At least a dozen new businesses set to open downtown ahead of NFL Draft

Posted at 11:43 PM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 09:14:04-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — It’s now April and that means we're less than a month away from the NFL Draft in Detroit. Also this month, more than a dozen new businesses are set to open downtown.

One of those businesses is Side Hustle Lounge, which is owned by Mootz Pizza and will open next door to the restaurant as they also expand their space.

“We don't have enough room for all the guests who want to come, so we decided we need some more room and the draft was an incentive to get it done quicker,” Mootz director of operations Walter Gregorio said.

The Side Hustle Lounge will have cocktails and small plates while the new Mootz expansion will be used for events, adding more than 60 seats to the restaurant.

“We have been working furiously to make sure a number of our tenants who have had a bunch of momentum get open prior to opening of draft,” said Naumann Idrees, Bedrock's senior vice president of leasing.

Idrees says at least a dozen new businesses are opening before the draft in Bedrock-owned spaces including a number of pop-up stores.

VIDEO: Born in Detroit pop-up store opens in downtown Detroit

First 'pop up' store opens along Woodward as City preps for NFL Draft

“We've been ensuring we can do whatever we can as partners to make sure our tenants are open, they’re informed and taking advantage of the opportunity given to us by the NFL,” Idrees said. “The importance is, I think, we show off the city in a manner in which it’s meant to be shown off in."

Metro Detroiters were excited to see the new developments, knowing many will be here long after the draft leaves town.

“The city has just been growing and growing. It's a more beautiful place than ever to come visit and spend time here downtown,” said Devin Wessel, who was visiting downtown from Livingston County. "The more we bring positive light to the city of Detroit, the better.”

VIDEO: Timelapse shows NFL Draft stage construction in Detroit

VIDEO: Timelapse shows NFL Draft stage construction in Detroit

“After the draft happens, we're going to have places to go and eat and enjoy for sure," said Peter Puskar, who lives downtown. “More options for date nights and food options in the city. It's awesome."

As for Mootz and Side Hustle, they’re set to open on April 14. The space is already booked up for the first night of the NFL Draft as they and other downtown business owners do all they can to show off their city and make some money doing it.

“We're very excited," Idrees said. "I think it's an opportunity for folks who may otherwise not come to Detroit to understand what's actually happening.”

"I love it. Being part of the growth and seeing it come back from where it was years ago, it's fantastic," Gregorio said. "There’s no shortage of places to come eat down here.”


Born in Detroit

  • Born in Detroit clothing empowers the resilient spirit of the city and epitomizes Detroit's strength and heritage. This pop-up at 1275 Woodward Avenue is open through April 30.


  • This pop-up food and beverage market will be open at 160 W. Fort Street in late April.


  • This dentist office opened in Brush Park on April 1.


  • A collaboration between renowned celebrity chef Fabio Viviani and two celebrated local chefs, Gabriel Botezan and Marco Dall Fontana, Adelina serves up a vibrant fusion of Italian-Mediterranean flavors at 1040 Woodward Avenue.


  • This tailor at 1001 Woodward Avenue will open mid-April. 

Gilly’s Clubhouse

  • Gilly’s is a dual dining concept in downtown Detroit. The Clubhouse is an upscale sports lover’s dream. The rooftop features a built-in food truck serving Mexican street fare, which is open year-round. Gilly’s is named after Dan Gilbert’s son, Nick, who died from neurofibromatosis in 2023. It was Nick’s vision to create an upscale sports bar in downtown Detroit. Now everyone at the NFL Draft will get to be a part of Nick’s passion project. This will open April 5.


  • In Spanish, Leña means “firewood.” This cozy new spot is set to open in early April at 2720 Brush Street is inspired by the cuisine and culture of Spain with an open-air kitchen, fresh ingredients, deep flavors and a wood-burning hearth.


  • This fast-casual Mexican restaurant, known for its burritos and bowls, will open at 660 Woodward Avenue in early April.


  • Coffee, donuts and other fast food will be available at 1043 Woodward Avenue starting mid-April.

Easy Peasy

  • From the team who brought Huddle to downtown Detroit, the new bar at 1456 Woodward Avenue will open mid-to-late April.

The Aroma Labs

  • Customers can visit The Aroma Labs to make their own custom scents using Michigan-made, skin-tested fragrance oils. This sweet spot will open in Parker’s Alley.



  • Cannelle prepares sweet and savory, French-inspired artisanal pastries with quality ingredients and exacting standards.

Eatóri Market

  • A stylish option for prepared foods, specialty groceries, a bar and global bites. This bar and market combination can now serve up to 140 guests. 


  • An old-fashioned pizza parlor with classic toppings, sliders and pasta is getting a Side Hustle, literally. Side Hustle Lounge, the restaurant’s new bar and event space, can seat up to 50 guests.