A downtown in progress in Auburn Hills has a restaurant joining the mix of the businesses that are a part of an economic development plan to provide a walkable, community-event centered central gathering place for local families, students and visitors.
Elwell Grill, run by a restaurateur who came out of retirement at age 76, opened in December and is now serving lunch and dinner from a modern American menu in a cozy urban setting. Patrick Elwell has a nearly 50-year history in restaurants in Auburn Hills.
The city's Tax Increment Financing Authority, which is investing in the emerging downtown area around Auburn and Squirrel roads, provided funding so that the restaurant would contribute to a Main Street feel. Originally the entrance would have been at the rear of the Elwell Grill, but with the help of TIFA it was moved to the front and additional doors and windows were added.
The push to create a downtown and attract more businesses is in large part connected to the opening next year of an Oakland University graduate student housing and retail complex that will attract hundreds of residents.
Writer: Kim North Shine
Source: Tom Tanghe, Auburn Hills assistant city manager