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Food Desert? Try Design Desert: Why Detroit Needs Hugh!

Curbed Detroit loves a contest! So the Hatch Program to finance a new retail shop is right up our alley. Right now there are ten contestants in the running to win $50,000 along with other business services and the voting is live! But there is a problem! Not enough of you are in love with Hugh yet. And you should be! Hugh is the brainchild of local man-about-town Joe Posch. He's offering to hook us all up with something missing in this town: a contemporary take on classic bachelor pad style. (Think mid-century modern “Mad Men” style meets present.) We're hoping Hugh pulls ahead in the running and we went straight to the source for a sales pitch.

C Det: What can furnishings do for us?

Joe Posch: Hugh is important for Detroit because the fact is, we have a shortage of quality hard goods retailers in downtown, let alone the city. And Hugh is good—as good or better than any independent store in the region. And it is unique— there is nobody out there doing this.

On a philosophical level, I think the the answer is that it is uniquely Detroit. It walks that fine line between being a full commercial sellout and being super authentic, and I think you could argue Detroit struggles with that parallel in its efforts at revitalization.

Finally, Hugh is fun. It's a sound business that doesn't take itself too seriously, throws great parties, brings outstanding style to downtown and inspires its customers, whether in gift-giving or lifestyle or decor. And at the end of the day, those are core Detroit values.

So sure, another food or beverage establishment would be welcome—hell, I'd welcome any of the finalists, they're great. But Detroit needs stores like Hugh if its neighborhoods are going be anything more than entertainment districts. There has to be a balance!

· Hatch Detroit [Official Site]