Union Street’s building dates back to the early 1900’s when a hardware store/auto parts store were part of a thriving Woodward Avenue. Across the street was the Garden Bowl and the Majestic theatre built in 1915.
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In the 30’s, the famous Italian restaurant
Click for photo!
opened, thus the long running history of restaurants at 4145 Woodward Ave. Arturo’s was owned by relatives of other Detroit eateries, namely, Mario’s and Lelli’s! Arturo’s was also a social club for the Click for photo! in Detroit. Down the street was the magnificent Greystone Ballroom where the Big Band’s played and people danced all night long. The Greystone bar, now Canfield’s had a gym above it where Mohammed Ali worked out as a young boxer.
The area was “happening” with people and activity and a nightlife we long for in Detroit today. Imagine the streetcars full, theatres and restaurants going all night long, wow, maybe we can do it again!

In the 60’s, Arturo’s closed down and Mad Wayne Anthony’s opened. The name was appropriate for this “wild” neighborhood hangout. Entertainment of all “sorts”, along with a “party” atmosphere certainly added to its reputation. The neighborhood continued to decline and Mad Wayne Anthony’s closed. The entire block sat empty before Tom Brandel saw its potential and opened up Union Street in the mid 70’s.
Union Street was a famous street in San Francisco with several bars and restaurants. Tom reopened the kitchen and started a Jazz & Blues tradition at Union Street. Tom Brandel is a well-known restaurateur in Metro Detroit with Tom’s Oyster bar as well as several other successful establishments. Union Street became a well-known restaurant under Tom’s guidance and vision.

Greg Gedda

Tony Balsys

Greg Gedda and Tony Balsys bought Union Street from Tom in 1986. Two inexperienced hometown boys were in for the journey of their life. They not only dealt with a costly business, but the Cultural Center had all the major problems of Detroit at that time.

John Lopez

Union Street evolved from a San Francisco pub to a “Motown” hangout. The first few years were quite a party, Union Street even had an “after hours” club for over a year just to make it happen. Under Ron Stewart’s food regime and John Lopez’s floor command Union Street finally got a review by Molly and we really took off!

Spot, our in house pet was Tony’s dog - a beautiful & gentle “Pit Bull”! Spot was a part of the early zany days at Street. Our original “logo” was a still picture of Spot sitting at our bar; Tony added the motto-“I was spotted at Union Street”

Tony left the business, but without his zany contributions, who knows what would have happened. We became the 1st “hot spot” in Detroit in years. The “way cool” place to be. Our Art Gallery, poetry readings and eclectic bar crowd were propelling us into the “Big Time”.

In the mid 90’s, Union Street became a full-fledged restaurant. We build a brand new kitchen in order to grow into our expanding market. We totally remodeled the “Michigan Room” in the exact replica of our art deco look in the main dining room.
Union Street continues to grow and expand into new areas. Our catering and in-house parties have grown along with our theatre crowd. Union Street is the neighborhood “hub” for community activities. We are committed to the community at large, always working to improve the neighborhood we proudly represent!

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