Nico Gatzaros, whose family owns Fishbone’s in Gmily owns Fishbone’s in Greektown, has opened a new Chinese restaurant in the financial district.
Gatzaros, a first generation American whose father has been in Detroit since 1962 when he emigrated from Greece, said his family loves the city.
“We wanted to do something downtown that was a little outside the norm,” Gatzaros said. “We didn’t want to just do a hamburger and hotdog place, so we thought a Chinese restaurant would be a great fit. Everybody likes Chinese food.”
Gatzaros also decided to give an area outside of Greektown a shot. The new restaurant, Wah-Hoo, located at 536 Shelby serves authentic Chinese food.
“The Pan-Asian restaurants are pretty hot right now,” Gatzaros said. “And it was outside of the norm of selections that you had, and we wanted to offer something different.”
He noted that a lot of eateries are “just sandwich places.” The Wah-Hoo menu includes a full sushi bar. The restaurant has a liquor license.
Asked why he chose that location for the new restaurant, Gatzaros said his family owns the building (the Murphy Telegraph Building) and wants to clean up their “little section of downtown.”
“We did a lot of remodeling in there, and we took down a few walls,” he said. “We have a completely open kitchen, where you can see every square inch of that kitchen.”
The restaurant, which seats 90 in its main dining room and also has a loft level for parties of up to 40 people, also offers carry-out and delivery within a three block radius.
Asked what his restaurant offers that might make either an aficionado of another Chinese restaurant or someone who has never tried Chinese food pay Wah-Hoo a visit, Gatzaros said all the food is fresh,and made to order.
“We make everything in house,” he said. “Everything’s fresh. We use no MSG in anything, which I think is important because people are health conscious about those kinds of things.”
Gatzaros said the challenge is getting people through the door, but pointed that those who have eaten there have loved it.
Wah-Hoo serves food until 8 p.m. on weekdays, and until 10 p.m. for the bar. On weekends, Wah-Hoo serves food until 10 p.m. and the bar is open until midnight.