02/10/2012 08:01 am ET

London Chop House, Famed Downtown Detroit Restaurant, To Reopen On Valentine's Day

Detroit's London Chop House, legendary for its high-end food and famous patrons, will reopen its doors on Valentine's Day after a 20-year hiatus.

New owner Nico Gatzaros has spent a year restoring the famous downtown establishment located on East Congress St. in the Murphy-Telegraph Building, the Free Press reports.

"It's so cool to be able to bring it back in the same class and style it used to have," Gatzaros told the Free Press.

The swank spot opened in 1934 and caught its fair share of national attention in its half-century run, including a James Beard Top 10 mention and accolades from Playboy, according to the blog Restaurant-ing through History.

Gatzaros, who also owns the downtown restaurants Fishbone's and Wah-Hoo, is only the latest proprietor to breathe new life into a Detroit foodie institution.

In September, Joe Muer and Joe Vicari of the Andiamo Restaurant Group reopened Joe Muer Seafood in the Renaissance Center. In 2005, the jazz club Cliff Bell's reopened its doors after 20 years.

Iconic restaurants aren't the only historic downtown establishments getting a new look. The Fort Shelby and Book Cadillac hotels both reopened downtown in 2008 and Quicken Loans owner Dan GIlbert has transformed the former Madison Theater building into a hub for tech startups -- while at the same time acquiring many of the area's vacant properties for future development.

Unfortunately for last-minute Valentine's Day planners, London Chop House's Feb. 14 opening is a private affair.