Ben Bebonroth, the chef and owner of Spice of Life Catering, has taken over the Detroit-Shoreway property that in recent years and months has housed Snickers, La Boca, Roseangel and most recently Barrio, which hosted its last salsa night this past weekend.
"It's been a lot of things except for successful," Bebenroth says of the corner property.
In addition to moving Spice of Life Catering into the space, Bebenroth will open Spice Kitchen and Bar sometime before the end of the year. Joining him in the operation are chefs Brandon Walukus and Andy Strizak.
"We're still so busy with the catering business," he adds, noting that for now, that is his number one priority.
As for the concept, Bebenroth says that they're still tinkering. But diners can expect a great bar atmosphere with small plates, pizzas, and vegetarian-friendly items. The chef's relationships with small local farmers and producers that have served him so well in his catering business will be utilized for the menu as well.
"Same model," he says.
Spice of Life has earned a reputation for being one of the area's highest quality special events businesses. Spice, says Bebenroth, will allow them to broaden the brand.
"We're known as an upscale catering company," he says. "This is an opportunity to be more down to earth."