The 90-year-old Vinsetta Garage on Woodward Avenue is expected to open to the public sometime this week as a restaurant, and while no images of the renovated space have been circulated, we found the next best thing.
UPDATE: Vinsetta Garage will open at 4 p.m. today.
Among the few people granted a “sneak peek” at the full Vinsetta Garage experience was Berkley City Councilwoman Lisa Platt Auensen. She attended a preview event with other city officials last weekend and confirmed it’s everything people are hoping it to be and more.
“I think this will be one of my new favorite places because the food is good, the drink selection is good and sitting in that space honestly just makes you feel good,” she said.
Auensen and her husband, who live near Vinsetta, were able to ride their bikes there to enjoy drinks, appetizers, dinner and a great atmosphere, she said.
“We started by doing a visual tour around the space,” she explained, adding that there is a fresh polish on the interior while still keeping the old character of the garage itself. “There's a mix of new/old wallpaper, woodwork, beams and eclectic art and artifacts all keeping in theme with its auto heritage. We found ourselves trying to guess what was new and what was original.”
Auensen said it’s a well-lit atmosphere with large skylights, and a large industrial bar and pizza oven where the focal point of the space. And of course, one of the best features of any good restaurant — it was buzzing with locals enjoying themselves.
“We found a table with friends where we ordered the loaded potato chips (because it was such an original item) and a drink from the great bar selection,” she said.
Auensen, a “connoisseur' of mac 'n' cheese, said she was on a mission to see how Vinsetta’s stacked up to some of its rivals. And she got the answer she was looking for: “It was fantastic, with several kinds of cheese, nicely baked and not greasy, and I had plenty to take home for the next day's lunch. I'll definitely order it again.”
It’s safe to say Auensen will be a Vinsetta regular and general supporter of what it represents in the city.
“It's these types of destination businesses that are starting to put Berkley on the map,” she said. “I think it will do very well in the city as there has been a significant increase of young professionals in Berkley who have been craving this type of establishment. And they were able to reuse a fantastic historic building. Well done.”