Thursday, March 1, 2007

Welcome to The Whitney Blog

Strange thing, huh? A blog from a 113 year old building in Midtown Detroit. Well, we said we wanted to change some things at The Whitney and this is only the first. We hope you’ll drop by often and give us your thoughts.

“Us” is me, Bud Liebler, who just purchased The Whitney effective February 22; my son, Patrick, who is my partner in this endeavor; my wife, Nancy, who will be our interior decorator, menu conscience and collaborator-in-chief; and Tim and Lisa Wilkins, owners of The Historic White Horse Inn in Metamora (MI.) and the only real professional restaurateurs on our start-up team. There are others, too, but they’ll be introduced later.

As a lifelong PR/marketing guy who knows nada about the restaurant business, you might ask “Why?” Well, I have, too. Especially the other day as I was working up a combination migraine and debilitating writers’ cramp signing checks galore to finalize this purchase and start this new venture. The answer is, “Why not?” I am a Detroitophile. I love the city and am excited about the growth and changes I see springing up all around town. I also love The Whitney and am excited about the things I think we can do to build on what it has been for the past twenty years and take off from there.

We’re not short of ideas, everything from menu changes to landscape changes to interior d├ęcor and uniform changes. New entertainment, new attitudes, new excitement and new energy. The restaurant is closed for a couple of weeks ‘til we get our opening act together, hopefully no later than mid-March. Then we’ll throw open the doors, fire up the ovens, tune the piano, and jumpstart The Whitney back into life. We’re enormously enthusiastic about what can be. We’ll try to keep you up to date with our plans, and with the day-to-day happenings. We welcome your comments about what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong and, most importantly, what we can do to make the place even better and more appealing to you.

Welcome to The “new” Whitney!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and best of luck with your new endeavors. As fans of the Whitney, it's architecture and history, we hope that you plan to maintain the beauty and grandeur of the original building and decor, while making necessary improvements to the menu and quality of the food. Looking forward to the (new) place!

Ryan Murphy said...

I read this the other day about The Whitney and thought it would be to great mention.
"There are few restaurants in the world as grand as The Whitney, a pink jasper American palace built in 1894 by a lumber baron. Just under a hundred years later it was turned into a restaurant, garnering instant "most romantic" poll notoriety. The home is as magnificent on the inside as it is from Woodward. The house has 20 fireplaces and umpteen historically tricked-out rooms and was crafted along the adage "they just don't make them like this anymore." They didn't make them like this back then, either! Recently purchased by local public relations guru Bud Liebler, The Whitney hopes to regain its title as the finest fine dining establishment in Detroit by focusing on local, seasonal ingredients with a refined, innovative presentation (try the 26-oz. "Detroiter" porterhouse steak) and interesting, innovative wines to excite the palate of connoisseurs and awake the palate of those who haven't quite become wine lovers yet."

Dan said...

I see the food service trucks out back right now from my office window. I suppose that means a re-opening tonight or tomorrow.

Good Luck.

Laurie said...

I was disappointed to learn that you were closed earlier this month, as I had very much looked forward to dinner at the Whitney for my 30th birthday. It is somewhat of a tradition in my family for "special" birthdays and anniversaries.

Will you still be doing the Brunch on Sundays? Do you do a special Mother's Day brunch? I would very much like to bring my mother and grandmother down.

Bud Liebler said...

Dan:
Good eye. Yep, we’re about to reopen next week. We’re having a small “friends and family” brunch this Sunday, a media lunch Tuesday, and we’ll be open to the public next Thursday, March 22nd. Hope you’ll stop by soon.

Bud Liebler said...

Hi Laurie:

Happy 30th! Keep that family tradition going and have a happy belated 30th at The Whitney. We’ll be re-opening March 22nd and would love to see you and your family in our newly cleaned and freshened place. Ask to sit in the main dining room. Remember the one that used to be Pepto-Bismol pink? Well, it ain’t any more. It’s being redone now and it’s going to look great!

And, yes, we’ll continue to have Sunday brunches and will have a great, though as yet undetermined, Mother’s Day brunch. C’mon back again. Your grandmother – and your grandfather, mother, father, sisters and brothers, friends and you – will love it.

Candi Pfaff said...

Glad to hear of the re-opening on WDIV-TV today. Sunday Brunch is a "must-do" for my daughter and I when we go to the Fisher Theater. Looking forward to seeing the "NEW" Whitney on April 29th or before! Congratulations and good luck.

chrisf said...

Just heard that Kelly-Ann Godin is returning to the "new" Whitney. GREAT news. We look forward to sharing our Friday nights with her and her great voice and sense of humour not to mention the outstanding calamari.
See you soon!

Anonymous said...

Will you be having the Garden Parties on Thursday's this summer?

Shawn C. said...

I'm wondering about the garden parties as well...

Barbara said...

I see as the weather has finally started getting better, others are thinking like me. I'm wondering too, are you planning to have the Thursday night garden parties?

Laura said...

Bud, I just got your newsletter and decided to come check this out. While I love Nashville, I really wish that I was back in Detroit, because you're doing great things with the place. I know where I'll be eating the next time I'm in town.

Cathy said...

My husband and I came in on Thursday for dinner, the food was awsome and the service was also good. We use to frequent the Whitney untill it staqrted going down hill. Some of our friends told us the food was better than it had ever been so we dicited to give it another try. So glad we did we will be back soon.

Anonymous said...

My six guests and I are honoring my late husband tonight at your highly recommended restaurant. My name is Clara Hill, we'll be there at 6 p.m. This is a thank you to these wonderful folks who have helped me through a most difficult time. John would be proud we chose the 'best place in town'.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making this evening a most enjoyable and delicious one. Your sensitivity, Mr Liebler, in offering a bottle of wine in rememberance of my late husband was touching. My guests were impressed also. This evening's fare exceeded our expectations; the flavor, presentation and waitstaff were second to none.Thank you and wishing you continued success. Clara Hill
P.S. John,was a Chrysler retiree (2001).

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your reopening, and on your new chef. I would urge everone the Detroit metro area to check him out. I understand he's very good, but Im a bit bias he's my son.
Good luck Mick.

Tom Lutes