The Apparatus Room (Detroit, MI)

While I rather love Detroit architecture, Detroit has a bit of a mixed history with historic preservation, with it seeming that historic buildings that fell onto hard times having roughly equal chances of getting refurbished, left to rot, or getting turned into yet more surplus parking lots (with the exception of game days, the city has one of the largest parking surpluses I’ve ever seen). One of the more impressive buildings that was always a bit of a concern has been the old Detroit Fire Headquarters, across the street from Cobo Hall. Actively used as a fire station until the early 2000s, by 2011, the building was only used for administrative purposes, and by the end of 2011 the administrators moved out as well. In 2013, the building was one of many across Detroit that the city was attempting to sell during its bankruptcy, and it sold to a group of investors in 2013. After several years of planning and renovation, it opened in 2017 as the Detroit Foundation Hotel, and the old garage bays that, way back in the day used to hold the fire fighting apparati, re-opened as The Apparatus Room.

It’s actually a rather nice space: the three large garage bays from the old, well, apparatus room make for a nice open-concept restaurant, with a large bar in the front, an open kitchen in back, and a lot of open table and booth seating. They’ve done a nice job keeping a lot of the architectural details around, too, including the stamped tin ceiling, the old hose hang on the way to the restrooms, and a lot of nice brick work.

We can for a Saturday breakfast, and the breakfast menu is a good selection of basic American breakfast: omelets, breakfast platters, breakfast sandwiches, and a few lighter selections like steel-cut oatmeal. Myself, I decided on doing their variation of a Full English: fried eggs (3 of them!), roast tomatoes, English baked beans, mushrooms, bangers, rashers, black and white pudding, and toast. While a bit pricey at $15, I’ll have to say that this was a bountiful breakfast, and a well-done one at that: the eggs were a perfect sunny-side up, the mushrooms tasty but still firm and not rubbery, the bacon a perfect crisp, and the various bits of sausage and pudding quite tasty. I’d happily get this again.

My two dining mates opted for the “Breakfast a la Francoise”, which was an omelet with leeks, comte cheese, forest mushrooms, and a light salad, and I found this to be an enjoyable omelet, although to be honest, I think I rather enjoyed the Full English more.

Rounding it out with a pleasantly spicy (and very, very tangy) bloody Mary, and I’ll call this a successful breakfast. I’d love to return to the Apparatus Room sometime for dinner or cocktails.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply