Voting for the Underdog
companies like Kowalski Meats, Faygo Beverages, and McClure's Pickles--all featured on her menu.
"Detroit's a vibrant place with a glorious history, and I want to pay tribute to it," says Vlisides, standing outside DDC (her nickname) in the old post office on North Ann Arbor Street. She aims to offer "something cool and fresh that stems from an appreciation for history, design, business and, of course, exceptional service."
Vlisides, who lives in Saline, has deep roots in the restaurant business. "My grandfather, Stephen Vlisides, came to Detroit from Greece for the auto industry." It was 1919. Instead of working in the plants, though, he opened a restaurant across the street from the GM Building. Later, he moved to Ann Arbor and opened a place called the Charcoal House on State Street. Vlisides' father, Nick, and her brothers, Stefan and Andrew, run the Sevens Cafe in Ann Arbor's 777 E. Eisenhower Building. Her dad, she says, is a big supporter of her new venture--both financially and emotionally. And Vlisides, a 2002 Ypsi High grad, until recently worked as an assistant manager at Frita Batidos in Ann Arbor, owned by Top Chef contestant Eve Aronoff. "Frita's is where I learned the concept of fast casual," she says, "a new wave that combines good food and great design."