Short Rib on the Bone
Short Rib on the Bone. (Heirloom Hospitality Group)

Jeremy Sasson said creating Cash Only Supper Club was a personal project for him.

If you’re in search of a special place to enjoy fine dining, top-shelf libations and live entertainment, the intimate and romantic Cash Only Supper Club is an oasis worth exploring in Downtown Detroit. 

The 1,500-square-foot upscale nightclub, with seating for 52 guests, is found on the lower level of Prime + Proper, an award-winning steakhouse. Both are inside the former Peter Smith & Sons Co. skyscraper, built in 1912-13, in historic Capitol Park. Valet parking is available.

Jeremy Sasson, a former JN 36 Under 36 and founder in 2017 of Detroit-based Heirloom Hospitality Group, owns and operates the two businesses along with Heirloom’s Townhouse Birmingham and Townhouse Detroit. 

Sasson said creating Cash Only Supper Club was a personal project for him. Approaching what looked to him like “a blank canvas,” he curated a vintage Hollywood glam-meets-Art Deco décor. Features include pink neon accents, “sultry” lighting, a black-and-white striped floor and state-of-the-art sound system.

“The room is not entirely square, so the back mirror seems to be moving, giving a different perspective,” Sasson said. 

Salmon & Sorrel
Salmon & Sorrel Heirloom Hospitality Group

The space is luxurious and opulent with whimsical touches. Case in point is a hand-painted wall by local artist Greg Oberle that shows flamingos in tiny hats and a king pursuing a queen. Most guests sit at two-top and four-top tables, with six seats at the bar near a stage. A tufted velvet wall sofa area is Sasson’s impression of a Parisian hideaway.

The distinctive atmosphere and black-tie dress code of Cash Only Supper Club make it something of a throwback to the mid-20th century, when people would live it up in style. That’s rare today. Cash Only is one of the few local establishments that wants ladies to wear their fancy cocktail dresses and gentlemen to sport dinner jackets. Because at any age, and in every era, sometimes it’s just more fun to dress up.

The restaurant has an extensive liquor, wine and cocktail program. Sasson said he designed the drink menu to offer “theatrical show-like moments,” such as the table-side classic martini service using vintage barware. Martini drinkers “can sign their name in a book and see who else has signed the book,” he said. 

A few of the craft cocktails are “Call Me Cosmo,” made with pink peppercorn-infused vodka, pomegranate and orange cognac, and “Flip the Script,” the favorite cocktail of Sasson and his wife Aly, comprised of oak barrel-aged Reposado tequila, mezcal (alcoholic beverage) and chocolate bitters. “She’s With Me” is a $100 drink made with Cristal champagne, gin, Aperol (aperitif derived from agave), Averna (Italian liqueur) and flecks of gold. “We bring a Polaroid to take a picture, capturing the moment” for the guest and his/her party, Sasson said. 

Left to right: Call Me Cosmo, Flip The Script and The $100 She’s With Me cocktail.
Left to right: Call Me Cosmo, Flip The Script and The $100 She’s With Me cocktail. Heirloom Hospitality Group

Team members in white tuxedos, trained at Prime + Proper, provide guests with attentive service. Diners are given a printed list of the supper club’s seven-plus courses, the same menu for everyone. The only choice is deciding between two main entrees, dubbed “The Main Attraction.” 

On the night I was here with my sister, Janice Allweiss Young of Farmington Hills, I ordered Short Rib on the Bone, lean as can be, in a flavorful au jus. Her Salmon & Sorrel was sustainably raised Ora king salmon, plated with lightly battered fried artichokes. The base price for a meal is $175 per person, with add-on options of a Truffle Service for $45 and Caviar Bump & Bubbles (champagne) for $75. 

A new scratch menu debuts every four weeks, following approximately 2½ months of development. Sasson said Cash Only Supper Club seeks the freshest seasonal items it can obtain. Executive chef partner, Anthony DiRienzo, leads the restaurant’s innovative culinary team.

A Meal to Remember

The “Opening Act” for my sister Jann and I was the “Rolling in Dough” bread course. We were brought moist herbed focaccia and crusty pretzel bread, and Roth buttermilk blue cheese crackers. The latter drove us wild with their light texture and irresistible flavor. We also had thin, rainbow-colored radishes. Dressed with charcoal and black salt, they were meant to look as if freshly pulled from the ground.

We next enjoyed a “Perfect Trio” of scrumptious appetizers: Lobster Tartelette on a soft, elegant shell, sushi-like Uni Crispy Rice with ahi tuna and a crunchy texture; and thinly sliced and aged A5 Miyazaki Wagyu beef, the A5 referring to a grading scale in Japan. “The three appetizers speak to each other — like a Motown group,” said Sasson, who is fond of music analogies.

Cash Caesar Salad, a “Tableside Encore,” featured coal-roasted baby romaine, pecorino cheese and more in a hand-tossed Caesar dressing. Jann pronounced it the best Caesar she’s tried. 

Cash Caesar
Cash Caesar Heirloom Hospitality Group

“A lot of thought went into this dish,” Sasson said. Using the finest ingredients, he said, added depth, helping to elevate this supper club staple.

I was especially fond of the other “Tableside Encore” — Risotto — incorporating bone marrow, mascarpone cream cheese (no butter), truffles and Acquerello rice. Staff slicing fresh truffles for the risotto put “the cherry on top of an already delicious dish,” he said. Sasson visualizes offering his guests “more tableside presentations and a little cooking.” 

A palate cleanser of Beaujolais wine sorbet preceded “Interlude” — King Crab Vera Cruz placed in two elegant teacups. Each of us had a server pour a “nuance-spiced” tomato-based broth over our clump, just enough to let the crab shine.

The “Finale” dessert course that followed our entrees, Arbequina Ice Cream, struck us as rather unusual. Dribbles of pungent-citrus Arbequina olive oil and then coarse Italian pink salt finished the creamy olive oil gelato.

Perfect Trio
Perfect Trio Heirloom Hospitality Group

Heirloom Hospitality Group presents local and regional singers and musicians at Cash Only Supper Club. We liked the crowd interactions of Jeff Ponders & Friends, playing R&B and Motown on our night, starting at 8 p.m. Different entertainers perform from 5-7 p.m.

“We’re super excited to put together a platform for local music,” Sasson said. “There will be new acts coming in, providing new energy,” possibly including magicians and comedians.

The supper club’s hours of operation are 5 p.m.–midnight Friday and Saturday. Reservations are required and may be made through the website.

Note, too, that all forms of payment, including major credit cards, are welcome at Cash Only Supper Club. The name “Cash Only” had a loyal following and brand recognition in the spot’s earlier iteration as a membership club accepting cash only. The name was retained with the addition of “Supper Club,” when Sasson and Heirloom Hospitality redefined the room’s concept. 

Cash Only Supper Club

1145 Griswold St.
Detroit, MI 48226
(248) 636-2300
$$$$$ out of $$$$$

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