• Fri. Mar 24th, 2023

Detroit sisters able to develop Flood’s bar, The Block, Backyard Theater


Mar 18, 2023

Stephanie Byrd and Cristina Byrd would possibly share the identical final title and co-own the household companies — a group gathering area filled with a number of generations. However how they received so far couldn’t be extra totally different.

Their father, Michael Byrd, is also a co-owner of Flood’s Bar & Grille, The Block and The Backyard Theater in Detroit. However after 40 years, he’s stepping again as his daughters run the present. 

Beginning within the restaurant enterprise on the age of 10, Cristina Byrd adopted within the footsteps of her father, who had bought Flood’s Bar & Grille in 1988.

Stephanie Byrd was on a distinct profession path. When she was younger, she would rely change and do different chores within the restaurant. However she then moved to Washington, D.C., to go to varsity and continued to stay there to work within the advertising trade. She returned dwelling 10 years in the past to assist proceed the household’s imaginative and prescient after she realized the empire that her household was constructing. 

It took the sisters some time to learn to work in sync with one another. Now, they discuss frequently in the case of the companies, however in addition they get pleasure from one another of their free time. 

“We’re in a position to have a very good friendship and I belief my enterprise accomplice implicitly,” Cristina Byrd mentioned. “Even generally once we do not agree on issues, I do know she has my finest curiosity and our household’s finest curiosity, enterprise’ finest curiosity at coronary heart. And generally, she would not agree with me. However we have additionally realized that once we’re not in sync, it would not work as properly.”

Cristina Byrd oversees Flood’s, on St. Antoine, and Stephanie Byrd oversees The Backyard Theater, which opened in 2013, and The Block, which opened seven years in the past. Their father and his enterprise accomplice, George Stewart, personal the entire block the place the latter two companies are positioned on Woodward Avenue between Selden and Alexandrine streets. This consists of workplace areas, parking storage, retail and flats. 

Placing workers first

The Black-owned companies have an enormous deal with their prospects and their workers.

At Flood’s, all the managers have been working on the restaurant for greater than 10 years. And the menu hasn’t modified a lot in an effort to maintain a well-recognized vibe and chorus from following developments.

The Block has a totally totally different vibe with an emphasis on weekend brunches.

And The Backyard Theater holds giant occasions in its area with a capability of as much as 1,000 individuals relying on the kind of occasion. 

COVID-19 created numerous shifts for the household’s companies. Michael Byrd began to step to a behind-the-scenes position and his daughters needed to fill in to assist with restaurant obligations. After the second pandemic-related shutdown, Flood’s noticed enterprise decide up once more. The demographics of the restaurant advanced, too, to prospects between the ages of 30 and 50. 

“Flood’s is a love letter to Detroit,” mentioned Stephanie Byrd. “And regardless of if it’s younger or outdated, we’re going to make it possible for we keep the course and we keep Detroit.”

Studying from Dad

Stephanie Byrd and Cristina Byrd discovered entrepreneurship from their father; likewise, Michael Byrd discovered it from his father. Michael Byrd began working together with his dad’s cement firm at a younger age, the place he did bookkeeping and managing jobs.

Earlier than he began his personal enterprise, he labored as a supervisor at Normal Motors on the time when the corporate bought Digital Knowledge Methods, or EDS. And when the corporate took over his division at GM, he began touring to different states. He noticed numerous occasions and happenings throughout the nation, however hardly ever noticed areas that catered to Black individuals. 

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“After talking with a variety of individuals, it was additionally recognized that if it might occur — it might occur in Detroit,” Michael Byrd mentioned. “There can be alternative and challenges right here, so that is what we went about doing — looking for out the place was the area of interest for us? What might we do?”

He initially had extra people who have been set to hitch him within the new enterprise, however they backed out on the final minute. After speaking to his spouse, Alida Fast Byrd, he determined to take possession of the restaurant. His spouse and cousins served as the primary managers. His uncles have additionally labored with the restaurant since its begin.

Now 40 years later, he says he’s impressed by the best way that his daughters have taken management over the companies. 

“I’m very assured that they’ve the abilities to make it occur,” Michael Byrd mentioned. He mentioned he and his spouse wouldn’t have been in a position to get by means of the pandemic interval with out their daughters and grandson.

There are plans to develop Flood’s, together with some new menu gadgets. There is also a stand-alone bar set to open in The Backyard Theater.

“Flood’s is family-oriented and we’ve been in a position to put money into the futures of our household,” Stephanie Byrd mentioned. She notes that her father’s targets are being fulfilled. “He did precisely what he supposed to do. 

“We’re second era, and now we’re speaking about my nephew, who’s third era. We hope that we’ll get to the fourth and fifth era,” she mentioned. 

Contact Chanel Stitt: cstitt@freepress.com.