J'adore Exclusive: On the phone with Zak Yatim owner of Eatóri
THIS SPRING, THE MUCH ANTICIPATED EATÓRI MARKET WILL OPEN ITS DOORS, in CAPITOL PARK.
After talking to owner, Zak Yatim, I can say with confidence that Eatóri is going to be a triple threat; it's a market, bar, and restaurant. Zak and his business partner, Samer, are creating an elegant yet approachable space that will feature a rotating variety of specialty products, prepared foods, and dine-in options.
Zak has set out to meet the needs of a growing residential population in Downtown Detroit, read on to learn more about his story and what you can expect from Eatóri Market.
Need to know
Owner // Zak Yatim
Partner // Samer Ghafari
Expected Opening // early May 2017
Location // The Malcomson Building at 1215 Griswold St.
On the phone with Zak Yatim
J'adore: What is unique about Eatóri based on other restaurants in the area?
Zak: “Eatóri is more of a specialty market than a restaurant , we’ll be selling everyday essentials. It’s designed to grab and go, there will be prepared foods in an 8 foot and 6 foot case with different options. It will be whatever the chef wants to cook that day; paninis, chopped salads- food to eat at home or in the office.
When you first walk in there is a bar that will seat about 12 people and a bar banquet on the side with room for about 10 standing. In total, we expect room for 25 people in the bar area. There will be a hot menu served at the bar.
You go past that portion and walk into the market where there will be everyday essentials, prepared foods, beer and wine. We’re filling a need for specialty run-in markets."
J'adore: What can we expect the grand opening to look like.
Zak: "We haven’t talked through the opening party yet. Bedrock has been a huge support, they like to do big openings- we hope to utilize Capitol Park."
J'adore: Where will ingredients and products be sourced from?
Zak: "As much as possible will be local- Eastern Market and local vendors. I Spoke with Carmela’s yesterday. We’re trying to go straight to the vendors whenever possible and fill in the blanks where we need to.
There’s going to be more than your average panini in the prepared food cases, you can expect things a chef would make at home. Things I would make for myself and friends."
J'adore: What is your vision for Eatóri? How do you want guests to use your space?
Zak: "Eatóri is trying to fill a void in the city. There are so many great lofts and buildings being rehabbed. It’s going to be a spot to run down and grab your everyday essentials. The bar is going to be lax- grab a drink while your significant other is getting ready, it will be a starter place."
J'adore: If you were starting your night at Eatóri, where would you go after?
J'adore: Is this your first venture into the restaurant industry?
Zak: "For a brick and mortar, yes. I’ve had a catering business for a while."
J'adore: How did you link up with your partner Samer?
Zak: "We’ve been friends for years and years, I was on this project already. We were at Townhouse having drinks and I walked him over to the space. Samer fell in love with the place and wanted in."
J'adore: What inspired Eatóri and at what point did your vision become reality?
Zak: "Other than catering, I’ve owned gas stations- of all things. I sold my stations and started looking for locations around Detroit two and a half years ago. I was connected to Bedrock and Dan Mullen. They took me around to view different locations and I fell in love with the Malcomson Building."
J'adore: What did you love about the Malcomson Building?
Zak: "Do you know the history of Capitol Park?"
J'adore: I don’t!
Zak: "Capitol Park is the location of the original Capitol Building. Before Lansing was the capitol of Michigan, it was Detroit. Stevens T. Mason, the first governor of Michigan is buried in the park. There’s also a bar, sat on the park, that was a stop on the underground railroad. I fell in love with the history,-we’re going to play off of the area's unique story with special cocktails and food items."
J'adore: What will the bar menu offer?
Zak: "Whatever the chef is feeling that day and whatever looks good from our vendors- we’re not tied down to a certain cuisine. The bar menu will be more refined. When I go out I love ordering a filet or lobster or oysters. We’re definitely going to keep the market on the healthier side."
J'adore: Have you hired a chef?
Zak: "No, we’re just starting to look for a chef. I didn’t want to hire someone to soon, we’re anticipating opening in May. Now is the perfect time. I’m a chef, myself, but I don’t want to be locked in the kitchen because there are so many elements to this place."
J'adore: If you could eat with a famous Detroit icon past or present, who would it be?
Zak: "Aretha Franklin, I met her at a charity gala, she’s one of my favorite people."
J'adore: Is there anything in particular you would make sure she tries?
Zak: "I would make sure she tries everything on the menu."
J'adore: What else should J’adore readers know about Eatóri?
Zak: "There are a lot of exciting things coming to Capitol Park- it’s getting a face lift. There’s entertainment in the park during the summer. We’re going to have outdoor seating, guests can have a cocktail, sit outside, and enjoy!"
THANK YOU ZAK, FOR SHARING YOUR STORY WITH J'ADORE and for the history lesson! I CAN'T WAIT TO ENJOY A PANINI ON THE PATIO WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC, in the summer sun, AT CAPITOL PARK.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR A J'ADORE EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEEK INSIDE THE MARKET, BEFORE DOORS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC IN MAY!