By Jeff Milo,  Circulation Specialist

We just want to remind you about HOOPLA! The Ferndale Library launched the popular down-load/streaming app for patrons in January. This new media service provides instant access to materials like movies, albums, eBooks and audiobooks, with no waiting on any hold list. You just need your Ferndale Library card.

Patrons usually do a double-take when we tell them what HOOPLA is and how it works. This app works with your tablet or phone, allowing downloads of newly released titles. But if you prefer to skip downloads, you can just click on what you want to read, watch, or listen to, and start streaming right away.

Over the last two months, 300 Ferndale Library patrons have started using the HOOPLA app, with nothing but enthusiastic responses. The library is hoping more cardholders continue to discover the advantage of HOOPLA, whether they’re regular visitors to the brick-and-mortar location in downtown Ferndale or if they’re typically utilizing the library’s online catalog and requesting holds on materials from home or on-the-go.

If HOOPLA usage continues to grow, then the Ferndale Library is considering making what is initially a trial run into a permanent resource for cardholders to access. To register and start downloading titles, Ferndale cardholders can download the HOOPLA digital app from your Apple App or Google Play store on your mobile device.

Updates : Author Tom Stanton is an associate professor of journalism at University of Detroit Mercy, and a past recipient of the Michigan Library Association’s Author of the Year Award. On Saturday, April 22, The Book Club of Detroit will host a lecture from Stanton about his new book, Terror in the City of Champions, about the riveting, intersecting tales of the frightening rise and fall of the Black Legion, a secret terrorist organization flourishing in Detroit’s underground during the late 1920’s and 30’s. Stanton will discuss how the scourge of the Black Legion was countered by the uplifting heroics of athletes on the Detroit Tigers. Anyone interested in Detroit history, particularly of the 1930’s, is encouraged to attend.

Later, on April 29, the Ferndale Library joins the Muslim American Society to host “Get To Know Your Muslim Neighbor,” a chance to learn about American Muslims and enjoy hands-on activities for all ages. International delicacies and coffee will be served during this discussion, with presentations about calligraphy and the ‘Muslims & Early America’ poster exhibit.

Finally, we took this spring off from coordinating our usual program of Ferndale Reads events, but stay tuned. Ferndale Reads will return next year: bigger and better than ever, partnering with Berkley Public Library, Oak Park Public Library, and Huntington Woods Public Library to expand the program and unite multiple communities of book lovers.

By Christina Bournias, Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce

The recent Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce (FAC) Coffee Connection, at State of the Art Framing and Design, was attended by over 40+ business members. Our Ferndale and surrounding area Chamber members are among the most dedicated and committed of the business community in Michigan. With continuous net-working and referral opportunities, our members demonstrate devotion to their beloved community and fellow business owners. This dedication is most impressive and a fine example of a cohesive village.

Among many more exciting and upcoming monthly programs, the FAC is planning a few larger events to get involved in. Whether you choose to volunteer, sponsor, participate, or decide to earn a position as our trusted ambassador, the Chamber’s signature events evoke the best of our community. Our Chamber events bring people together; people who share a common sentiment, one of philanthropic togetherness and thriving commerce.

Our first main event of the year is The Artist In You. This creative initiative is a nod to young student artists. The Artist in You encourages students from Fern-dale High School, The Center for Advanced Studies & the Arts (CASA) and University High School DECA to enter an art competition with hopes to win an opportunity for their artwork to be dis-played around town. The students’ art-work will be displayed at the Ferndale Public Library, and a public reception will take place Tuesday, April 25. One student artist is eligible to have their artwork enlarged, reproduced, mounted and displayed on one prominent business in the Ferndale Area. The three top scoring students will receive achievement awards for their efforts.

Our 2017 Rainbow Run attracts approximate 1,000 enthusiastic participants to the Ferndale community. The Rainbow Run, this year on June 3, 2017, is a fun 5K run and 2K walk + Canine 2K that explodes with excitement for every-one who supports diversity, acceptance, and anti-bullying. The course runs through the streets of Ferndale and has six stations where volunteers toss non-toxic, colored powder onto race participants. Everyone is covered in a rainbow of colors at the finish line!  Your sponsorship helps to fund six chosen non profit organizations. Children are now being accepted to participate in the 2K walk and this Canine/2K* includes your best friend on a prismatic 2K trot through the designated Rainbow Run course (*See registration for details. City canine licenses and current vaccinations required.) The Rainbow Run route will begin at the parking lot of Foley & Mansfield PLLP, 130 E. 9 Mile Road, Ferndale, Michigan 48220.

