PAO ‘Asian-Inspired’ Upscale Restaurant

February 6, 2019 / BY / IN Event Management, Uncategorized

Downtown Detroit is set to get an injection of Asian flavor — and alcohol — on the edge of Grand Circus Park.

Developer Joe Barbat and a group of investors are creating Pao Detroit, an “Asian-inspired” restaurant with a bar and nightlife elements, according to emails from Barbat and signs on the building’s facade.

The 3,500-square-foot Pao is planned to open in March in the first and second floors of the former Briggs Hotel, now Briggs Houze apartments. It’s at 114 W. Adams Ave. by Cliff Bell’s and Rusted Crow Detroit.

Barbat said it will be a “five star” restaurant with dishes including black cod miso, garlic shrimp, filet mignon and crab legs. It’ll seat around 110.

“We have invested a considerable amount of resources to bring back the historic nature of the architecture and build upon the Asian theme of the building” inside the restaurant, Barbat said in the email.

In its heyday starting in the 1920s, Hotel Briggs adjoined the Oriental Theater.

The restaurant group, Prime Concepts, includes Barbat; Jody Haddad, a nightlife businessman and promoter; salon owner and nightlife promoter Fiaz Almaki; and Derek Dickow of Birmingham-based Steward Media. The group has spent approximately $1.5 million, Barbat said.

Two other partners in the restaurant group, Stolion Liti and Howie Barnes, are acting as operating partner and executive chef, respectively, for Pao. The two are also partners in Prime29 and Nara restaurants in West Bloomfield.

Barbat Holdings LLC has six apartment buildings open or underway under the umbrella of Houze Living in Detroit and Ann Arbor. Those in downtown Detroit include Briggs Houze and Philip Houze.

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