UDetroit brings media and food together
Melody Baetens/ The Detroit NewsUDetroit is a multimedia hub.
It's a coffee shop, bar, website, restaurant, webcast, performance space and social media network all in one. The focus, though, is Detroit talent.
"We think Detroit is a global music brand, and it hasn't been put out there like this," says founder Brian Pastoria. "We see so much great talent going on right here in so many different areas. … We can break new music, and we can show people where we've been and where we're going."
Brothers Brian and Mark Pastoria of Harmonie Park Media Group and Harmonie Park recording studio opened UDetroit Café two months ago in Paradise Valley, formerly dubbed Harmonie Park.
The café's main attraction is its stage, where local radio and music personalities host Detroit-centric shows about music, poetry, business, sports and more. Everything that happens inside the café is available to view online at UDetroit.com, which offers visitors a chance to connect social media-style with their Facebook, Yahoo or Google account.
"It's hyper-local," says Pastoria.
"We're talking about positive stuff happening in Detroit, Michigan, Metro Detroit, whatever. We're putting together this network that's open to the public and have it all put back into a social network online, and make it a café so it's brick and mortar and not just technology."
UDetroit Café broadcasts about three shows a day. WCSX-FM (94.7) personality Pam Rossi hosts a local music show Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
In the afternoons, Bob Bauer's show discusses the history of Detroit music, from Paradise Valley to Motown. Notable Detroit bassist Ralphe Armstrong takes over from 6-8 p.m. Fridays.
On Saturday, there will be a special event with WCSX's Doug Podell, who will host his radio show Motor City Beat live from 6-9 p.m. He'll talk to guests Gary Quackenbush of the Detroit band SRC, Paul Warren of Rod Stewart's band and local rock group Core Effect. Each guest will also perform live.
"I love that I can walk in the doors and have an eclectic group of people to mingle with as well as an inviting atmosphere," says Annie Rose Rosenthal of Ferndale, who often visits UDetroit Café on Thursday evenings during the Motorcity Special show, which plays vinyl records by local bands and hosts live performances.
"What I find so great are the prices. Almost everything on the menu is under $10," she adds. "My favorite is the Hitsville USA with a side of Motown Fries."
Hitsville USA is a grilled salmon sandwich ($6.95), and it's just one of a handful of Detroit-themed items on the UDetroit Café's menu. The bar's food is cooked in the kitchen of the adjacent Detroit Seafood Market restaurant.
For a light lunch, try the Raw Power tomato soup ($2.95) or the Detroit Techno Mix green salad ($4.95). Indulge in the Funk Brothers steak sandwich ($8.95) or Respect, which is macaroni and cheese with lobster ($10.95).
The espresso bar offers a bevy of caffeinated cups named after well-known Detroiters including John Sinclair, John Lee Hooker Jr. and DJ Linda Lexy. Aside from a full coffee bar, UDetroit serves beer, wine by the glass or bottle, champagne and mixed drinks.
UDetroit Café8 a.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Fri. and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Sat. (closed Sundays until mid-August)
1427 Randolph St., Detroit
Call (313) 962-0660
www.udetroit.com and www.udetroitcafe.com
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