On The Horizon | Aaron Belen
set to open ‘lifestyle concept’
restaurants in Royal Oak.

September 26, 2013 | The Jewish News

Some might call Aaron Belen’s approach to the restaurant and hospitality business cavalier, but the 30-year-old entrepreneur and developer says it’s time for someone to do something “totally unique” in Metropolitan Detroit. Enter Bistro 82 and Sabrage, Belen’s latest “lifestyle concepts” coming to the corner of Fourth Street and Lafayette in Royal Oak in late October. A hybrid of his own creation, the former Sangria/Skybar space will house his French bistro and ultra-lounge (part night club, part lounge), all wrapped into a real estate development he believes might serve as a model for community investment.

Restaurant scene in Metro
Detroit bursts with new
openings – with lots more to

September 25, 2013 | The Detroit News

From West Bloomfield Township to West Village, it seems every week a new place to eat is popping up. As exciting as business growth is, what’s more interesting is the diversity of these restaurants.

There are options aplenty for your taste buds, from the massive plates at the new Cheesecake Factory in Novi to multicultural small plates in Hamtramck. Even with of all its troubles, the city of Detroit has seen an increase in creative and unique restaurants, and more are on the way.

Bumper crop of promising new restaurants set to open this fall

September 5, 2013 | Detroit Free Press

Bistro 82 and Sabrage, its upstairs ultra-lounge, are being billed as show-stoppers.

The expansive project will be “a boutique cosmopolitan dining and nightlife destination” designed to appeal to a slightly older, more sophisticated crowd than other Royal Oak venues, says owner Aaron F. Belen, 30, a Bloomfield Hills commercial real estate developer. “It will look very different from everything else in the market. … My whole goal was to bring something to southeast Michigan that didn’t exist before,” he says.

Bistro 82 and Sabrage to open in Royal Oak

July 25, 2013 | The Daily Tribune

An innovative combination of a French bistro and nightclub is coming to Royal Oak in the fall.

Aaron F. Belen of AFB Hospitality Group purchased the now 9,500-square-foot former Sangria property at the corner of Lafayette and 4th Street and has his sights set on making it into one of the most exceptional restaurants to hit the metro Detroit area.

Bistro 82 and Sabrage Lounge heating up downtown Royal Oak

July 18, 2013 | Metromode

The buzz about a two-story restaurant and lounge under renovation in downtown Royal Oak is that it will be the next “it” place to eat and hang out in metro Detroit

Bistro 82 and Sabrage will be opening in the space formerly occupied by Spanish tapas restaurant Sangria at the corner of 4th & S. Lafayette.

New Royal Oak Bistro Sure to Make a Splash with Shark Tank, Onyx Bars and More

July 15, 2013 | Royal Oak Patch

A new Europeon-style restaurant—with an Italian tile façade, Spanish flooring and French bistro concept—is headed into town this summer.

Aaron F. Belen, 30, is behind the new venture in downtown Royal Oak. He purchased the liquor license and building of the former 9,500-square-foot Sangria Tapas Cafe at 401 S. Lafayette. The new bistro will serve “classic dishes in a café setting,” and it could open by early September, said Belen.

In former Sangria space, new team reserves a seat at metro Detroit’s culinary table

July 11, 2013 | Crain’s Detroit Business

The restaurant industry is a relationship-based business, and those who are the most successful rely on a team.

But not all teams are created equal. I could give a metaphor about my St. Louis Cardinals, but I won’t.

In February, I wrote that 30-year-old Aaron F. Belen is looking to become a player in metro Detroit’s food and entertainment scene — a big statement to make for someone with only passive experience in such a competitive industry.


July 3, 2013 | Real Detroit Weekly

Slated to open in late summer (which is approaching at light speed, mind you), the former site of Sangria in downtown Royal Oak has foodies in metro Detroit buzzing. “Executive Chef Derik Watson – formerly of Iridescence – has created a French bistro menu, including a selection of raw seafood platters as well as an extensive artisan cheese offering,” says new owner Aaron F. Belen.

Food & Drink // kitchen | BITES

June 10, 2013 | Hour Detroit

The 25th anniversary celebration at the Rattlesnake Club continues all year. The restaurant already planned one splashy party, a June 13 gala to benefit Gleaners Food
Bank. But this milestone is too big for just one event … Aaron F. Belen has purchased the former Sangria/Sky Club property in downtown Royal Oak and will open Bistro 82 and a lounge called Sabrage on the second floor. He hopes to unveil them both in August. Wine aficionados know that sabrage means the method of opening champagne bottles with a sword, but we’d like to think Sabrage won’t take that literally…

BEST FROM THE BLOGS | Another round for Sangria?

March 4, 2013 | Crain’s Detroit Business

“Aaron F. Belen is looking to become a player in metro Detroit’s food and entertainment scene, and his plans for the now-closed Sangria in downtown Royal Oak could do just that.”

Another round for Sangria: Bistro, lounge planned for Royal Oak space

February 27, 2013 | Crain’s Detroit Business

Aaron F. Belen is looking to become a player in metro Detroit’s food and entertainment scene, and his plans for the now-closed Sangria in downtown Royal Oak could do just that.

The 30-year-old was a managing partner in Fifth Avenue in Royal Oak but sold his interest in December 2012. Belen was also a passive investor in Barrio andThe Hamilton Room in Birmingham, but this is his first solo project.