Trui Moerkerke is a Belgian journalist who moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan with her family in the Summer of 2016. She decided to make the most of the waiting-for-the work-permit-time. She is fascinated with Detroit and studied to become a tour guide. There is so much to see, so much to tell. As a journalist and former editor, Trui knows a thing or two about storytelling. Trui is still writing for Belgian magazines and newspapers and she founded A Dose of Detroit. She's ready to take you on a guided tour in this amazing city (in Dutch, French and English).
Downtown, you can't miss the gorgeous Wurlitzer Building, tall and narrow, with a facade that has elegant, ornamental details and the name Wurlitzer Building built into the sides of the building. Still, this gem almost didn't make it into the 21st century.
Wurlitzer was a sounding name in the music industry. The successful supplier of organs, musical instruments, and later jukeboxes built a skyscraper in Detroit to house its administration and sales operations. The building, in Renaissance Revival style, opened in 1926. After the company left just before 1970, the building had several tenants and owners and fell in disrepair around the turn of the century. Parts of the roof and walls fell, making the building a security threat.
The Wurlitzer was close to being demolished, but developer ASH NYC bought it and turned it into a beautiful hotel.
Where to start? In the cozy lobby, there is Populace Coffee, a coffee bar. Behind a thick curtain, you'll find the Candy Bar, an old Hollywood style cocktail bar (nice and pink) with a huge Murano glass chandelier and an oversized disco ball.
The guestrooms have a glamorous vintage feel, and the colorful terrazzo tiles in the bathroom are a real eyecatcher.
Albena is the hotel's small restaurant for dinner: only eight seats. It was named the best new restaurant in town, by the Detroit Free Press. Every evening chef Garret Lipar offers a tasting menu inspired by the Great Lakes region. There is more to come: Karl's, an all-day restaurant, bar, and in-house bakery. There are also plans for a rooftop bar.