GREEKTOWN (WWJ) – When the sun goes down, things heat up in Detroit’s Greektown like they never have before.
Every summer weekend through Labor Day, Monroe Street will shut down between Beaubien and St. Antoine streets and transform into “Greektown at Sundown” — a walkable plaza featuring al fresco dining, live music, hands-on art and entertainment.
“Some of the things free to the public to participate in are jugglers and fire breathers and all kinds of things like that,” Athina Papas, of the Greektown Preservation Society, told WWJ’s Ron Dewey.
When the street shuts down from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., the sidewalks open up and eight participating restaurants like Santorini Estiatorio, Krema, Astoria Bakery, Pizza Papalis and Red Smoke Barbeque bring out the tables for patio dining. Visitors can be serenaded by live music acts and enjoy performances by strolling cirque artists, or participate in interactive art installations.
“It is something that the members of the Greektown Preservation Society have wanted to do for years, for a long time, in regards to outdoor seating, patios, and activating the street,” said Papas.
In addition, award-winning photographer Eric Perry is hosting his exhibit “Forward” in a pop-up gallery at 567 Monroe St., featuring images from Detroit’s infamous “Slow Roll” bike ride. The pop-up gallery is open every Friday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Perry will also be on-site taking portraits of visitors.
Organizers are banking on extra foot traffic to have a lasting positive economic impact on not only Greektown but all of downtown.
Traffic Alert: Monroe Street will be blocked to traffic between Beaubien and St. Antoine from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday-Sunday through September 6, and also on Labor Day.