Following these events, the Chamber will be hosting our second annual “Sip. Stroll. Roll!” in the Fall, where local establishments get a chance to showcase their distinct food and drink specials.

“The Biggest Event of the Year,” the 2017 GALA in November promises to be another powerful event celebration; one of reflection and promise. Our GALA aims to showcase our businesses; honor-ing productivity and liveliness in the coming year(s). This event includes unique silent auction items and participating restaurants.

In addition to our main events and monthly Chamber Lunch Club outings, the Chamber planned three free Learn-ing Series lunches for our Members. The first “learning” lunch was somewhat of a working meeting; an honest discussion, held inside our new offices at the Credit Union ONE community center. We heard from retail and service businesses alike. Aaron Stone, owner of STONE + TEAM Consulting spearheaded a candid talk amongst retail owners. Ferndale Foods was gracious enough to donate food platters.

Thank you to the Gerry Kulick Community Center for offering space for our next two complementary presentations. The Chamber was pleased to welcome back SaveOn for our second lunch learning series. SaveOn presenters spoke about developing a digital marketing strategy, including the associated costs attached to implementing a solid digital strategy. Most notable, merely because of their Ferndale Area Chamber membership, Chamber Members can take advantage of their own dedicated FAC/SaveOn microsite! Members filled their bellies, and left with an increased thirst for knowledge. The presentation was engaging and well received. Members’ questions were answered and they took away valuable digital business tips. What a terrific lead in to our next Lunch & Learn.

The next Chamber Learning Lunch Series will be hosted by Jon Teodoro, Verde Media, founder/strategist. He will present: “How To Grow Your Business Using The Internet.” This presentation aims to take our member’s business websites to the next level, incorporating enhanced Google and SEO discussions. Chamber knowledge is power.

Email Kim Hart, Executive Director at or call 248-542-6120 for detailed information.

Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce  400 E 9 Mile Road, Ferndale,  MI 48220.
FB: @FerndaleAC

Story by Jill Lorie Hurst
Photo by Bernie Laframboise

By now, some of you have seen “12th and Clirmount,” a documentary featured at this year’s Free Press Film Festival. Produced by the Free Press in collaboration with Bridge Magazine, WXYZ-TV and a group of cultural institutions led by the Detroit Institute of the Arts, the film shares old home movies and new interviews by people who were around during the Summer of 1967, when an early Sunday morning police raid on a blind pig pulled the bandage off repressed racial tension and frustration in Detroit. Days of looting and violence followed, and the city was changed forever.

The Detroit Free Press won a Pulitzer for its coverage of the riot. Fifty years later, the DFP takes us back to those tumultuous days. A trip down a jagged memory lane for some, a history lesson for others.

Detroit is back on the map these days. Some would argue that it was never off the map. Another discussion. A desolate and (seemingly) broken city for years, it’s now a food destination, a sports town with a new arena going up, a home for technology and small home grown businesses, urban agriculture, the Q Line. We love Midtown, Corktown, downtown. As always, the art, the music, the cars. Up ‘til the mid-‘60s, Detroit was viewed as a “model city.” Federal funding flowed in to help the schools, housing, job creation. A young, energetic mayor worked with the police department, business owners and citizens to maintain peace in the integrated city. The mayor, the citizens and the rest of the country watched that view go up in July 1967. The “model” fell apart.

The smoke in the sky, the military presence, the fear. Memories shared by many. Memories are what executive video producer and Ferndale resident Brian Kaufman was immersed in as he edited hours of eight-millimeter home movies taken by Detroit families in 1967. We didn’t record our lives then the way we do today. Even so, there is plenty of footage. Footage of the riots. Footage of everyday life in 1960’s Detroit. Kaufman talks about the films. Birthday celebrations, Christmas. A reminder that no matter how different we seem, we celebrate the same moments.

