Restaurant veterans go out on their own with the French-inspired Bar Pigalle
Two longtime members of the local hospitality and beverage industry are opening their own bar in early 2022. Inspired by the French Quarter that gave it its name, Carlton Lofts’ Brush Park’s Bar Pigalle is expected to feature cocktails artisanal and food in a refined but relaxed setting. setting.
It’s a nod to the town and neighborhood’s French roots, says co-owner Travis Fourmont, an award-winning mixologist who has worked behind the scenes to develop numerous bar programs at restaurants in the city. He and an associate, certified sommelier Joseph Allerton, met ten years ago while working together at Michael Symon’s Roast in Detroit.
Two guys with backgrounds in fancy drinks opening a French bar in a building that houses an expensive loft might seem snooty, but Fourmont says they want to be approachable and laid back while still providing high quality food and great service. . They want the drink deals to be exclusive, not the vibe.
“We want to be innovative, we want to showcase our skills and capabilities, but we also want to have a kind of old-fashioned staple,” said Fourmont. “It’s a huge thing. French is so classic and so good, but a lot of people think of French, they think of fine cuisine … where we want to have more of that atmosphere of a cocktail bar, a brasserie.”
Cocktails and the wine list will be the focus, but the food will not be an afterthought. They hired Chef Mike Conrad, who worked at Michelin accredited restaurants, to run the kitchen. “Nothing is off limits,” Conrad said in the Bar Pagille press release. “I take inspiration from the classics but I use everything I have in my toolbox to make it my own.”
Diners can expect staples like steak and chips, but also inventive and fun vegetarian dishes.
The Pigalle Bar and the Carlton Lofts are housed in a nearly 100 year old historic building designed by Louis Kamper, who was known as the architect of “Detroit’s Gilded Age”. Allerton and Fourmont say the area was part of the city’s jazz scene in the 1920s and 1930s, and want that vibe to continue at Bar Pigalle.
They worked with designers Pink + Wooderson – they designed nearby Gray Ghost and Second Best – to create the interior look. A published render shows a glamorous and inviting dining room with an expertly lit and well-stocked bar as a focal point.
When it comes to hiring, which is a huge hurdle for new and established restaurants right now, Fourmont says they not only want to hire people to take under their wing, but also take a step forward and offer employees receive additional training so that they can progress within the industry.
“I think the real opportunity here is to kind of split up, is to focus on training and developing the next wave of hospitality professionals,” said Fourmont. “With Joseph’s experience being a second level som and my experience of literally being an educator… we would love to find this hungry young talent and develop new people and breathe new life into hospitality.”
Bar Pigalle could open from mid-January at 2915 John R. in Detroit. Learn more at barpigalle.com.
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