The Stand to Offer Birmingham a Sophisticated Dining Experience, Owners Say
Developers presented their plans for The Stand, the restaurant looking to replace Zazios, to the city Wednesday night, noting Zazios "wasn't right for Birmingham."
Plans for The Stand — the new restaurant looking to move into the Greenleaf Trust Building at Maple and Woodward — came before the city for the first time Wednesday night.
The Stand, described as an upscale and sophisticated eatery, will replace Zazios, which announced it would be closing in January. The Italian restaurant has since scaled back its operations, Planning Director Jana Ecker said, and plans to close this spring.
On Wednesday night, the Planning Board unanimously approved The Stand's final site plan review and request to add them to Zazios' economic development license — a form of liquor license for restaurants looking to revive the Woodward corridor.
The Stand will be located inside the Greenleaf Trust Building and be owned by Chef Paul Grosz, currently the owner of Cuisine Restaurant in Detroit, and John Kelly, the general manager of The Capital Grille at Somerset in Troy.
Serving a variety of small plates, seafood, steak and charcuterie, the interior of The Stand will be designed by area architect Victor Saroki, of Victor Saroki & Associates.
The physical changes to the restaurant will be fairly minimal, Saroki said: there will be a redesigned entryway featuring large, glass, double doors off Peabody Street — making the entrance easier to find.
Zazios' demonstration kitchen, meanwhile, will be replaced with a smaller chef's counter.
Where Zazios was colorful and playful, Saroki said The Stand will provide a private, sophisticated experience. Shades will also be added to the restaurant's wall of windows facing Woodward, making The Stand cozier than Zazios, Saroki said, and less exposed to the bright headlights of Woodward.
"The former design just wasn't appropriate for Birmingham," Saroki said.
Patti Owens, owner of the Catalyist Development, Co. and the developer behind Zazios' original location in Kalamazoo, agreed.
"The minute that the orange went up on the wall and the blue neon went in, I knew (Zazios) was going to fail," Owens told the Planning Board. "Birmingham has a much more sophisticated demographic when it comes to the diner."
Why is it called The Stand?
"We developed (the restaurant) around the concept that everyone has opened a lemonade stand at one time," a representative from the new management team said Wednesday. "Every community has a market, so every community should have a stand."
Final plans for The Stand, as well as their request regarding the economic development license, now go to the Birmingham City Commission for final approval.
Are you excited about The Stand coming to Birmingham?