“12th and Clairmount” was a history lesson for Kaufman. He was born in Southern California and has been with the Detroit Free Press for ten years. He and his wife Gina Kaufman (a native of Southeastern Michigan who is a Free Press reporter assigned to the metro desk) chose Ferndale as home in 2009. He spoke affectionately of old Ferndale restaurants now gone like Maria’s Italian, and Bart’s – “the best breakfasts”, but says they enjoy the changes in Ferndale and Detroit. Ferndale is a great location for Free Press staff – “a lot of Freepers live in Ferndale.” Kaufman can work at home, but likes to get downtown to the office to be with his colleagues. “I’m not there enough to justify paying for parking.” he said. “So, I park over by John King books and walk down Michigan Ave to the office” (on Fort Street). “I wouldn’t be able to work on the documentary projects if I was freelance. Having a staff job with a supportive boss (Kathy Kieliszewski) is great. Unique in the newspaper world.”

Brian’s first dive into Detroit history came in 2014 when he worked on the Packard Plant project “Packard: The Last Shift,” presented at the first Freep festival in 2014. The Packard plant, a project on the National Parks and now, the ‘67 riots. Interesting and challenging. “How do we take it beyond our web site? We’d like to find partnerships like the one we have with WXYZ TV. We’ll run it through the festival circuit, and hopefully find a distributor.”

“12th and Clairmount” ends with people wondering whether to stay in Detroit, or leave, post-riot. “So much to learn from what happened in Detroit. People assumed things were fine. But they weren’t. This film is about Detroit, but relatable. The problems then still exist today.” Kaufman wonders how we’ll share stories about our past in 50 years. People record more, but the hard copies that we packed away so carefully in order to preserve our memories? They won’t exist.

In the meantime, we have the footage from that summer. See “12th and Clairmount,” an opportunity to learn and to remember.

For more information about “12th and Clairmount” go to

Story by David Wesley
Photo by Bernie Laframboise

Former Mayor Craig Covey and Monica Mills began the annual Ferndale Pub Crawl 20 years ago in 1997. Now, after a long tenure of success, the event may be at risk of ending due to gentrification and corporate interest in other local events.

The Ferndale Pub Crawl is historically important in the modern story of Ferndale: Making the city more popular, wealthy and socially-endearing. Craig regaled Ferndale Friends with the history of the Pub Crawl, its impact on the city and its uncharted future.

“Before Ferndale took off in its renewal back in the early 1990s, there were only a half dozen bars downtown. Gays and lesbians began to move into the city in growing numbers, along with a few artists, musicians and other younger residents. A group of us in the gay community tried and failed to pass a gay rights ordinance through the city council in 1991. Later on, residents formed a gay residents association called FANS of Ferndale, which stood for “Friends And Neighbors.” FANS had three goals, which included increasing social activities for our community, civic engagement with the city through community service and volunteerism, and political activism from the gay and lesbian residents.

“We created the first pub crawl in 1997, and had about 35 people traipse around to all six or seven of the bars downtown, including Rosie O’Grady’s, Sneaker’s, Danny’s, Como’s, Tony’s and Doug’s Body Shop. We had so much fun we decided to make it an annual event. By 1999, we had straight people joining us, more bars opened like the Post and WAB, and we began raising money for charity.”

The annual pub crawl rapidly became a “thing” promoted by the whole city including the DDA. As new bars and clubs opened, like the Post and Club 9, they joined the crawl and the attendance grew every year. Traditionally the mayor of the city always sent off the packs of crawlers, and by 2009 the event was drawing 2,000 participants, more than 20 stops were included, and tens of thousands of dollars was raised for a variety of charities such as the Ferndale Community Foundation, the Ferndale Police Auxiliary, and the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project. The event was always the last Friday of July, and for many pubs it became their biggest night of the year. It was attended by chamber officials, city council members, and even city staff.

As changes came to the city, the charities and the businesses downtown went through change, and over the past six or seven years the annual pub crawl growth began to level off and then decline. Many of the new bars and restaurants chose not to join the event, and several of the original clubs stopped participating and instead began promoting more corporate events such as DIY Street Fair and Pig & Whiskey. As the city continued to gentrify, and support from the city establishment lessened, there was not as much interest in the traditional, grassroots-organized events that raised money for local charities.

