March 25, 2023 8:37 am

Stephanie Byrd and Cristina Byrd may well share the similar final name and co-personal the family members companies — a neighborhood gathering space complete of numerous generations. But how they got to this point could not be additional various.

Their father, Michael Byrd, also is a co-owner of Flood’s Bar &amp Grille, The Block and The Garden Theater in Detroit. But soon after 40 years, he is stepping back as his daughters run the show. 

Beginning in the restaurant business enterprise at the age of ten, Cristina Byrd followed in the footsteps of her father, who had bought Flood’s Bar &amp Grille in 1988.

Stephanie Byrd was on a various profession path. When she was young, she would count adjust and do other chores in the restaurant. But she then moved to Washington, D.C., to go to college and continued to reside there to perform in the advertising market. She returned property ten years ago to enable continue the family’s vision soon after she realized the empire that her family members was developing. 

It took the sisters a whilst to find out how to perform in sync with every single other. Now, they speak routinely when it comes to the companies, but they also appreciate every single other in their cost-free time. 

“We’re in a position to have a superior friendship and I trust my business enterprise companion implicitly,” Cristina Byrd stated. “Even in some cases when we do not agree on factors, I know she has my finest interest and our family’s finest interest, business’ finest interest at heart. And in some cases, she does not agree with me. But we’ve also realized that when we’re not in sync, it does not perform as nicely.”

Cristina Byrd oversees Flood’s, on St. Antoine, and Stephanie Byrd oversees The Garden Theater, which opened in 2013, and The Block, which opened seven years ago. Their father and his business enterprise companion, George Stewart, personal the entire block exactly where the latter two companies are situated on Woodward Avenue in between Selden and Alexandrine streets. This consists of workplace spaces, parking garage, retail and apartments. 

Placing employees 1st

The Black-owned companies have a big concentrate on their buyers and their workers.

At Flood’s, all of the managers have been functioning at the restaurant for additional than ten years. And the menu hasn’t changed substantially in an work to preserve a familiar vibe and refrain from following trends.

The Block has a entirely various vibe with an emphasis on weekend brunches.

And The Garden Theater holds big events in its space with a capacity of up to 1,000 persons based on the form of occasion. 

COVID-19 produced a lot of shifts for the family’s companies. Michael Byrd began to step to a behind-the-scenes part and his daughters had to fill in to enable with restaurant responsibilities. Right after the second pandemic-associated shutdown, Flood’s saw business enterprise choose up once again. The demographics of the restaurant evolved, also, to buyers in between the ages of 30 and 50. 

“Flood’s is a enjoy letter to Detroit,” stated Stephanie Byrd. “And no matter if it is young or old, we’re going to make confident that we keep the course and we keep Detroit.”

Finding out from Dad

Stephanie Byrd and Cristina Byrd discovered entrepreneurship from their father likewise, Michael Byrd discovered it from his father. Michael Byrd began functioning with his dad’s cement corporation at a young age, exactly where he did bookkeeping and managing jobs.

Ahead of he began his personal business enterprise, he worked as a manager at Basic Motors at the time when the corporation bought Electronic Information Systems, or EDS. And when the corporation took more than his division at GM, he began traveling to other states. He saw a lot of events and happenings across the nation, but seldom saw spaces that catered to Black persons. 

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“After speaking with a quantity of persons, it was also recognized that if it could come about — it could come about in Detroit,” Michael Byrd stated. “There would be chance and challenges right here, so that is what we went about undertaking — attempting to obtain out exactly where was the niche for us? What could we do?”

He initially had additional persons that had been set to join him in the new business enterprise, but they backed out at the final minute. Right after speaking to his wife, Alida Fast Byrd, he decided to take ownership of the restaurant. His wife and cousins served as the 1st managers. His uncles have also worked with the restaurant given that its begin.

Now 40 years later, he says he is impressed by the way that his daughters have taken leadership more than the companies. 

“I’m quite confident that they have the capabilities to make it come about,” Michael Byrd stated. He stated he and his wife wouldn’t have been in a position to get via the pandemic period without having their daughters and grandson.

There are plans to expand Flood’s, which includes some new menu products. There also is a stand-alone bar set to open in The Garden Theater.

“Flood’s is family members-oriented and we’ve been in a position to invest in the futures of our family members,” Stephanie Byrd stated. She notes that her father’s targets are getting fulfilled. “He did specifically what he intended to do. 

“We’re second generation, and now we’re speaking about my nephew, who’s third generation. We hope that we’ll get to the fourth and fifth generation,” she stated. 

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