Business Briefs: Social Kitchen Sets June 21 Opening and More

What's going on in the Birmingham business community? A new spa sets a June 15 opening date while the Principal Shopping District commissions a downtown study.

Here's a snapshot of what's going on in the Birmingham's business community this week:

Opening: Social Kitchen and Bar set for June 21 opening

Birmingham's newest bistro — Social Kitchen and Bar — will be opening their doors on June 21 at 225 E. Maple Rd.

With a rooftop dining deck and tables in the adjoining alleyway, the 150-seat restaurant will feature a menu that takes an upscale twist on classic American cuisine.

"I wanted a value-driven menu that's affordable for anyone, without making any sacrifices in the quality of the food," said chef and owner Zack Sklar. "It's called Social because this is a place for everyone. It doesn't matter who you are or how much money you make."

, picked by city commissioners from an original field of five applicants in late 2011.

According to Sklar, Social will offer more outdoor seating than any other restaurant in the city, with 34 seats on a seasonal rooftop deck and 56 seats in an adjoining alley, a dining area that will be open all year round.

Social will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-midnight and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. For reservations or carryout, call 248-594-4200.

Principal Shopping District commissions downtown study

At its monthly meeting on June 7, the (PSD) board approved a study taking a look at why people visit downtown Birmingham.

The board hired Strategic Edge of Sylvan Lake, according to a report in Downtown Birmingham/Bloomfield, at a cost of $22,500. The study, which begins next month and will wrap up in September, will study how many people are coming to downtown Birmingham for the shopping, dining, entertainment or something else entirely.

This isn't the first time the PSD has commissioned a consumer market study. Strategic Edge of Sylvan Lake has performed two similar studies downtown in 2002 and 2006.

HipCityDeals purchased by Illinois firm

The Bingham Farms-based daily deals website, HipCityDeals, has been purchased by DBG Networks, the founder of another Metro Detroit daily deal website, OyWhatADeal in December 2010.

With the merger, DBG Networks, which is based in Northbrook, IL and led by Franklin native Brian Giles, will operate both websites independently. HipCityDeals management will continue on as consultants.

"We look forward to working with Brian Giles and his team to continue offering great deals from great merchants under the HipCityDeals brand," said Julie Plotnik, HipCityDeals president and co-founder, in a recent press release.

Frank Street Bakery celebrates ribbon-cutting

The celebrated the official ribbon-cutting of Birmingham's newest bakery last week, .

, Frank Street Bakery is owned by Birmingham residents Matt and Grace Dersa. The couple formerly owned a small delicatessen in Florida, where they picked up the skills and recipes they've brought to Birmingham.

Frank Street Bakery sells sandwiches, salads, homemade soups, desserts, coffee and Ray's Ice Cream at 420 E. Frank St., formerly the site of Cinderella's Attic.

Opening: Luxury men's boutique opens in Complex

The luxury men's clothing boutique, Maple, has joined the roster of stores at Birmingham's , located at 168 W. Maple Rd.

According to co-owner Brandon Schram, the store sells everything from pants, to button-down shirts to bathing suits — all with a "laid back luxury vibe with sophistication."

Schram owns the shop with his partner Brad Friedman. Friedman said the design of the store is both rustic and industrial, inspired largely by the city of Detroit. "The back wall was created using wooden factory doors from the old Westinghouse Factory in Corktown," Friedman told Downtown.

Opening: New spa set for North Old Woodward

Opening this week on North Old Woodward Avenue will be Birmingham's newest spa, The Socialite Beauty Bar. Located at 191 N. Old Woodward, the spa is owned by Adrian Simone.

Simone said the spa will offer manicures, pedicures and make-up application, all the while selling items such as body butter, nail polish and sugar scrubs. The spa's official opening is scheduled for June 15, Simone said.

Upcoming Events:

  • Summer Wined Up: 5-8 p.m. June 14, historic Franklin business district
  • Member Golf Outing: July 16, Plum Hollow Country Club


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