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Bistro to Open in Compuware Building

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Bistro set to serve '06 Super Bowl fans

American-style restaurant in Compuware building joins crowd of planned venues.

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By R.J. King / The Detroit News

DETROIT - An American-style bistro inside Compuware Corp.'s headquarters called The Woodward will join a growing number of new restaurants slated to open in downtown Detroit in time for the 2006 Super Bowl at Ford Field.

The 140-seat eatery, set to open next spring, will be operated by restaurateur Frank Taylor and partners Thomas Duncan and William Cartwright. Taylor is a partner in three Detroit restaurants that have opened in the past two years, including Sweet Georgia Brown, Seldom Blues and Magnolia.

"We're excited about downtown's prospects and we've been very pleased with the reception," said Taylor, president of Frank Taylor Management Group in Detroit. "The Woodward will offer comfort food like steak and seafood in a setting of casual elegance."

While many downtown eateries have closed over the past 20 years, new and long-time restaurant owners say customer traffic has improved since 2000 with the opening of sports and entertainment venues such as Comerica Park, Ford Field and the Gem and Century theaters.

Closed restaurants include the London Chop House, Joe Muer's, Pontchartrain Wine Cellars and the Money Tree. Those venues are being replaced by a dozen restaurants operated by various entrepreneurs, including a Cuban-style eatery to be called Vincente's in the Library Lofts building on Library Street.

"We're offering restaurant owners low-interest loans to help fill our downtown buildings," said George W. Jackson Jr., president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corp., a quasi-public development agency.

On Wednesday, Detroit's downtown development authority approved a $150,000 loan for The Woodward. The loan has a term of 10 years that is interest free for the first three months, followed by a 4 percent interest rate. The overall project will cost $742,000.

In addition to The Woodward, other restaurants opening downtown in the coming months include Como's, which plans to open a second location on Woodward Avenue south of downtown Detroit's Grand Circus Park next year.

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