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We're coming! We're open! We're closed! Antietam? Discuss the cataclysm...[Detroit area]

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Okay, so...this is just something that I find downright hard-to-fathom. You can be forgiven for not quite knowing what Antietam is because of its brand-new-ishness, but if you've been following the story of the place in the local newspapers in the last couple of weeks, you've got to wonder if the inmates are running the asylum or what.

Antietam has been an up-and-coming high end restaurant in downtown Detroit for some time now. They had a *bunch* of press before it ever even opened, or was even close. They had a soft opening within the last two weeks, to basically universal rave reviews, with people practically falling over themselves to get in and try the Big/Great New Thing (I, however, am not one of them).

By basically all accounts, they came out of the box with a bang, impressing all with their menu, decor, and service.

Suddenly, on Monday, they literally close their doors for some kind of retooling or something like that, after all of, what, one week?

Now, they're going to be open on this coming weekend, with two different Detroit area chefs basically doing pop-ups on Friday and Saturday night with their own menus and associated wine pairings. Reservations by email only...blah-bah-de-blah-blah.

I'm not quite certain what's going on, here, but it certainly sounds as though there's been a seismic shift with the place...something akin to the executive chef taking off or something like that. You don't go from the heights of ecstasy that they were at to being closed for business within the scope of less than two weeks without there being some kind of manic exodus by some pretty important-to-the-process people. You *certainly* don't bring in outside chefs to do pop-ups during your first couple of weeks when the bar's been set so high, and you're hitting the ball into the seats every time you're at the plate.

Has anyone ever heard of something as bizarre as this? So early? Honestly...it sure sounds foreboding to me. Has anyone actually been, yet?

Let's hear the sound of the beating drums, people.

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  1. Sounds fitting to me. Naming a restaurant after the avenue/street it sits on may sound "cool" and great branding, until one considers why the street was named Antietam in the first place.

    Antietam, being the site of the single bloodiest day of the entire Civil War, when 23,000 Americans died, was commemorated and honored by being named a street in Detroit, as many Civil War battles and heroes were commemorated by the naming of streets in various places around the country.

    I guess the owners of this so far ill-fated restaurant don't have any sense of history.

    1. Guessing that some people may not have been paid what/when they were promised.

      1. Wow, bizarre and interesting story. And yes, if I were a betting man I'd say if you want to go there it better be soon.

        1. says here the chef and bartender walked out
          http://detroit.eater.com/places/antietam

          will be interesting if the story ever surfaces, but somehow I doubt it will

          1 Reply
          1. re: Markcron

            That sounds just about like what I was thinking happened. Gotta tell you: sounds like the owner is absolutely *screwing* himself, here. I mean, you've got a tiger by the tail, and you let that tail go?

            This place sounds destined just to die, now. It's pretty stinking incredible...I've never seen the likes of it. I mean, sure: staff turnover happens, but this early in the game, when the two main food and drink folks, who are absolutely *killing* it, decide to up and walk out? I think RS is probably correct, too: it sounds like they weren't being paid what/when they were promised.

            Doesn't sound like a place I want to spend my money.

            Thank you for providing the link. It's answering some questions.

          2. Based on what I've read, I don't think the News or the freep are real happy with what occurred at Antietam. Just sayin'.