story at Detroit Public Theatre!

Season Eight of the local theater company kicked off in a brand-new home: the renovated Third Avenue Garage building in Detroit’s Midtown/Cass Corridor neighborhood. Prior to this, Detroit Public Theatre held its plays at venues around town – most recently at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

The theater is a beauty of a building! The airy lobby is an elegant example of the industrial aesthetic, with neat concrete floors, exposed brick walls, and a wood-plank ceiling. A bar along one side serves beer, wine, cocktails, and non-alcoholic libations.

I was there to see Mud Row. Written by lauded playwright and native Detroiter Dominique Morisseau (who is also Detroit Public Theatre’s Executive Artistic Producer), the play explores themes of racism, civil rights, gentrification, and (oft-complex) family dynamics. The intimate theater was an ideal space for this emotionally raw, moving production. Seated a couple of rows from the actors, I definitely felt in on the action.

Mud Row wrapped on October 30. Detroit Public Theatre’s next production, Noura, a tale about an Iraqi immigrant family grappling with their past during the holiday season, debuts November 15. To learn more about Noura and Detroit Public Theatre’s other Season Eight productions – and to buy tickets! – click here.

3960 3rd Ave.

Detroit, MI 48201


581. Milk & Froth – September 18, 2022 – Detroit, MI

Milk & Froth, bringing summery ice-cream vibes year-round!

One unnaturally hot Sunday in mid-September, I fulfilled my dream to visit this ice cream shop operating out of the Guardian Building in downtown Detroit. Milk & Froth brings delicious dairy and non-dairy goodness in the form of intriguing ice cream flavors such as Malt Cherry Chocolate, Matcha Pistachio, and Chocolate Hazelnut.

I opted for one of Milk & Froth’s house-made waffle cones topped with scoops of Salted Caramel and Sea Salt Butter Cake. It was SOOOO good! The ice cream was richly flavorful and luxuriously creamy. And the waffle cone? It wasn’t mere window-dressing for the ice cream, but delectably fresh and crunchy.

I went for two of Milk & Froth’s dairy ice creams, but I was tempted by a couple of the vegan varieties. My friend raved about the Roasted Strawberry made with coconut cream, roasted strawberries, and strawberry compote.

This visit to Milk & Froth was the topper to an amazing day spent spent wandering Detroit, which included visits to Founders, Astoria Pastry Shop, and the world’s largest rubber duck on display outside Huntington Place (or Cobo Hall, as it’s still known in our hearts!). EVERYONE was out that day: at the auto show, the Lions game, the Tigers game, the restaurants, the casinos. It was my favorite view of Detroit: brimming with all kinds of people enjoying all the city has to offer. Milk & Froth is one such offering, and it’s one you shouldn’t sleep on! Grab a cone or pint from the shop – or seek out pints at the stores showcased on its website.

535 Griswold St.

Detroit, MI 48226