Since Antietam’s inception, I’ve always wanted to visit. Antietam is a French-inspired, art deco restaurant located in the Eastern Market neighborhood in Detroit. Friends have raved not only of the food, but the restaurant’s interior design. In January, Antietam announced that March 31st would be their last day. I knew I had to explore everything Antietam has to offer before it became a memory.
The minute I walked through the door, I was transported into Antietam’s art deco, whimsical and artistic world. The restaurant gave me quite the first impression and I was blown away. It was elegant, but also effortlessly chic. The aged wood walls and tin ceiling were drapery in silk and lace fabrics. The soft curve lines of the fabric were a beautiful juxtaposition against the hard lines of the vertical wood planked walls. Throughout the room there were shelves with interesting objects, hanging features, stringed beads and chandeliers made of branches. The room was undoubtedly sophisticated. But, it also felt like I was inside of a child’s blanket fort furnished with my grandma’s antiques and things found in the woods. The entry dining room felt like a dream. Before proceeding to the host stand, I just stood in the center because I wanted to feel hugged by the room and absorb every second.
In the back of the room, large wooden cabinets and a display case added complexity and interest. The large center antique cabinet held a collection of old teacups and sauces. It reminded me of the teacup hanging self in my grandma’s house when I was a child. There had to be at least a hundred teacups on display. Behind the cabinet, tall wooden cabinets flanked an antique light fixture and mini bar. Above it all, I could now see the tin ceiling in all its glory. It had to be original and I loved how it has aged over its 90 year life.
The restaurant occupies two side by side building that were built in the 1930s. The entry dining room, with the draped fabric, is in the first building and the main dining room is in the second building. As I turned left from the entry dining room and walked through to the second building, the restaurant’s atmosphere continued but with different intriguing details. The main dining room felt very art deco yet had many modern touches.
I was instantly drawn to the wood art deco bar in the corner. In classic antique art deco style, the bar was large, rounded and emphasized elegance and luxury. Gold colored accents emphasized the curves and added more sophistication to the already stunning piece. Crowing the bar, sat a blue circle with a gilded dancer. I knew the dancer well because Antietam often uses this as one of their logos. But, in person, the gilded dancer was larger and prettier than I expected. Even as I sat at my table, I caught myself glimpsing over at the dancer and the bar the entire night.
As we made it to the table and ate our meal, I was captivated by the restaurant. The lights, wood, patterns, antique accents, and vibe screamed art deco, but the large leather banquette, concrete tables and geometric chairs made the space really modern. Over every table, there was a porcelain light elegantly draped in knitted chain. The chain almost felt like fabric as it lightly laid on the lights. This really tied in nicely to the Entry Dining Room’s draped fabrics as well. The focal point to the dining area was the fresco wall. It was a modern take on the ancient Egyptian techniques. While most of the room felt very structural, this wall felt organic with it mixed colors and rock tones.
As my meal came to a close, I did not want to leave. Antietam brought together imaginative ideas, great vintage finds, local artist creations, and a art deco inspiration. I would highly recommend spending any evening, happy hour or brunch at Antietam. While it will only be open for a few more weeks, I would race to Antietam and immerse yourself in this gorgeous interior.