“The annual Gay Pride Festival seems to be strong, and has new leadership and corporate buy-in. The annual Blues & Music Festival should also continue under new leadership. But the Ferndale Pub Crawl is at real risk of ending. After 20 years, it may just be a victim of its own success. Also, designed to promote the downtown and walk-ability, maybe it has successfully finished its tasks and accomplished its goals.

“Monica Mills and I announced a year ago that we were not going to manage the event after 2016. So, unless new, younger folks decide to make it happen, then at least that iteration of the pub crawl is done. We raised a quarter million dollars for charities and had a whole lot of fun. The city is now popular, walkable, inclusive, and has more than its share of bars and clubs. And the LGBTQA community got our social outlets, civic visibility, and political recognition.”

By: Christina Bournias, Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce

THE FERNDALE AREA CHAMBER (FAC) of Commerce’s mission is to champion the growth of business and community through leadership and collaboration. The Chamber serves as a guide by providing businesses the opportunities to collaborate with each other to improve the business climate in the Ferndale area.

By joining the Chamber, organizations are investing into a thriving business community. Members help establish the Ferndale community—and its surrounding boundary areas; Oak Park and Pleasant Ridge—as an economic leader within the Metro Detroit region. The Chamber’s vision is to make the region the community of choice to work, live, learn, and grow. FAC members receive tools to increase visibility and stay connected within the community; aiming to improve business practices. One of the most important tools is the community support 300+ active members give each other from referrals.

The FAC is now tucked inside of the Credit Union One (CUO) building at 400 E. 9 Mile. Positioned almost directly across the street from our previous facility, FAC can be found on the main floor, to the immediate right of the front lobby.

Professionalism and strong leadership are at the forefront of the FAC. The Chamber recently announced our new Executive Board of Director: Jerome Raska, owner of Blumz…by JRDesigns; Vice Chair, Lisa Schmidt of Schmidt & Long, PLLC; Treasurer, Blake Prewitt of Ferndale Schools; Sherry Kless of Oakland County Michigan Works! Oak Park. Our new elected Directors to our Board include Heather Coleman-Voss of Oakland County Michigan Works! Ferndale; Benjamin Long of Schimdt & Long, PLLC; Aaron Stone of STONE+TEAM Consulting; and Dale Vigliarolo of Lake-Pointe Construction. Attending programs and sharing terrific ideas, every Board Director provides valuable in-sight to the organization. Be sure to introduce yourself to them at our next Coffee Connection, Chamber Lunch Club, and/or Business After Five program.

The FAC hosts several programs and targeted events each year, including “Artist In You”, “Rainbow Run”, and the festive Annual “Gala.” With over ninety (90)+ donated silent auction items, and hundreds of people in the audience, the 2016 “Our Local Flavor” Gala evening was a night to remember.  As the ‘Biggest Event of the Year’, this event helps maintain the member-funded Chamber as a vital organization for its Members and for their businesses. Delightful and delicious, the Gala celebration is certainly flavorful. In addition, the tasty “Sip. Stroll. Roll!” event was added to the 2016 calendar and was also well received. Philanthropic FAC events are a fun way to highlight the community establishments and to give back to deserving organizations. The Chamber provides these events for the good of its community and looks forward to another successful 2017.
Email Kim Hart, Executive Director at or call 248-542-6120 for detailed information.  Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce 400 E 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale MI 48220,
FB: @FerndaleAC

By Jeannie Davis


We are comprised of people over 55 years of age, living in Ferndale. Or not living in Ferndale. People who join want a place to connect with others, and are not enamored of lunching and shopping. Our members range from their 60s to 90s. They are not stodgy old fogies (Well, most of them aren’t).

Our members range in commitment from people who throw themselves into our events and projects,and cleaning up after special lunches….to people who come to socialize, enjoy our programs, and then go home. They all bring different talents and person-alities to the table.

One thing they all have in common is a desire to engage. Some people become more involved after attending meetings for a while, and some don’t. This is fine. One thing is certain. They all meet people who share common attitudes and problems, and they all make friends.

We meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at the Kulick Center at 11:00 A.M. You don’t have to be a member to attend. However, by becoming a member ($10 per year), you will get the newsletter which outlines our speakers, coming trips, and coming events. Plus, we go on certain special trips, which are members only. Some are free!At our meetings, we host pertinent speakers: Garry Taylor from the Historical Society, Mayor Coulter speaking on the state of our city, Sergeant Brown speaking on how the Ferndale Police Force operates and how to be safe, speakers on nutrition, protection from scams, handwriting analysts, demonstrations on zentangle, even our local poet. In addition, we have entertainment: magicians, singers, comedians etc. As if this wasn’t enough, on those meeting days when we have nobody speaking, we amuse our-selves. Last week, we had a lively discussion on what the members wanted to see more of and less of. Or, we have colored, or brought in our knitting and sat and chatted.

By the way, many of our members arrive early just to socialize. Lunch is available at the center after for those who want it.

We have a committee which does nothing but arrange trips for our members. The trips are generally cost-attractive. We are planning trips to The Henry Ford Museum, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Lavender Festival in Romeo, The Wyandotte Art Fair, the Riverwalk, and of course, the casinos. We have favorite trips which we do every other year, so they don’t get stale: Eastern Market, Art fairs, Frankenmouth, Morley Candy factory, Karr’s Nuts. When we plan these trips, we look for unusual restaurants for lunch.

For events, we have pot luck lunches in the summer, and at Thanksgiving. We Seniors supply the main meat, and the members bring in dishes to pass. This is so popular, that, we are thinking of adding another potluck in March. We have card par-ties, St. Pat’s lunches, winter picnics, and a special lunch for Tiger’s opening day. We do a spaghetti dinner in the fall.

So, why would you join us? Well, you will meet like-minded people. Nothing is more intimidating than walking into a room full of strangers, not knowing anyone. You break into a sweat imagining sitting alone with nobody talking to you. Well not at the Ferndale Seniors. We have a reputation as one of the friendliest groups in Oakland County. Several people have commented on our warmth. People come forward and introduce themselves, and ask if you would like to sit with them. You will learn many new things, and have fun doing it. You will explore our surrounding area within the safety of a group on a bus.

We are not high-pressure, visit us, see if you like what you see.
Jeannie Davis, 248-541-5888

By Maggie Boleyn

The holidays are just around the corner. Everyone has someone who is a little, well, challenging, to shop for. What if you could combine shopping while enjoying craft brews, sweet treats, music and giving back to the community? Check out the “Good Karma Christmas – Holiday Market and Party.”

Good Karma Club founder Muszall says, “The holiday season seems to bring out the best in people.  Everyone is feeling festive and looking for a way to give back to those less fortunate. The Good Karma Christmas -Holiday Market and Party is a way to celebrate and embrace that.  You can get together with friends, have a drink, and do some holiday shopping in a way that supports some of our amazing local non-profit organizations.”

This years’ event is Wednesday, December 7, so by the time you see this it may already be over. This year they are expanding to include a holiday market and unwrapped toys will be collected for the Judson Center. Bringing an unwrapped toy could boost your “good Karma.”

Karma, of course, is a Sanskrit word which, loosely translated, refers to a belief that whatever good (or bad) ff16666_gkc_teamyou do comes back to you, whether in this lifetime, or another. So, by doing something good, something good will happen to you, and vice versa. Whether or not you strictly subscribe to this belief, Good Karma Club certainly strives to do good for others through many local volunteer opportunities.

“The Good Karma Club is all about helping the local community and supporting great local non-profit organizations,” Muszall said. “It’s a great way to meet some like-minded people.”

Averaging more than 100 volunteer events per year, held at a variety of local venues means you should be able to find something to suit your abilities and schedule. “Since the Good Karma Club started in January of 2013, we have had over 300 volunteer events,” Muszall said. “Some of our regular volunteer activities include Forgotten Harvest, Motown Soup, and Everyone’s Garden among others,” she continued.

Like many community minded professionals, Muszall said she wanted to become more involved and volunteer, but had a difficult time finding and fitting in opportunities around a busy work schedule. “It was a frustrating and discouraging process,” she said.  “I figured that I wasn’t the only person in this situation. So, I wanted to create an outlet to make volunteering easier and more fun.”

Convenient volunteering hours are the hallmark of Good Karma.  “We do our best to make it convenient for our volunteers,” said Muszall.  “All of our Good Karma Club volunteer activities are in the evenings or weekends, and they don’t require a big commitment,” Muszall said.  “You just show up and work for a few hours with a nice group of people.”

