Could chicken and waffles be the catalyst for Avenue of Fashion rebirth?

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Kuzzo's Chicken and Waffles officially opened for business yesterday. It will assuredly be a successful establishment – based solely on their amazing menu and the early media buzz surrounding the restaurant – but there is more to the business than what appears at the surface.

Kuzzo's owner, Ron Bartell, is a former NFL player and Detroit native. His love for this particular area of the city, known as the Avenue of Fashion, is in his blood. The area, which stretches on Livernois from 7 Mile to 8 Mile, has long housed retailers in Bartell's family. Rufus Bartell, Ron's uncle, owns Simply Casual. Algernon Bartell opened Times Square Men's Clothing in 2010. The area grew in popularity as the Motor City experienced success due to the rise of the automotive industry. And Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, America’s oldest operating jazz club, has been a popular landmark since 1933.

Recent years have seen a push to bring the area back to prominence. Initiatives such as 2013's "Light Up Livernois" have shown a light on the once-vibrant stretch. And now, there is a dining destination – which was very much evident by the crowds turning out to enjoy Kuzzo's cuisine over the establishment's first two days of operation – that will likely bring tourism back to the area.

Offering a multitude of chicken and waffles combinations, in addition to various other delicious soul food dishes, the breakfast/brunch eatery appeals to an early business and lunch crowd and is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.


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