Toast of the Town … Can the city’s nightlife survive the era of COVID?


When it comes to good food and great times, Hamtramck has plenty to offer. In this column, we’ll talk about what’s happening at our bars, restaurants and at other events throughout the city.

Café 1923 is the latest business to re-open after shutting down during a statewide quarantine.


By Charles Sercombe
It’s been several months since Toast has had anything to toast about.
Of course, we can put the blame for that squarely on the shoulders of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Over the past few months, Hamtramck’s nightlife has trickled back to a small degree. Some restaurants and bars re-opened, thanks to the summer weather allowing dining and drinking to be conducted largely outside.
But what will happen once the colder weather settles in?
With all that said, it was encouraging to see that Café 1923 (located at 2287 Holbrook) host a soft opening this past Sunday.
Co-owner Shannon Lowell spent the past several months undergoing a do-over in the coffee house, from top to bottom. We kid you not.
He wiped down the ceiling and walls, repainted, sanded the wooden floors by hand, regrouted, fixed a leak in the bathroom, put UV protection on the windows, and several other imrpovements he mentioned.
Customers will be asked to wear masks when entering and leaving (and even for trips to the bathroom), and to practice social distancing.
Standard things we should all be doing when going into public spaces.
COVID doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, but it does appear to be less deadly, However, it can produce some horrendous side-effects, including lung and heart damage.
While we celebrate the return of Café 1923, we also heard some disturbing talk about four Hamtramck bars, including one that is a major music hall, that are closing down, and even be up for sale.
This poses the question: Will Hamtramck lose its status of being an entertainment destination for the metro Detroit area?
This pandemic shutdown has disrupted a lot of things. And we know that many folks in this town are in the service industry, and many lost their jobs, while we were all quarantining,
With winter approaching, they face the prospect of losing their jobs. Once cold weather returns, restaurants will have limited seating, meaning fewer employees will be needed.
If we lose our nightlife, Toast of the Town won’t have much left to cheer on.
Now that’s something we won’t raise a toast to.
Posted Oct. 16, 2020

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