The talk of the town lately (outside of Justin Verlander’s courting of Kate Upton) has been Amazon’s interest in creating a software development center in Detroit. The move would make Amazon the third high-profile Internet firm to come to our lovely state in recent years. In 2007, Google opened an advertising sales office in downtown Ann Arbor, and this past April, Twitter divulged that it would open a small sales office in downtown Detroit. All good things.
It’s nice to see some of the big boys coming to town, and it’s sure to boost the city’s dreary-but-getting-less-so economy. But this post isn’t about them. Let’s take a look into a few small local businesses that have been providing unique services and a personal touch to everything they do.
The Fly Trap (Ferndale)
You may have seen this diner featured on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri (dude with the spiky hair). Located on Woodward Ave, The Fly Trap is one of the tastiest, most eclectic joints around. Being a diner, breakfast and lunch are the focus points here, and nothing disappoints. Among the more quirky options are a Charmoula (North African spiced) Chicken Sandwich, a Lemongrass Pho Bowl, and a Red Chili Salmon Burger. If you haven’t been to this place yet, please do yourself the favor.
UHF (Royal Oak)
Jumping from food to music (two of our favorite things), this record store sells a quality selection of new and used LP’s, CD’s and DVD’s. They’re also down to buy or trade any of these formats with fellow music lovers. Walking in for your first time warrants an instant stagger from the extensive, yet organized gathering of goodies. On top of that, the staff is friendly and there’s a stage setup in the back for intimate in-store concerts. Definitely worth checking out.
Funky 7 (Royal Oak)
This clothing outlet completes the grand gauntlet of food, music and shopping – the cornerstone of every truly great day. Brimming with clothing, hats, posters and stickers, Funky 7 is a place you can’t not pop into in passing. A gag store every bit as much as a clothing store, it features plenty of kitschy garb as well as Detroit-themed merchandise. One shirt brings the two together, sporting the saying, “Detroit: Where the weak are killed and eaten”. If that alone isn’t enough to get you in the door, the last few sentences were, sadly, a complete and utter waste of time.
We are excited to see the top Internet firms making their way to The Mitten and you should be, too. But we hope you’ll make a stop to the more low-key destinations like the ones above to appreciate some of the unsung heroes that have helped shape the landscape around us.