In honor of Black History Month, we've gathered a list of some of our favorite Black-owned shops, retailers, restaurants, and businesses in the Midtown and New Center neighborhoods. These businesses and their leaders and teams are part of what makes these Detroit communities so vibrant, and they offer a wide range of indispensable services that we encourage you to support and patronize for years to come.
Art Loft; Jessica J. Trevino for Detroit Free Press
When you're looking for something unique for yourself or your home, you will want to head to quirky boutique Art Loft, located at 4160 Cass Ave. Each item is lovingly curated by owner Rachael Adadevoh-Woods, whose passion for one-of-a-kind goods crafted by both local and international artists shines through each piece of clothing, accessory, or housewares item. From jewelry and shoes to kitchenware and linens, Art Loft is one-stop-shop for trendsetters and gift givers alike.
Hour Detroit; Gerard + Belevender for Detroit Free Press
Husband and wife Hamissi Mamba and Nadia Nijimbere are the minds and palates behind the delicious East African-inspired dishes found at their restaurant and market Baobab Fare, located at 6568 Woodward Ave., Suite 100. Having immigrated to Detroit from Burundi in 2014, Mamba and Nijimbere are experts at crafting flavorful, mouth-watering meals and established Baobab with the intention to create a safe, welcoming space for Detroiters old and new alike.
Nick Hagen; Lake Trust Credit Union
After spending years working in corporate America, Ne’Gyle Beaman noticed a lack of high-quality, fashionable neck wear and accessories for men, and decided to take matters into his own hands. In 2013 he launched Bleu Bowtique, located at 3939 Woodward Ave., Suite 20, with the goal to provide Detroiters with bow ties, neck ties, cuff links, pocket squares, lapel pins, and more of the finest quality and style to perfectly complement upscale menswear, even offering custom services for a true bespoke experience.
The Block; Crain's Detroit
Food is a family business to Stephanie Byrd, co-owner of The Block, located at 3919 Woodward Ave. After studying marketing and communications at Howard University for her undergraduate degree and earning a Masters from Johns Hopkins University, Stephanie returned to her roots and family restaurant business in Detroit, turning The Block into a destination gastropub featuring global-inspired dishes and contemporary flavors.
Google; Joe Powers/Insitu Photography
The Griot; Nina Simone Bentley
The West African figure of a Griot, a storyteller, poet, musician, and oral historian, is where this cozy listening lounge and bar gets its name. Founded by Detroit comedian and entertainer Karen Addison, her husband Scott Boswell, and record-curator Jonathan Taylor, The Griot, located at 66 E. Forest Ave., serves as an intimate space to listen to a huge selection of vinyl with genres spanning from blues, R&B, jazz, rock, and more on a state-of-the-art sound system. Patrons can also enjoy hand-crafted cocktails and monthly pop-ups from local chefs.
Ima; Junfu Han for Detroit Free Press
Chef and owner Mike Ransom's mouth-watering menu at Ima is the perfect fusion of his classic French culinary training as well as his love for Japanese cuisine. At Ima Midtown, located at 4870 Cass Ave., diners can find a dynamic menu consisting of carefully crafted Japanese-style noodles, pho, ramen, and rice bowls, served alongside a curated selection of spirits in a vibrant atmosphere. With vegan-friendly options, Ima can't be beat for their globally-inspired flavors and complex yet delightfully simple dishes.
Cooking with Que
Located at 6529 Woodward Ave., Suite A, The Kitchen serves as Detroit's only demonstration kitchen and shared culinary space, spearheaded by executive chef and founder Quiana "Que" Broden. Both vegans and meat-eaters alike can enjoy earth-concious meals from Chef Que, tasting menus from local chefs, and culinary demonstrations and cooking classes in a contemporary sixteen-seat kitchen classroom. At The Kitchen, you can learn a new skill and enjoy delicious cuisine all at once.
K. Walker Collective
Inspired by the spirit of craftsmanship ingrained in Detroit musicians, artists, and creatives, Ken Walker launched his luxury clothing brand, K. Walker Collective, in 2018. Featuring a wide range of clothing and accessory styles from business casual, high streetwear, and refined comfort, Walker opened his brick-and-mortar store front, located at 4161 Cass Ave., in 2022, where it serves as a one-stop-shop for the young, modern professional and creative.
Founded by brothers Darryl and DeKoven Humes in 2017, Mature is a destination lifestyle clothier, specializing in high quality, timeless menswear and accessories for every occasion and event, from travel, nightlife, office, and everyday wear. With a New Center location in the Fisher Building at 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 116, Mature also offers custom styling and wedding consultations in addition to providing contemporary, upscale wardrobe pieces.
Doug Combe; David Lewinski, Second Wave Media
Founded by George N'Namdi, a leading art dealer and gallerist, in 1980, N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, located at 52 E. Forest Ave., showcases artists on a national scale as well as emerging local artists and specializes in contemporary, abstract art. The N'Namdi Collection represents more than a century of African American art in every genre, and seeks to secure the legacy of African American artists and to educate audiences on the contributions of artists of African descent to modern art.
Located at 4240 Cass Ave., Suite 105, Source Booksellers is a bookworm's dream. Proprietor Janet Webster Jones, a retired Detroit Public Schools educator and daughter of a librarian, thoughtfully curates a selection of fiction and non-fiction books and lifestyle items, making it the ultimate neighborhood resource to learn about topics spanning from history and culture to metaphysics and spirituality. Featuring book signings and readings, Source also serves as a hub for literary live events.
With a knack for cooking up flavorful Japanese specialities, Chef Mike Ransom expanded his talents by opening SuperCrisp, located at 4830 Cass Ave., Suite C. This trendy, casual eatery offers Japanese-inspired fast food, including karaage-fried chicken and tofu sandwiches and fusion twists on American classics. Comfort food + unique, thoughtful ingredients = delicious meals and snacks.
Textures by Nefertiti; Michigan Chronicle
Textures by Nefertiti owner Nefertiti Harris uses her extensive training in spiritual practices such as reiki, yoga, energy balancing, and meditation in combination with her knowledge of natural hair care to create a one-of-a-kind experience at her salon and spa, located at 6525 Woodward Ave. Harris views herself as a spiritual coach to individuals in the process of embracing their natural hair, and she and her team offer services such as braids, locs, twists, cuts, and much more, ensuring their spot as a staple in the Detroit natural hair community.
YumVillage; Cybelle Codish for Tostada Magazine
Godwin Ihentuge, owner of YumVillage, New Center location at 64500 Woodward Ave., was inspired to create a menu that celebrated both his Nigerian and African-American heritage and is infused with the rich flavors of Afro-Carribean regions, featuring ingredients sourced directly from Haiti, the Carribean, and West Africa. YumVillage creates ready-to-eat meals that are as delicious as they are nutritious, and offers a food delivery service that seeks to emphasize food accessibility and community.