The Zenith Tiki bar and spot popular for brunch in New Center is calling it quits, just over a year after restaurateurs Robert and Melissa Jasper opened the expansive emporium of food and drink. Situated in the ill-suited Fisher Building, with little foot traffic or interest from folks in the immediate area, the couple, who moved to Detroit from Cambridge, Mass. to launch the restaurant, struggled to get their footing from the start.
"Unfortunately the circus is packing-up," the husband and wife said in a Facebook post over the weekend. "Thank-you to everyone who supported us and the unbelievable passion and love we've received from so many of you about this kooky place of ours."
Six months in business, Melissa Jasper had said that the couple were offered the opulent 16,000-square-foot space inside the Fisher rent-free (Full disclosure: I wrote a piece on their travails for Eater Detroit back in 2014). But that deal fell short and promises that foot traffic from nearby office workers looking for lunch and happy hour options weren't enough to sustain the spot during the Fisher Theater off-season. On top of that, the Jaspers languished for their first five months because their liquor license request lagged in getting approved.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.