Style Special: Detroit Rising

Detroit native Jay Rayford founded urban-development organization RepYourCity and is a respected community leader. Photo: Jake Chessum

Detroit native Jay Rayford founded urban-development organization RepYourCity and is a respected community leader. Photo: Jake Chessum

"Detroit is a city of pocket neighborhoods. In Midtown, where the Shinola store opened in 2013, dozens of new businesses have popped up within a three-block radius. There’s Slows To Go, an offshoot of Phillip Cooley’s barbecue joint; a farm-to-table restaurant called Selden Standard; a juice bar started by a group of five sisters; and Great Lakes Coffee, an exposed-brick and bare-lightbulb café offering an extensive beer list and Wednesday night trivia. Other neighborhoods have followed a similar growth pattern. On the same quiet residential block in the West Village neighborhood where New York City transplant David Kirby opened his market, eight new businesses will be opening within the year. 'When I first got here, my landlord was so sure I’d fail that I had to beg him to give me a lease,' says Kirby.

@@There’s a powerful energy and sense of optimism among young Detroit residents@@. Some are launching businesses; others are working on community engagement. They share the belief that reviving the city is a collective endeavor, and they gather at various hubs—Astro for coffee, Drought for juice, and Detroit Tough for kettlebell workouts and 6 a.m. runs—to connect and support one another. 'Detroit is a marriage of big-city culture and diversity with small-town accountability,' says Cooley. 'We hope to continue to be diverse and inclusive.'"

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