Cousins open restaurant, old theatre and luxury apartments - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Cousins open restaurant, old theatre and luxury apartments in 'Woodward Gardens Development'

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The Woodward Gardens Development The Woodward Gardens Development
(WJBK) -

Fox 2's Alexis Wiley talks to two cousins who are opening new businesses in the Woodward Gardens Development, which includes a new restaurant, The Grille Midtown; the renovated Garden Theatre; and a soon-to-open apartment building.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to learn more in Fox 2's Alexis Wiley's report, or read the transcript below


This is a 50 million dollar project that no bank was willing to fund 12 years ago, so the owners took a lot of time and put a lot of heart into making this a reality. And now, three young woman are determined to make it a success.

"We saw that midtown was in need of a change," Leslie Byrd says.

But the vision that Michael Byrd and George Stewart had 12 years ago was one that many couldn't see. And today that vision has paid off big. This block of Woodward just south of Alexandrine is one of the hottest blocks in midtown.

"It took a lot of long hours, going back and forth with the state of Michigan, and with the Detroit Historic Preservation as far as getting funding for the entire project," Stephanie Byrd says.

But after 12 years that hard work's paid off. These four buildings are home to the popular Great Lakes Roasting Company, businesses and nonprofits - and now a new restaurant called The Grille Midtown, which is now open. And the decor fits the name.

"The restaurant, The Grille Midtown, is where upscale and casual meet. And it is a comfortable neighborhood establishment. So you can come and have a wonderful world-class lamb chop in a comfortable environment," Leslie Byrd says.

And the Garden Theatre - a place that's been around since the 1920s. It was designed by the same architect who created the Fox Theatre, and was once an adult theatre called The Sassy Cat. And thanks to a serious renovation it's ready for an encore.

Wiley: "This is its first time open in more than 20 years, right? Stephanie Byrd replies: "Yes. We've been open for about a month now. We've had a few shows so far and a few parties as well."

And soon this development will include a luxury apartment building, complete with bamboo floors, quartz countertops and great views.

"This is urban living at its finest."

And who's in charge of all of this? They are: Leslie and Stephanie Byrd. They're cousins and this is a family project. And these women say despite their youth they have everything it takes to make this development a success.

"We come from the hospitality industry. We both grew up in it. So we're very familiar with the business side, the operation side and the back end. And we are up for the challenge," Leslie Byrd says.

The apartments will be available in mid-January and the Garden Theatre is already booking a lot of shows.

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