Architect: McIntosh Poris Associates
Michael Poris, AIA, Principal
Laurie Hughet-Hiller, AIA, Associate/Project Manager
Charles Heid, AIA, Architect
Jennifer Bueso, Interior Designer
Client: Kid Rock and Delaware North
Owner: Olympia Development
Size: 5,600 square feet; one floor
Little Caesars Arena is the centerpiece of The District Detroit, a 50-block, mixed-use area that includes eight theaters, three professional sports venues, and five neighborhoods. The restaurant and bar, shared kitchen, and next-door market are situated on the arena’s ground floor with direct access to Woodward Avenue on the outside, and the public interior concourse of the arena (called the Via).
A 293-seat casual dining restaurant with a small performance stage. Features bar, main dining area, private dining room, a lounge, exterior walk-up counter for beverage and retail sales, and outdoor seating on the Via and Woodward Avenue.
Detroit’s successful native son, Robert James Ritchie, a musician professionally known as Kid Rock, collaborated with McIntosh Poris Associates on the design of his Made in Detroit restaurant to reflect his personality and passion for his hometown. This destination, the musician’s first restaurant concept, is meant to draw fans, event-goers, and people from outside the arena to spur activity in the emerging The District Detroit, a 50-block urban area connecting Downtown and Midtown into a contiguous, walkable community. The architects drew on the singer’s wide ranging musical influences, combining urban, street, and country, while incorporating elements of a city bar, vintage steakhouse, and a southern-themed eatery. The centerpiece of the space is a wall designed to resemble the American flag with vintage speakers lining the red stripes, next to illuminated stars. This patriotic symbol serves as the backdrop to a stage where Kid Rock and up-and-coming musical talents can perform. Kid Rock memorabilia, including photos and guitars, is displayed throughout the interior. The menu mixes classic Detroit and Southern-influenced dishes, along with comfort foods and bar fare.
The restaurant can be entered from both the street and arena concourse, and the façades are varied to respond to their surroundings. An image of a spread-winged eagle, inspired by one of Kid Rock’s tattoos, is painted on the concourse entrance, while an illuminated marquee projecting from the Woodward Avenue side advertises the musical acts performing inside. The architects varied the street façades of the restaurant and adjacent market hall, which they also designed, to share the same kitchen, in order to break up the building expanse and provide a distinctive identity for each venue. The architectural character of the arena is respected with masonry piers extended to the ground and clad in precast concrete panels resembling stone.
Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit is open on both event and non-event days, providing activity and a street presence in this emerging neighborhood of sports and entertainment venues. The interior is designed to accommodate throngs of people attending events in the area for drink service as well as smaller crowds for restaurant seating. Eclectic furnishings include leather Chesterfield sofas, faux-cowhide-upholstered seating, and vinyl flooring resembling worn wood to capture the feeling of what Kid Rock calls the “Redneck Plaza.”
McIntosh Poris Associates is a full-service architecture, interiors, and urban design firm. Founded in 1994 by Michael Poris, AIA, and the late Douglas McIntosh, the firm transforms buildings, communities, and urban centers with architecture created through dialogue. Since 1994, McIntosh Poris Associates has won more than 100 awards for single- and multi-family residential, mixed-use, commercial, hospitality, institutional, and arts projects throughout Michigan, New York, and Ontario for private, public, and non-profit clients.
General Contractor: Barton Malow Hunt White
MEP Engineer: Strategic Energy Solutions
Structural Engineer: Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Lighting Design: Illuminart
Graphic Design and Branding: Patricia Spencer Design
Food Service Consultant: Next Step Design
Associate Architects: HOK
Photos: Michelle & Chris Gerard; Jason Keen