Take a step from downtown Ann Arbor back to 1950's Detroit in new Jim Brady's Restaurant
The new Jim Brady's restaurant at 209 S. Main St., pays homage to the original Diamond Jim Brady's, which opened in 1954 on Seven Mile Road in Detroit.
"Diamond Jim" Brady was a 19th century New York City businessman known for his large appetite for food and jewelry. His style served as the inspiration for Detroit restaurateur Jim Brady, and Brady's grandson, Tom Brady Jr., wants to maintain that feel at the Ann Arbor restaurant. "We do design -- to a certain extent -- for design's sake, because that's what my grandfather did," Brady Jr. said. "He wanted to sell an experience, sell an atmosphere as well as incredible service, great food, great value. But make it fun."
Each level of the three-story restaurant and bar has a distinct style, evoking the '50s with a modern twist. The menu features American dishes like steak, chicken and waffles, French dip, burgers and mac and cheese.
Brady Jr. remembers being at his grandfather's restaurant growing up, and he always knew he wanted to carry on the family business. The original Diamond Jim Brady's in Detroit closed in 1990, and Brady Jr.'s stepmother, Mary Brady, still runs a Diamond Jim Brady's Bistro in Novi. "There's an energy that happens within a restaurant that is hard to find in other places," Brady Jr. said. "For me, I grew up in it. ... There was just something about it for me that was magnetic."
Renovations on the 7,000-square-foot restaurant took 13 months, with Detroit-based ROSSETTI doing the architectural design and Livonia-based George H. Pastor and Sons as contractor.
The red floor, lampposts and street signs marking each first-floor booth are inspired by the original Diamond Jim Brady's restaurant, which incorporated elements of New York City. The Ann Arbor restaurant adapted the street signs to pay tribute to Detroit.
Large photos of the original restaurant's owner and patrons adorn the exposed brick walls of the 1861 building. The second floor features red, turquoise and black glass mondrian panels on the walls, a long bar, several TVs and tan leather booths. The Brady family quote, "Them what has 'em wears 'em," embellishes one wall. The Five Four Room, named for the year the original Diamond Jim Brady's opened, occupies the third-floor mezzanine and offers views to the second floor bar area below, as well as Main Street.
Custom features on the third floor include the red diamond print on the walls, transparent red dome lights hanging over each red plush booth and three connected round tables, with the option to add leaves to make it a single long table. A 222-inch motorized screen visible from the second and third floors can drop down during big sporting events, and another 100-inch screen is available for TV or presentations in the Five Four Room. The second floor and Five Four Room are available to rent for private parties, with capacity for 100 people on the second floor and another 50 people on the third floor.
Blog adapted from an original article in MLIVE by Lauren Slagter. To be directed to the original article, CLICK HERE