Former New Center Eatery is now Joe Louis Southern Kitchen


Joe Louis Southern Kitchen's Sloppy Joe. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Joe Louis Southern Kitchen's Sloppy Joe.

On Friday, the former New Center Eatery will officially reopen as Joe Louis Southern Kitchen, a day after what would be Detroit boxer Joe Louis's 107th birthday.

"Joe Louis Southern Kitchen is a testament to the enduring bond between Joe Louis and the city of Detroit," managing partner Johnny Cannon said in a statement. "Joe was not only an accomplished athlete, but also a serial entrepreneur. His entrepreneurial pursuits and his unwavering belief in the human spirit inspired us to open Joe Louis Southern Kitchen in Detroit."

According to a press release, the 2,600 square-foot restaurant has 80 seats and will bring 20-25 new jobs to the city. A revamped menu will offer brunch seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The menu, designed by chefs Hakeem Biddle and David Mendez, features a selection of southern favorites including cinnamon roll flapjacks, Cajun fried stuffed turkey legs, bananas foster French toast, bread pudding, key lime pie flapjacks, shrimp and grits, and Joe Louis’s favorite, country fried steak cheese grits.

It will also include New Center Eatery's staple, chicken and waffles.

Joe Louis Kitchen's Original Chicken and Waffles. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Joe Louis Kitchen's Original Chicken and Waffles.

New Center Eatery moved from its longtime location at 3100 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit around the corner in 2017.

The owners say they plan to make Southern Kitchen a nationwide brand.

"Our goal is to take Southern Kitchen across the country — to inspire the community to do bigger and better things for the people that need it," managing partner Joe Louis II said in a statement. "My father was happiest around his family and friends and restaurants give you the opportunity to celebrate moments with the people you love. Joe Louis Southern Kitchen plans to be an active participant in the COVID recovery by giving back to the community.

The restaurant is located at 6549 Woodward Ave., Detroit. More information is available at

It sits on a block that has seen a number of new dining destinations open in recent months. Eastern Market's popular Supino Pizzeria opened a second location next door to Joe Louis Southern Kitchen, Yum Village Afro-Caribbean Market Pantry is across the street, and Baobab Fare, an East African cuisine helmed by refugees, opened nearby earlier this year. There's also Kitchen by Cooking with Que, a rentable kitchen and private dining space.

Stay connected with Detroit Metro Times. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google News, Apple News, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Reddit.

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 [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.