A Perfect Day: Daniel Caudill’s Detroit
Photo courtesy of Shinola
At a time when many people were deserting Detroit for lack of opportunities, Montana native Daniel Caudill moved to the Motor City thanks to a career boost. As creative director of Shinola, the booming watch, bicycle, and leather goods manufacturer — which set up its factory and headquarters in a section of a former GM research lab three years ago — Caudill seized the chance to become part of a revival. “I think of Detroit as the equivalent of the Lower East Side in New York in the ’70s or Seattle in the ’90s,” he says. “They’re places in transition, where great people meet a vibrant art scene and generally have great energy.” Here, Caudill shares his favorite spots in his new hometown.
1. BIGALORA WOOD FIRED CUCINA “I tell my friends to go here for brunch and try the homemade, Nutella-like spread. It’s great with fresh cream and banana on the waffle made with pizza dough. They usually come back to me saying it’s the best thing they’ve ever had.” 711 S. Main St., Royal Oak; Bigalora.com
2. MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART DETROIT “There’s no better place to see modern art than MOCAD. They host a dinner series, The Hunt, whose location changes every time. They only give you the address when you turn up at the museum, so you never know where you’re going to end up. I’ve had meals in an abandoned building, a huge mansion, and even in the middle of a field.” 4454 Woodward Ave.; MocaDetroit.org
3. INDIAN VILLAGE “Every time I drove through this neighborhood, I fantasized about living there. Finally, last October, I bought a house on the best street. There’s a great bar nearby called Craft Work (pictured above). It has a casual, fun atmosphere. I always order tequila on the rocks with a splash of lime juice, and their tempura chicken salad is just perfect.” Craft Work, 8047 Agnes St.; CraftWorkDetroit.com
4. THE GUARDIAN BUILDING “My favorite landmark. This iconic deco building reflects the beauty of Detroit as it was in its heyday. Some of the city’s buildings are starting to fade but not the Guardian. There’s still a vibrancy that recalls Downtown Detroit in the early 20th century. Everything happened there.” 500 Griswold St.; GuardianBuilding.com
5. BUCHAREST GRILL “This place is a hidden gem near the Detroit baseball field. Try the Bucharest shawarma: grilled marinated chicken, garlic sauce, tomatoes, and french fries in a pita.” 2040 Park Ave.; BucharestGrill.com