Currently, 40 different Metro Detroit non-profit organizations participate with Good Karma Club. The current membership has grown to nearly 2,000 members.

The Good Karma Club Christmas and Holiday Market will be held at Loving Touch located at 22634 Woodward Ave in Ferndale on Wednesday December 7th.

In case you missed this year’s Holiday party, don’t wait until your next life to check out Good Karma Club’s other activities. Visit their online calendar for upcoming events at:

Muszall noted that, typically, Good Karma Club has several events each month. Find Good Karma Club on Facebook, or sign up to volunteer at

By Ferndale Schools Superintendent Blake Prewitt

The 2016-2017 school year is off to a great start! We’ve had so many exciting things happening around the district, it is hard to pick just a few to highlight! We look forward to more positive and impactful things and events happening throughout next semester as well!

Our Ferndale High School Golden Eagles Marching Band headed to Ford Field in early November to defend their state championship title. With a score of 91.65, the Golden Eagles clenched their second straight state championship title, bringing their total number of state championship wins up to nine over the last 13 years.

In addition to an overall win the Golden Eagles won all three caption awards; Out-standing Music Performance, Outstanding Visual Performance, and Outstanding General Effect. While it is wonderful for the band to have earned their 9th State Championship in the last 13 years, “I am particularly proud of this year’s band because over a third are first-year marchers, and yet the group as a whole ‘showed up for work’ every rehearsal and got incrementally better each time. That’s hard for any group to do, even far more experienced bands,” said Marching Band Director Elon Jamison

The Ferndale Eagle Football team also had an impressive season, finishing out 7-2 and making it to the State Playoffs! The Eagles went head-to-head with Detroit King at the end of October and, although they lost the game, the journey getting to that point is one worth noting. When Coach Royal started with Ferndale, there was waning interest in the program and as a result he had to move all interested junior varsity players up to the varsity team. Those 10th graders who moved up two years ago are the biggest reason for the team’s turnaround this year. “This 2017 class have set the bar high; they set the expectation for success. The three years they spent as varsity players taught them a lot. Through their hard work and preparation, they have shown the underclassmen what it takes to be successful,” said Coach Royal.

Coach Royal was also recognized for his work by being named “Coach of the Year” for Region 16 by the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

By: Kim Hart, Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce

IT WAS A TERRIFIC TIME to move our offices! The Ferndale Area Chamber (FAC) is now tucked inside of the Credit Union One (CUO) building at 400 E. 9 Mile Road, Fern-dale. Positioned almost directly across the street from our previous facility, we can be found on the main floor, to the immediate right of the front lobby. The FAC occupies space within the CUO building. On most days, the Chamber hours of operation align with the financial institution’s daily operations and observation of holidays. With thanks to all our Sponsors—especially our Presenting Sponsor, Gage Products Company—the 2016 “Our Local Flavor” Gala was remarkable. With over ninety donated silent auction items, eighteen restaurants, and hundreds of people in attendance, the evening was a night to remember. Among many deserving people who helped make the Gala happen this year, we extend our warmest gratitude to Carol Jackson, owner of Bits N Pieces Business Solutions for reaching out to so many businesses for participation.

As the ‘Biggest Event of the Year’, this event helps maintain the Chamber as a vital organization; serving our Members and their businesses. Be-cause the Ferndale Area Chamber is member-funded, we’re pleased that the event’s outcome was well-received by the community. With delicious food vendors and fantastic volunteers who contributed to the event’s success, members and non-members alike en-joyed the evening’s sights and sounds. Delightful and delicious, the 2016 Gala was certainly flavorful. The event was hosted at The Rust Belt Market, and featured live entertainment by Sean Blackman. “I am pleased that so many wonderful people came together.” Said Kim Hart, Executive Director of The Ferndale Area Chamber. “It was a special time of year for us.”

