DETROIT—Residents of a cluster of Detroit neighborhoods, known as the Villages, who have been clamoring for walkable retail and dining options can finally take out their walking shoes. Detroit Vegan Soul, the first of several new developments planned for the West Village neighborhood is set to officially open its doors this Saturday.
The vegan soul food cafe is one of four new establishments planned for Agnes Street between Van Dyke and Parke that backers hope will serve as the core of a revitalized business district for the Villages, which are located on Detroit’s east side.
Customers will be able to enjoy dishes from a 100-percent vegan soul food menu like “catfish” tofu and BBQ tofu as well as soups, sandwiches and side dishes like collard greens and corn bread. Owners Erika Boyd and Kirsten Ussery were finalists in the 2012 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest.
"Historically this area has been a destination for good food and we want to bring that tradition back to the neighborhood," Ussery said in a release. “We live here, and we’re invested in improving the quality of life for the neighborhood.”
Detroit Vegan Soul’s grand opening, which will feature a ribbon-cutting ceremony, live music and poetry, will take place at 8029 Agnes Street on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 3 to 7 p.m. The eatery will be open that day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The Villages Community Development Corporation, one of several partner organizations that helped bring the vegan cafe to the neighborhood, is, naturally, excited about the big day.
"It’s wonderful to know that this business, Detroit Vegan Soul, is an entrepreneurial effort from within the neighborhood," Brian Hurttienne, Executive Director of the Villages CDC, said in a release. "Our community is behind this effort and we know they will support this new business and the others coming soon."
The spiritual tea room Tarot and Tea, the coffee shop Red Hook, and the restaurant Craft Work, are also set to open on Agnes Street later this year. And, if that isn’t enough great news for residents, Hurttienne also hinted that other new ventures are in the works.
"We are already expanding our development interest in other areas of the Villages to complement these businesses, and further our commitment to Detroit to provide a unique urban experience in great neighborhoods," he said.