Chef Maxcel Hardy, known for serving A-list clientele and culinary ventures, has opened a new restaurant in Detroit. JED’s Detroit, located on Seven Mile and I-75, serves pizza and wings with a unique flair. With the first location being within the city, the chef hopes to introduce Detroit to a new wave.
Opened in mid-December, JED’s Detroit was birthed from a franchise out of Toledo, Ohio, that the chef bought out. Despite being a part of a larger family, the chef customized a few menu items for Detroiters to create an individual taste.
“We changed a few things to add more pizzaz, but we’re working under the same business plan,” Hardy says.
The Black-owned restaurant, which serves Artisan-style pizzas, features a menu full of fan favorites, including hamburgers and split wings. However, most notably, the restaurant specializes in chicken fireballs, which feature ten varieties.
“We’re known for fireballs which have different toppings served on top of chicken chunks,” Hardy shares.
In addition, the pizzeria also serves a different cut for its wings. Showcasing over 21 different flavors, the chef is offering a variety of spice levels for every lover.
“We have everything from Asian Zing to Jerk Barbeque,” Chef Hardy says. “We do split wings versus the standard chicken wings. It’s a different vibe.”
Also featured on the menu, the “Get Big” pizza is noted as the chef’s personal favorite. Made with fresh lobster and shrimp and served on a creamy alfredo sauce, the specialty pizza is unlike any other seafood pizza. To ensure its quality, the ingredients to create each pizza is delivered fresh to the restaurant from local Detroit businesses.
“The pizza is not Detroit or Chicago style. We use all fresh ingredients. Most of our stuff comes from the Eastern Market and we utilize urban farms. We get our spinach from Oakland Avenue Urban Farm,” Hardy shares.
While the restaurant industry continues to suffer from the financial and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chef Max Hardy chose to open the restaurant adding to the city’s resilience. Receiving no grant funds for the business launch, JED’s Detroit is looking to weather the storm.
“Right now, it’s tough for everybody. We’re just trying to do more marketing and get our name out,” Chef Hardy says.
Although the restaurant is carryout only, with plans of expansion, customers will soon enjoy their meals outside.
“This spring and summer, we will have outdoor seating where we will also serve beer and wine,” Chef Hardy shares.
Looking to branch out, Chef Hardy is hoping to grow its reach into Detroit’s surrounding areas. Wanting to bring individual flavor and creativity to residents across Michigan, plans to open additional restaurants are on the horizon.
“We’re looking to open in Dearborn, Southfield and other suburban cities,” Hardy says.
Outside of the kitchen, Chef Hardy also owns Chef Max Brand. Launched in 2002, the brand includes his spices, cutting boards, and chef coat line. Chef Hardy has also published cookbooks and Rohan Marley, entrepreneur and son of music legend Bob Marley, and basketball great Amar’e Stoudemire. Although Chef Hardy wears many hats, the restaurant is a venture near and dear to his heart.
“One of the cool things about this project is it’s something I really love,” Chef Hardy says. “I don’t get a chance to cook and have fun.”
As Detroit residents patronize the restaurant, JED’s Detroit’s goal is to become a family environment.
“It’s your family fun place where you can call and get your favorite takeout order,” Hardy says. “We have something for everybody to enjoy.”