Native Detroiter, brand developer, and House of Pure Vin Owner, Regina Gaines knows her way around the city.
Having left for a stint to attend Clark Atlanta University, a historically black college in Atlanta Georgia, Gaines moved back, living downtown and working for Moet & Chandon as a part of a launch campaign.
Deepening her roots in the industry, she worked for both Jack Daniels and Remy Martin as an agent. At the time she co-owned Madison and Vine an agency and later moved on to launch own her own tequila line, Tequila Distinguido.
Gaines went back to school, attending Michigan State University and graduated in 2014 with a Master’s in Intellectual Property, Information, and Communication. She attributes the idea for House of Pure Vin to the commute to and from the University. She says passing all of the billboards for wine country made her wonder what a wine store in downtown Detroit would look like.
One year later in 2015 she opened House of Pure Vin on Woodward Ave.
Gaines sits on the Executive Board of the Downtown Detroit Partnership, is on the Advisory Board for MichBusiness and is a Founding Board Member for the Metro Detroit Black Business Alliance.
Here, she shares with Detroitisit her favorite watering holes, soul food restaurants and things to do in the city.
Q: An acquaintance is coming into town for one night and asks where they should have dinner and a drink. What do you recommend?
A: I love Savannah Blue. It’s a bit of a unique hidden gem that’s comfortable and offers amazing food and drinks. You can sit down for some delicious soul food in the dining room or get great appetizers and drinks at the bar.
Q: National Coney Island or American?
A: American – hands down.
Q: You find yourself with a free Saturday afternoon and want to spend it roaming around the city – what places will you hit?
A: The Avenue of Fashion – Livernois! I’m downtown so much it’s nice to go into the neighborhood and witness the small businesses transforming Livernois. I love what they are doing.
Q: Beyond buying a wonderful bottle of wine at the House of Pure Vin, best place to go for a glass of wine?
A: Petty Cash on Livernois. It’s soulful, lush and elegant yet comfortable and captivating.
Q: What’s your favorite new discovery in the city over the past year?
A: Again, I’d have to say Livernois. The shopping, restaurants, energy and revitilization going on there is great.
Q: What’s the most under-rated spot that deserves more visibility?
A: Willow. It’s intimate, stylish and delicious.
Q: You have an hour to kill – where will you go?
Q: What makes a Detroiter?
A: Grit. Detroiters have grit like nowhere else in the world.
Q: What do you treasure most about the city?
A: The people.
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