Michael Symon’s Roast restaurant in Detroit abruptly closes

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  • Michael Symon
    American chef
The exterior of Roast restaurant, as seen on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. The restaurant's website says it is now permanently closed.
The exterior of Roast restaurant, as seen on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. The restaurant's website says it is now permanently closed.

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Michael Symon’s Roast restaurant in Detroit's Westin Book Cadillac hotel has abruptly closed.

The upscale steakhouse had been a prominent fixture in the downtown dining scene since 2008, when it opened at the same time as the grand reopening of the historic hotel. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Roast was known for having one of the best bar happy hour menus in the city.

The restaurant's detailed website was taken down Sunday and the landing page changed to only read "permanently closed." There were no other details.

Restaurant management could not be immediately reached for comment. Roast is ordinarily closed on Sundays and Mondays and the restaurant was empty and locked up Sunday afternoon.

Roast's closure follows the sale last month of the 453-room Book Cadillac, 1114 Washington Blvd., by Cleveland developer John Ferchill to a joint venture between Chicago-based real estate firm Oxford Capital Group and a New York-based hedge fund called Taconic Capital Advisors.

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Symon, the Food Network, ABC and Cooking Channel star from Cleveland, opened Roast when Ferchill reopened the hotel in 2008 following an extensive rehab and decades of abandonment.

Former restaurant critic Mark Kurlyandchik in 2019 lauded the steakhouse for still being everything in Detroit more than a decade after it opened. He noted the restaurant for its legacy and how it was still drawing crowds, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.

Late Free Press restaurant critic Sylvia Rector named Roast the Detroit Free Press' 2009 Restaurant of the Year, writing at that time how it “represents so much more of what Detroit needs. Another catalyst for a livelier downtown. An advocate for the farm-to-table local foods movement in a rich agricultural region. A magnet for visitors. Affordable high-end dining.”

The much-lauded restaurant had several temporary shutdowns during the pandemic and reopened last July.

Prior to the permanent closure, a recent Facebook post had announced Roast's legendary happy hour was set to return starting Tuesday.

The darling of its happy hour was the classic Roast burger topped with cheddar, bacon, pickled red onion and a fried egg served on an English muffin along with its addictive rosemary fries. Another menu favorite was the beef cheek pierogi and beast of the day offerings.

Contact JC Reindl at 313-222-6631 or jcreindl@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @jcreindl. Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michael Symon’s Roast restaurant in Detroit abruptly closes

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