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Hold Your Tongue, if You Can: 220 Restaurant to Reopen in June

Birmingham businesswoman Denise Ilitch plans to reopen 220 in June. The rich oak interiors and crown molding will remain intact, but renovations will offer some surprises.

The popular downtown Birmingham restaurant 220 will reopen in June. (Patch file photo)
The popular downtown Birmingham restaurant 220 will reopen in June. (Patch file photo)

The popular downtown restaurant 220 is expected to reopen in June under its old name with rich oak walls and crown molding intact, but with some new features like WiFi and electronic charging stations that will give the restaurant a more contemporary feel.

Attorney and businesswoman Denise Ilitch and Zail Elia of the Elia Group real estate development and management company purchased the restaurant property, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Both are well-schooled in the restaurant business. Ilitch is part of the Little Caesar’s Pizza family. The Elia Group manages properties that house more than 100 Subway restaurants.

Chef Luis Reyes will return when the restaurant reopens and will resurrect part of the old 220’s menu – think spicy penne and risotto balls – while introducing some new fare that Ilitch said will be Contemporary American.

While historic aspects of the old Detroit Edison building at 220 E. Merrill St. will be preserved, expect some new touches from Chicago architect and restaurant designer Mark Knauer, who has designed several Ralph Lauren cafés, Ocean Prime and Cameron Mitchell restaurants. His local partner is Birmingham architect Christopher Longe.

“He has a wealth of ideas,” Ilitch told Free Press restaurant critic Sylvia Rector, “and I wanted to bring a unique design element to the community.”

Ilitch said she will relocate her offices to upper floor of the building. She also owns and operates Denise Ilitch Designs, a jewelry and clothing design company at 105 Townsend.
GW March 06, 2014 at 06:51 AM
It will be interesting to read comments about the new 220 and the impact of the new owners.

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