Sophisticated Detroit Steakhouse Celebrated for ‘Opulence and Decadence’

McIntosh Poris Associates’ Prime + Proper Lauded for Design Excellence  

McIntosh Poris Associates’ design for Prime + Proper, located in Detroit, MI, offers a sophisticated interior inspired by Art Deco designs of the past century. Photos: Aly Sasson. Click here for high-resolution images.

DETROIT: McIntosh Poris Associates’ design for Prime + Proper—an upscale restaurant blending classic steakhouse traditions with modern luxury in Detroit—has been honored by the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles chapter (AIA|LA) with two 2019 AIA|LA Restaurant Design Awards.  Located in a remodeled 1912 building in Detroit’s Capitol Park Historic District, Prime + Proper reflects the proprietor’s concept of “prime meats and proper service” within a sophisticated interior inspired by Art Deco designs of the past century.  The project received a Citation Award and the People’s Choice, both in the Restaurants category.

“Prime + Proper takes full advantage of being in Detroit, as it telegraphs opulence and decadence,” said the AIA|LA Restaurant Design Awards jury, who honor and celebrate the design of restaurants, bars, cafés, nightclubs, and lounges nationwide.  Previously, Prime + Proper received AIA Michigan’s Honor Award in the Interior category.

From the street, patrons enter under a new steel canopy supporting metal letters spelling out the name of the restaurant.  New operable storefront windows stretching along the street provide views of Capitol Park from the 140 seats inside, and swing out during warmer months to open the interior to the streetscape, where an additional 77 seats are provided outdoors.

Near the entrance, the animal hide-faced bar features a quartz countertop simulating onyx to complement the marble-tiled floor.  The hexagon pattern of the floor tiles in the bar and entryway is based on the Prime + Proper logo and repeated on the entrance door handles, bar stool arms, and steak knives.

In the main dining room, brass tables are topped with marble-simulated porcelain.  Tufted banquettes along the windows are upholstered with distressed leather.  The dining room furniture and swing-arm lighting are custom designed by McIntosh Poris Associates, referencing vintage pieces with a modern feeling.  Graphic black-and-white burnout velvet arm chairs, along with leather, hair-on-hide, and chenille upholstered booths and banquettes are combined with imported ceiling lighting fixtures, marble tiling, and wood flooring to provide a layered, glamorous setting.  An open kitchen showcases a custom-built wood-burning grill, glass-enclosed butcher counter, raw seafood bar, pastry station, and wine displays to allow the cuisine to be part of the décor.

A highlight of the restaurant is the 100-year-old grand marble staircase that was restored along with its bronze railing to provide patrons a place for visually striking social media moments.  The lower level includes a 300-square-foot dry aging room that features pink Himalayan sea salt-lined walls within a marine-grade stainless-steel enclosure.  Diners are welcome to view this chamber to admire the variety and quality of meats prepared and served.  The special chef’s table is tucked into a nook next to the glass-encased wine storage, while walls lined with protruding pieces of butcher block showcase the same wood used to cut the steaks served in the restaurant.

McIntosh Poris Associates is responsible for Prime + Proper’s architecture, space planning, interior design, and custom furniture designs.  Other project team members included Jeremy Sasson (owner); Milo Building Company (construction manager); MA Engineering (MEP engineer); and Great Lakes Hotel Supply Co. (food service design).

McIntosh Poris Associates is a full-service architecture, interiors, and urban design firm.  Founded in 1994 by Michael Poris, AIA, and the late Douglas McIntosh, the firm transforms buildings, communities, and urban centers with architecture created through dialogue.  Since 1994, McIntosh Poris Associates has won more than 100 awards for single- and multi-family residential, mixed-use, commercial, hospitality, and arts projects throughout metropolitan Detroit, New York City, and Ontario for private, public, and non-profit clients.