I first found out about Stockyard Detroit via Instagram. I believe it was some magical picture of a dinner in a big, empty, abandoned space. Something about the contrast of a finely conceptualized, well-prepared meal, alongside the rawness of a cold industrial interior seemed to summarize some of what’s happening in a broader sense in Detroit right now. Making beauty out of what’s left, using our resources, moving onwards and upwards, while remembering the past and what the city is built upon. Stockyard Detroit is a perfect example—a perfect microcosm—of what I love about this city and I knew eventually I had to photograph one of their dinners.
Stockyard began in 2013 in a loft as a single pop-up dinner but partners Marc Bogoff and Michael Ivkov were also working on putting together a food truck to serve artisan sandwiches. The truck served it’s first sandwich in the summer of 2014 and Stockyard starting gaining momentum not only with the truck, but with their pop up dinners as well. Expanding to locations such as local storefronts, galleries and workshops, some of their most striking services have taken place at the Michigan Theatre and, most recently, a former Model-T Plant from the early 1900’s.
I was lucky enough to photograph a recent dinner, where I was completely enamored with the location and mood of the evening from the minute I walked into the room. Surrounded by various Model-T’s and walking on rich hardwood floors that had seen some of the most influential years of car assembly Detroit would ever see, you knew you were a place that, in terms of the city’s history, was pretty damn influential. Meanwhile, beautifully prepared salads, scallops, and duck (amongst other dishes) were plated in front of leaded glass windows that overlooked the New Center area of the city while the Stockyard truck sat in the parking lot a few floors below pumping out trays of cooked ingredients.
Marc and Michael are doing something special with Stockyard and I was so lucky to be a part of it. I can only hope the photos can offer a glimmer of not only what Stockyard is doing, but a slice of what is happening in this magical city of Detroit I call home.
Ford Piquette Avenue Plant