Conversations With Sven Gustafson

This is Detroit’s dinner party conversation, with multiple segments with local tastemakers, artists and entrepreneurs. They don’t call it the Paris of the Midwest for nothing! Host Sven Gustafson is a former journalist and bartender, and a fan of tasty food and drink — and Swedish pancakes. He hosts a smart and engaging conversation about Detroit’s fast-changing restaurant, arts and entertainment scene each week with a variety of fascinating guests and quick-hit segments. Join us as we explore the city through a fun and insightful lens.
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Conversations With Sven Gustafson




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Now displaying: May, 2018
May 25, 2018

Detroit is becoming a mecca for murals. Our guest today is aiming to catalog it all.

Viranel Clerard is the man behind the Detroit Mural Project, which you can find on the Internet machine at The site organizes murals by neighborhood and includes a description of the artist and who it was commissioned by, when known, a link to the artist’s Instagram page, and location of the mural.

He saves his commentary about the murals mostly for his Instagram account, at Detroit Murals.

Clerard talks about how the project got started, how he’s drawn the attention of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, how the city’s art scene is still mostly white and the role of art in building community.

He also is a big fan of the new KAWS statue in downtown Detroit and talks about what it means to him.


Thanks to Falling Down Beer Company for their support of the show.


May 18, 2018

We're getting back to our boozy roots with this Daily Detroit Happy Hour conversation with barchaeologist Mickey Lyons.

She's the talent author behind a recent Hour Detroit piece, "Dry Times: Looking Back 100 Years After Prohibition."

Sven Gustafson — a former bartender himself — and Mickey have a great conversation talking about the old time history of Detroit bars and prohibition, and how drinking changed in Detroit forever. 

The show was recorded at the historic 2-Way Inn.

Mickey Lyons has a book coming out this fall and you can follow her work at her site, Prohibition Detroit.

Of course, if you like the show - you shouldn't miss another episode. You can subscribe free on Apple Podcasts or wherever shows are found. There are also more than 50 back episodes here. 

May 13, 2018

What do you do when a neighborhood… and your city… crumble? Leave? Throw your hands up? Not Mama Shu.

She’s taken tragedy — the death of her son by a hit and run driver, Jakobi Ra — and turned that energy into Avalon Village. Avalon Village is a magical corner of Highland Park where Mama Shu and a group of people who love their city have made a safe place.

A homework house. A place for entrepreneurs. A place for living... and soon a place for playing.

Sven Gustafson for this Daily Detroit Happy Hour Podcast joined Shamayim ‘Shu’ Harris on her front porch on Avalon Street, just off of Woodward, to talk about the grassroots way to rebuild a community.

One that isn’t dependent on tax incentives, but the good will and effort of people.

A little backstory on Highland Park, an enclave of Detroit that’s completely surrounded by the Motor City and Hamtramck, because it’s not in the podcast. Shu looks to the future, but in order to understand the context, you need to know a little bit of the past. Highland Park at one time was one of Michigan’s shining jewels, up there with the best neighborhoods and near-suburbs.

Henry Ford’s Model T streamed out of the iconic plant on Machester, but Ford packed up and left in the 1950s. Chrysler was there too – their world headquarters, in fact – but they hit the road, taking their jobs and tax base with them up I-75 for the Oakland County suburb of Auburn Hills in the 1980s thanks to concerns around safety and a giant gift basket of tax incentives. The state of Michigan even built them their own off-ramp when they got there.

Highland Park has been one of Michigan’s hardest-hit cities. A city that many reading this, if they knew about it, may have left for dead.

But Mama Shu? She’s doing what mothers do. Nurture. Support. Birth. Do her part to make a community whole again.

Enjoy the show.

May 5, 2018

On this episode of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour podcast, we channel our inner "This Old House" and talk about a big, old house in Detroit’s University District. 

Between 6 and 7 is the name of a blog written by Miranda Steinhauser. She and her partner, Brandon Suman, bought a 1927 house in Detroit’s University District — and yes, it’s located between 6 and 7 Mile.

The two Ohio natives have been chronicling their efforts to fix up the place over the last year and a half.

On the blog, they delve into some of the fascinating details of early 20th century construction techniques. They also include a heaping dose of history — not only about the home itself, but some of its former inhabitants and the neighborhood surrounding it.

For this episode, we ditched the studio setting to go direct to the source.

It’s an audio tour of a renovated, historic home, along with some of the great sounds that come with being in a big old house. We talk everything from how they used to construct curved ceilings, to steam heating, the home’s former maid and her Thanksgiving turkey, and we even get a piano serenade from Brandon in the living room. 

Hope you enjoy this podcast mashup of new and old Detroit.

Here's a link to their blog for many pictures and stories: