“It’s been beautiful and painful,” Jason Povlich says. In October 2020, Povlich and his wife, Suzei, opened the Grateful Crow fusion burger and sushi bar in the Clocktower Complex. 

Povlich and his wife, Suzei, at the Grateful Crow. It’s named for his two favorite bands: the Grateful Dead and the Black Crowes. Photo by J. Adrian Wylie

“We were in the middle of a buildout in the middle of the pandemic,” he recalls. “We questioned whether we’d go forward.” But Povlich, who owns four Jet’s Pizza locations, including one in Clocktower Commons, says “this was always our long-term plan ever since Back to the Roots,” their former sushi bar and breakfast spot on S. Main. A huge music fan (he also runs the Rumpus Room live music venue), he named the restaurant after his two favorite bands: the Grateful Dead and the Black Crowes.

Povlich says he wanted to bring “a big-city vibe to a small town.” Area artists gave the space a “gothic, romantic, industrial” feel, and a cocktail expert from Los Angeles created the drink menu. He says the sushi is a huge draw, as is the crispy salmon entrée, the rib-eye, the shrimp scampi, and the fusion burgers. 

Pandemic disruptions meant that at times staff served customers in yurts and indoor “private dining spaces,” and the restaurant did plenty of carryout and delivery. Povlich and general manager Colin Lilley are looking forward to using a new all-seasons room, which has sides that open in warmer weather. 

Lilley says he hopes that between the food and the ambience customers will come to “escape from reality and just enjoy their time here.” 

The Grateful Crow wasn’t the Povliches’ first pandemic expansion in the Clocktower Complex: two months earlier, they opened ClockTower Comix in the former laundromat next door to Jet’s. The store sells comics, sports cards, and Pokémon, and their five sons, ages fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, nineteen, and twenty-five, are all partners in the business—he says they earned their investments by working at Jet’s.

 The Grateful Crow, 420 N. Main St. (734) 562–2903. Tues.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Closed Mon. thegratefulcrow.com

ClockTower Comix, 518 N. Main St. (734) 800–1340. Tues.–Sat. 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun. noon–6 p.m. Closed Mon. clocktowercomix.com

  After Craig Common’s retirement announcement in February, devoted Common Grill customers rushed to make reservations for a final meal at the Main St. restaurant. Thankfully for all of them, the regional destination was closed for just two weeks before reopening with new owners.

“We’re keeping the tradition alive,” says Aaron Lowen, who’s part of the new team with chef Zack Sklar, Jim Bellinson, and Josh Humphrey. “Craig received a good amount of offers and I think he chose us knowing we will take care of his legacy, his namesake.” 

Their Peas & Carrots Hospitality did well by another legendary venue—they restored and reopened Detroit-area pizza icon Como’s in 2018. They also own Beau’s Grillery and MEX in Bloomfield Hills, Bernie’s in Chicago, and Social Kitchen in Birmingham.

“We may add new specials eventually, but our goal is to keep the menu the same,” Lowen says. Meantime, “Craig is here often, working with us through the transition.”

Common Grill, 112 S. Main St. (734) 475–0470. Tues.–Thurs. 4–9 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 4–10 p.m., Sun. 3–9:00 p.m. Closed Mon. commongrill.com