Local media have devoted much ink and bandwidth to the struggles of Bert's Marketplace, a Detroit jazz bar, restaurant and retail space in Eastern Market. Bert Dearing, who's operated the popular jazz club and barbecue joint for almost 30 years, says the landlord's plans to auction the marketplace building threaten his business, and his dream of handing over control to his granddaughter one day. Representatives of the owner tell Curbed a completely different story, insisting that Dearing's lease runs through 2017, and sale of the property won't affect—and certainly won't threaten—the business
Like many in the Detroit area, Dearing, who bought the marketplace building in 2003, fell behind in mortgage payments after suffering a medical crisis last year, and lost the venue to an investment group after foreclosure. While Dearing admitted to MetroTimes that his business isn't in immediate jeopardy, he and his family have been all over local TV and newspapers crying foul over the sale and have started a GoFundMe campaign aimed at helping Dearing reacquire the property.
The Marketplace is currently listed at Auction.com with a starting bid of $700K. The listing describes it as 33,327 square feet of "mixed-use retail/warehouse building," complete with 20,000 square feet of parking. The seller estimate's the building's annual income at $80,400. Whether the building reverts to Dearing or to another party, let's hope Bert's Marketplace says put. Recently featured in National Geographic, this Detroit institution with its massive 30-foot outdoor barbecue grill, 1-pound "Oh My God Burgers," and foot-long Polish sausages, and great live music including Sweet Willie Tea and outdoor karaoke.
·Protesters Say Black Businesses Forced out of Detroit [My Fox Detroit]
·Bert's Hits the Auction Block [Detroit Free Press]
·Taking Back Detroit [National Geographic]
·Hotspot Bert's Hits the Auction Block [MetroTimes]
·GoFundMe for Bert's Marketplace [GoFUndMe]
·Russell Street/Marketplace Auction Site [Auction.com]