A GUIDE TO THE FERNDALE area is now in production! This directory is an exclusive resource that includes member contact information, city maps, profiles and photographs of our business community.  Night Cry Graphics, located in Ferndale, has been designing and assembling this publication. Night Cry’s dedicated work and commitment is much appreciated. Slated to be a handsome page turner, be sure to look for the 2016-2017 Guide Directory to hit the stands soon. Aligned with continuous updates to our website and database, we are also opening up Marquee reservations for 2017 on 9 Mile Road/Woodward Avenue this month. Together with discussions of membership packages and Social channel promotion, we aim to serve our members by providing a chance to get their voice heard by the community.

WITH SEVERAL QUALIFIED APPLICANTS who submitted their name for consideration, the FAC is in the middle of our Board of Director elections this year. Excited by so many great and interested parties, we look forward to announcing the results of the vote at our December meeting.

Story & photo by Kevin Alan Lamb

Let us turn back the clock and relive a time where a meal meant to break bread with the artisan who cooked it and the farmer who harvested the grain, a time when we gathered in a celebration of community and progress in the form of shared creation and indulgence, fine whiskey, seasons passed, music and simple food, not made simply.

“The place is called Otus Supply. Otus is the genius of the great horned black owl, and the Supply really works with the industrial flavor, but also it plays from a marketing perspective: we’re supplying good friends, good cheer, good music, good food, good life,” Thom Bloom said with the type of smile that insists you believe him.

Located on 345 E. 9 Mile, Otus Supply opens in December and reminds us of the immense love and magnificence in the minutia with its intentional design, decor, and chef-inspired menu.
“It’s going to be a pretty full menu that’s seasonal, and it’s really inspired by the Great Lakes. Folks you know who have migrated over the last couple hundred years to the Great Lakes you know, whether that’s the Lebanese, the Polish, the German, the Dutch, the French. We drew influence from Chicago over to Cleveland, northern Michigan and Detroit. We call it simple food not prepared simply.

Since first learning of Ferndale’s newest spruce goose in July, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the men behind the mission of inspiring and connecting a community through good food, good music, and art.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in the concert business, I have other restaurants I’ve done. I was in the advertising business. Throughout all of these different careers you have a position or takes on different things. I took little bits and pieces of things that I really thought were important, and this is what Scott and I jokingly call our spruce goose.”

Before stepping foot in the newly-renovated, almost 11,000 square foot building, it becomes apparent that you are about to experience something special; something that you may not be able to articulate, but certainly feel and look forward to sharing it with others.

“We went out of our way to find as many recycled and architectural salvaged pieces to not only build the space, but to augment and decorate the space and kind of give homage to the last hundred years in Detroit history and living, prewar and postwar industrial revolution. In our design elements we kind of went back almost 300 years to the founding of Detroit. The French played a role in creating the kind of softer, feminine side of the design aspect.”

“We even went over to Paris and shopped, found pieces and windows and doors. Matter of fact, one of the old doors to a downtown Pairs building entered into a courtyard, a 10-foot door, you’ll see in our foyer. We also brought in three or four main artists who have played a major role in designing the space. One is Alex Morales from Smartmouth Designs out of Chicago, another is Daniel Ross from Detroit who does a very similar sculptural kind of woodworking perspective.”

When the doors open it will satisfy a number of needs in the Ferndale community, bringing in national and international acts to showcase a live room with over 30 taps, high ceilings, state-of-the-art acoustics, a sound booth made from reclaimed remnants of the train station, and music intent on making you move. There isn’t a music venue like it.

“Any music that happens here is going to be from the heart and soul, kind of roots Americana, New Orleans influence. It’s kind of, good old music you know? It’s really about having the musical side tap into the same kind of passion that we put into the food. We don’t want to make a mistake about the order here either, you know? It’s food first, and music a close partner alongside.”

Otus will host the official Greensky Bluegrass New Year’s afterjam with Greg Burns & Friends,  featuring Anders Beck, Mike Shimmin, Mike Lynch, Dave Menzo and special guests, The Kitchen Dwellers and The Whistle Stop Review. A free shuttle will be provided from Royal Oak Music Theatre to the Otus each night.

The building has been expanded with a new foyer and garage door space, along with a patio covered by a steel roof, with steel girders, and three large garage doors that ascend 18 feet in the air to be out of sight.

“It’s a real wide open outdoor space in warm weather scenarios, it’s open if it’s sunny in the winter, as much as possible when it’s warm, it’s a four-seasons scenario, on the Inside as well.”