Besa Restaurant

The design of BESA, a modern fine-dining restaurant in Detroit’s Financial District inspired by Armenian culture, focuses on welcoming passersby and features a monumental staircase, custom high-end finishes, glass pendant lights, and a made-to-order raw bar.

  • area / size 5,550 sqft
  • Year 2018
  • Type Restaurant,
  • In Armenian culture, BESA encompasses the meaning of the words welcome, shelter, and loyalty. Inspired by the culture, the design focuses on welcoming passersby from the bustling streets of Detroit’s Financial District.

    BESA, a modern fine-dining restaurant inside Bedrock’s Vinton building, seats 135 guests throughout the main dining area, bar lounge, and patio, with a private dining area that accommodates up to 36 guests.

    The design intent of this flashy, imaginative, dining destination was to seamlessly join the two levels through the use of a monumental staircase. Small pops of rich colors and high saturation were influenced by the Ownership’s culture.

    Located at 600 Woodward, the two-level restaurant includes a main level dining room furnished with custom, high-end finishes on marble tabletops, leather upholstered booths, glass pendant lights, a luxury bar area with high-top tables, and a made-to-order raw bar. Creating a link between the restaurant’s levels, a monumental staircase, that also serves as acoustical control within the space, features a unique wood-clad and cove lighting design. The lower-level lounge features the building’s original, restored tile flooring, marble-top tables, soft leather couches, and a 12-seat chef’s table dining room for private parties. An overflowing, private wine cellar is simple, transparent, and welcoming.

    Designing the bar on the southeast corner of the space to face Woodward Avenue was intentional to showcase a high level of activity within the restaurant and to invite those passing by into the space.

    Design: Neumann/Smith Architecture
    Construction: ROK Construction
    Photography: John D’Angelo