Welcome Back: Shinola Hotel, Bedrock to Host Community Event in Honor of Thomas Parker

Shinola Hotel and Bedrock are pleased to welcome the community, guests and visitors alike back to Parker’s Alley – the walkway behind Shinola Hotel originally owned by Thomas Parker, one of Detroit’s first Black landowners – on Thursday, June 24.


The celebratory event will kick off with a plaque dedication for Parker along the alley wall, followed by a lineup of live entertainment and locally-led programming from partners NoHo Hospitality Group, Smokey G’s Smokehouse, Third Man Records and more.


“Detroiters have been known for generations for their resiliency and determination,” said Nadia Sesay, Chief Community Growth and Development Officer at Bedrock. “There may be no greater founding example than that of Thomas Parker, who proudly purchased this parcel of land as one of the first African Americans to do so in Detroit. We’re excited to honor and remember this historic moment by dedicating the alleyway in his name and now, more visibly, through this plaque.”

Emceed by Detroit native, performance poet and LGBTQ activist Natasha T. Miller, the ceremony will include remarks from a variety of local community leaders, including Sesay, along with Neil Barclay, CEO of the city’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, who will perform the formal plaque dedication.


Following the ceremony, Parker’s Alley will open to the public for a celebratory evening of food, drinks, shopping and additional entertainment, including a live performance by jazz icons the Ralphe Armstrong Trio, as well as a set from DJ Drake Phifer. The full schedule of events for Thursday, June 24 is as follows:


4:30PM Thomas Parker Plaque Dedication Ceremony | Speaker list:

  • Natasha T. Miller, Performance Poet & Event Emcee
  • Nadia Sesay, Chief Community Growth and Development Officer, Bedrock
  • Neil Barclay, CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History


5:15PM Parker’s Alley Block Party begins | Partner list:

  • BBQ from Smokey G’s Smokehouse
  • Treats from NoHo Hospitality Group’s Penny Reds
  • Rolling Record Store from Third Man Records
  • Shopping at Parker’s Alley retailers


6:30PM Live performance by the Ralphe Armstrong Trio


9:00PM Event concludes


Shinola Hotel is located at 1400 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226, between John R and Grand River Ave. For additional information, please follow along on Facebook and Instagram.


About Parker’s Alley

After the devastating fire of 1805, Detroiters, ever resilient, set out to rebuild the city. Vital to this pursuit was an emerging black community that within a generation would eradicate slavery and begin establishing its mark on the city’s social, political, and economic development. During this time, four African Americans became Detroit’s first black landowners—Elizabeth Cooper, Pompey Abbott, Hannah Ashley, and Thomas Parker. At this site is Lot 70 in Section 7 owned by Thomas Parker. To commemorate this history, the Shinola Hotel named this area Parker’s Alley.


About Shinola Hotel 

Brought to Detroit in 2018 by two local companies — Shinola and Bedrock — Shinola Hotel is a luxury retreat standing eight stories tall in Detroit’s historic Woodward Shopping District. Operated by Mac&Lo Hospitality, Shinola Hotel boasts 129 rooms, numerous event spaces, and six food and beverage concepts from award-winning chef, Andrew Carmellini, including upscale Italian restaurant, San Morello; beer hall, The Brakeman; and fried chicken spot, Penny Red’s. The hyper-local design is visible throughout the hotel — from mini bars stocked with local products, to custom designed Detroit wallpaper, to ceramic wall tiles and millwork crafted by local vendors. The property marries two restored buildings — the old T.B. Rayl & Co. sporting goods and hardware store and a former Singer sewing-machine store — with three brand new buildings modeled after downtown Detroit’s historic architecture.

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