Dennis Archer Jr. wears many hats – he’s the CEO of Ignition Media Group, a leading integrated marketing agency; founding partner of Archer Corporate Services (ACS); and majority owner of Central Kitchen + Bar, a thriving new restaurant in downtown Detroit. Archer is also involved in many civic and philanthropic organizations serving as the former Chair of the Detroit Regional Chamber Board of Directors among other roles.
Dennis recently sat down with Mike and Kevin to give his take on the impact Coronavirus has had on Detroit thus far, how his companies are doing during the pandemic, and why he’s confident Detroit will bounce back. He also shares stories about what it was like growing up as the son of the Mayor of Detroit.
[00:25] Introducing today’s guest, Dennis Archer Jr.
[02:00] How was it growing up with a politician father?
[03:00] How old were you when your dad was Mayor of Detroit?
[03:55] History of the Manoogian Mansion and Dennis’s experience living there
[05:22] Detroit’s comeback and the restaurant scene
[06:40] Dennis talks about learning from his mistakes and opening his second restaurant, Central Kitchen + Bar
[08:30] Central Kitchen + Bar opened “early” in 2015 before Detroit’s restaurant business sparked up again
[10:30] Dennis says his restaurant is doing well despite increase in competition
[11:37] What do you see for the future of restaurants after COVID 19?
[12:10] “There probably will be some restaurants that will not reopen”
[12:42] Landlords are waiving rent and employees have gone on unemployment
[16:22] Without people working downtown, there aren’t enough customers for carry-out according to Dennis
[17:07] “If anyone can come back from this, it’s Detroit!”
[19:00] What do you think about the COVID relief fund? Is it enough?
[21:10] Dennis talks about his media group and how its fairing during COVID
[23:17] Should people continue to advertise during this time or slow down?
[24:00] Dennis explains his what his company Archer Corporate Services does and how they make profit
[25:11] What will be the effect of cancelling The Auto Show for Detroit?
[27:50] The Dream Cruise could be pushed to another weekend
[28:20] Dennis and Mike talk The Detroit Golf Club and The Rocket Mortgage Classic
[29:30] “They could have it and just not have spectators”
[30:10] “All of these events are great PR for the city”
[31:45] “There are only so many sports where you can do social distancing”
[33:10] Why do you think Detroit is getting hit so hard?
[35:10] “Lessons should be learned for what we’ve seen in New York, Detroit, and New Orleans”
[36:43] “It’s a balancing act for any elected official”
[39:20] Mike and Dennis talk about the movie Contagion and fiction vs. reality
[40:50] Dennis talks education and embracing technology
[43:00] Federal and state education programs should make plans for distant learning
[43:45] Closing remarks