Downtown Flint’s restaurant and entertainment scene has never been stronger or more diverse, great news in a city that has seen more than its share of economic woes over the years.
And restaurateurs are working hard to ensure their businesses — and downtown development momentum — remain healthy, despite the lead-in-water crisis that has affected the entire city and drawn the world’s attention.
Dr. Bobby Mukkamala, an ear, nose and throat physician, is also an investor who has ownership
in several downtown restaurants, including 501 Bar and Grill, Cork on Saginaw, Flint Crepe Co, Table and Tap and Merge. He also owns the Market Fire Station on Grand Traverse Ave., which houses Tenacity Brewing Co.
He and his wife, Dr. Nita Kulkarni, are longtime Flint supporters, establishing a scholarship fund at the University of Michigan-Flint and an endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint. He is the former president of the Genesee County Medical Society and was the recipient of the 2015 IMA Community Salute award. He and Nita and their two sons live in Flint.
“Being residents of the City of Flint, and having young children of our own, being physicians, and being restaurant owners, our interest in the water safety issue is personal as well as professional,” Mukkamala said
. “I want our restaurant offerings
to be just as safe to our customers as the food in my house is for my family, and it is.”
Commercial water ﬁltration systems were installed at the restaurants before the switch to Flint River water occurred in 2014 . In addition, since the buildings that house the restaurants have been extensively renovated, they had up-to-date infrastructure, including lead-free plumbing. Those measures appear to be working.
State ofﬁcials are conducting water tests of city restaurants.
Mukkamala and owners of other downtown properties also have commissioned their own independent water tests for their buildings.Their tests are done by Water Tech, which is certiﬁed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
All of the buildings tested below the desired maximum limit for lead set by federal and state agencies and in several cases, no lead was detected.
They pledge to continue to test monthly and post the results on Uptown Development’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Uptowndevelopments/).
Tenacity Brewing also recently reassured its customers via social media that the water used to make their beer has been ﬁltered since the brewery opened its doors and on-going tests show the water is lead free.
“It is an unfortunate, man-made situation, but it’s one that we can solve as well,” Mukkamala said. “There is light at the end of the tunnel, and we just need to do what is in the best interest of the health and well-being of our community and those affected until we arrive at that light.
There are so many wonderful dinning locations in downtown Flint. If you just stroll down the bricks you will see establishment after establishment ready to serve you great food, along with side of clean safe water. Come check out all Flint has to offer. #ChooseFlint