New craft beer bar opens above Gather in Eastern Market

The folks at Gather in Detroit are giving patrons another reason to congregate at the Eastern Market district restaurant: more beer.

Fourteen more taps, to be exact, of craft beers from around the world. There's also a rooftop patio scheduled to open in the spring.

The new bar, called Collect (spelled "Cøllect," to include the Danish word øl, which means beer) debuted officially Monday in the 1,200-square-foot floor above Gather, which opened at 1454 Gratiot Ave. in 2016 as a minimalist, American fare eatery.

Husband-and-wife co-owners Kyle and Lea Hunt invested $40,000-$50,000 in the new bar.

"It was only a matter of time before we got Gather up and going," Kyle Hunt said. "It allowed my wife and I a little more free time to see how we wanted to activate the space above Gather ... It's an eclectic, small artisan bar."

Hunt said planning for the 34-seat establishment started about five months ago. Plumbing and electrical were already running, so it was just a matter of securing approvals from the city and extending Gather's liquor license to also cover Collect.

Patrons at the new watering hole can expect a true extension of the minimalist, from scratch restaurant. The no-frills bar has 14 stools with bench seats wrapping the outer wall. Beers will be imported from lesser-known craft breweries from Ferndale to Stockholm, offering customers a different taste among the influx of craft breweries in the city.

For example, tap beers include a sour ale with elderflower, an apricot Berliner weisse from Copenhagen and a pale wheat ale with rooibos tea from Chicago. There are IPAs, stouts and several styles in between. There are also cans and bottles available.

Patrons are welcome to bring drinks down from the bar upstairs to the restaurant, but food will not be allowed upstairs.

Hunt said a rooftop patio will open in the spring. While expansion has long been planned by the couple, the new bar's opening signals a successful foray into food at the popular Detroit market. Gather experienced a blip four months after opening when a chef change caused the restaurant to close for a few weeks. It's been regular hours and strong patronage since, though, Hunt said.

"I think it met expectations, and some weeks and months we go beyond what's expected," he said, declining to disclose revenue figures. "There's obviously a lot of new restaurants in Detroit, so we're just holding strong. (We are) kind of still an island as far as restaurants go in Eastern Market."

Collect will be open Monday-Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.