For three and a half years, Crave has filled the summer nights with food, fun and some of the trendiest parties in metro Detroit.
“We’re inspired by Miami, Vegas, South Beach,” says Crave Owner Khalil Ramadan. “We cater to the person that wants to be entertained. It’s always attracting the really cool, the really hip.”
“You go anywhere in Europe or New York -- every single restaurant turns into a lounge at night,” he says. “You’re dancing while there’s a guy eating steak. People are just not grasping that idea and that’s why we turn to events.”
While common in European countries, Ramadan, who was born in Beirut, Lebanons, says most of America has not yet caught on entirely to the concept of a fully-functioning restaurant that serves simultaneously as a lounge.
“We’re a full restaurant the whole time,” he says. “We have it all in the same room.”
Ramadan was going to expand to Birmingham this year with a new Crave location but “it fell through.”
“If you’re going to go out, you want to be classy,” Ramadan says. “It’s about dressing up and feeling good.”
Casual chic works well at Crave where you’ll often see people wearing the latest designer jeans, t-shirts and stylish club wear.
“If you don’t have a sense of style you’re not coming in,” Ramadan say. “We let in somebody with very cool jeans and a very cool shirt. No sweats, jerseys, big gold chains.”
Dark wood floors and tables add richness to the Mediterranean-style restaurant while modern couches and chairs -- complimented by a blue wall -- give a comfy, contemporary feel. The non-smoking restaurant with wall-to-ceiling windows overlooking Michigan Avenue also boosts a spacious patio with a DJ booth and bar.
Redford’s Eric Medwed says he’s been to every Crave party for the last three years and enjoys the Dearborn venue because of “the environment, the ambiance and because it’s the best party series of the summer. It’s a great time with beautiful people.”
Exactly the feel Ramadan says he’s going for. When you come to Crave, you should feel like “you’re escaping. The vibe is very laid back and at the same time, energetic.”
“This is my first time out here,” says Kelly Wallace of Novi. “It’s beautiful. It’s very upscale, comfortable with all the couches, so you’re not standing up the entire time.”
Pick me up
Cook Aaron True describes Crave as a sushi lounge with a lot of Mediterranean influence. “We serve steaks and a lot of shrimp and a lot of Mediterranean fish like halibut and salmon.”
You’ll find a $2 sushi lunch menu during the week featuring traditional Japanese rolls as well as specialty rolls.
“We try to deliver really high-end sushi products,” Ramadan says. “Our whole concept is fusion -- Asian food with Mediterranean fusion. The best thing on the menu is the duck.”
Open Tuesday through Sunday, Crave offers lunch and dinner menus during the week and just a dinner menu on Saturday and Sunday. Entrees run between $16 and $26 and mixed drinks and martinis average $7. You’ll find $5 mixed drinks on Flirt Fridays.
Besides the monthly summer parties, Crave DJs offer guests an entertaining blend of world music including Asian and African beats.
“Crave is also looking for what’s new and what’s hot,” Ramadan says.
Most events will run you between $10 and $30 depending on the event and your gender. Most events are free with a dinner reservation.