Detroit restaurant The Block has reopened for carry-out and delivery

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DAVID RUDOLPH
  • David Rudolph
Another Black-owned business has reopened in Detroit.

Midtown brunch spot The Block, owned by sisters Stephanie and Cristina Byrd, is now open for carry-out and delivery service. The restaurant ceased operations in March when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered all dine-in restaurants to close amid the coronavirus pandemic.



The sisters also had to walk away from their businesses when both of their parents fell ill with COVID-19, and the sisters became caretakers. After a six-week recovery the parents are better, and the Byrds are focusing on their businesses. The family's popular soul food spot, Flood's, reopened last month in Greektown.

The reopening comes amid Juneteenth celebrations, and as Detroiters have been marching for more than 20 days against racism and police brutality.



"Black lives matter, Black businesses matter," Stephanie says in a release. "One way to combating and ending systematic racism is to support Black businesses."

The restaurant is coming back with a scaled-down menu for now, including favorites like spinach artichoke dip, Woodward wings, Shotgun shrimp, Bacon Brussels, The Block Mac, shrimp & grits, sweet chili salmon stir-fry, Smokehouse burger, salmon burger, salmon BLT, buttermilk chicken sandwich, and peach cobbler cheesecake.

Restaurants have been hit especially hard from the economic fallout of the coronavirus. Margins were thin even good times, and new safety precautions mean restaurants will be operating at a lower capacity for the time being.

A proposed RESTAURANTS Act specifically tailored to the hospitality industry could help.

In the meantime, "We're waffling between fear and resolve," Byrd says. "We just simply don't know what will happen."

The Block is located at 3939 Woodward Ave., Detroit; theblockdet.com.

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