Food

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By Jill Lorie Hurst

“WHY DO YOU GO AWAY? SO THAT YOU CAN COME BACK. SO THAT YOU CAN SEE THE PLACE YOU CAME FROM WITH NEW EYES AND EXTRA COLORS” – Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

“Ch-Ch-ch-ch Changes. Turn and face the strange,” wrote David Bowie. When I heard Dino’s Lounge and M-Brew were up for sale, I grabbed this assignment so I could meet Dean Bach before he left Ferndale.

He agreed to meet up at Dino’s on a gray Monday afternoon in February, a week after the opening of Belle Iron Grille, his new place in Gaylord. Bach was emotional, pragmatic and wise as he looked around Dino’s and talked about childhood on the East side of Detroit. “I grew up in the 48205.” Life in the restaurant world, a ride that started as a 15-year-old dishwasher at Eastside Charley’s.

He took a risk on Ferndale when he bought the Rialto Cafe at the corner of 9 and Woodward, opening Dino’s Lounge in 2002. “We were ahead of the curve then.”

Some thought he wouldn’t make it. He talks about the cook who quit two weeks after opening, sure the place was destined for doom. Instead, Dino’s and later M-Brew (“my independent child, it runs without me, which is what I wanted”) became part of the fabric of fabulous Ferndale.

From the start he wanted Dino’s to be “a little bit of everything. Something for everyone. The corner bar for Ferndale.” Philosophical. “Today every place is a concept. Does the town need a neighborhood gathering place anymore?”

BOTTOM LINE, HE THINKS IT’S TIME FOR DINO’S TO CHANGE. He had ideas, of course. On this day they included selling or partnering. Stepping away. “I owe it to Ferndale and myself to do something that’s right for the community.”

He looked at me. “What do you think?” Me?! I hope they keep serving the chips. He smiles. “Everybody loves a good kettle chip.”

His idea? “I take a lot of ideas from my staff. Everyone has good ideas.” He’s listened and learned from his staff, his parents, local leaders and Ferndale residents. He listens to his wife, Denise, who encouraged him to throw himself into the restaurant business he loved, full-time, back in 2008. When he turned 50, the couple started looking forward, open to change.

A 4th of July visit to Lake Otsego clicked for Denise. “This is where I want to be.” Bach, emotional, remembers the moment. Laughs. “I couldn’t believe that (city girl) Zsa Zsa wanted to move to Green Acres.”

He loves the new place, Belle Iron Grille, and he is enjoying becoming part of a new community. “It’s making me grow as a person to learn about this different culture. Talk about different viewpoints, but people are the same everywhere.” He is enjoying this new experience.

OUR TALK RETURNED TO FERNDALE AGAIN AND AGAIN. Thoughts about Ferndale’s future? He is optimistic. “Ferndale will continue to grow, but Ferndale of the future will still be Ferndale.” I liked his faith.

A few days after we spoke, I learned that Dean Bach had taken Dino’s and M-Brew off the market. Bach reached out from the beach in Aruba! “We’re definitely happy about… reinventing Dino’s and making some adjustments to M-Brew. I just felt I wasn’t quite ready to simply sell and leave.”

Dino’s Lounge is located at 22740 Woodward in Ferndale. M-Brew is at 177 Vester Ave in Ferndale. Belle Iron Grille is located at 4029 Old US 27 in Gaylord.

By David Ryals

DANNY’S IRISH PUB HAS BEEN A STAPLE OF FERNDALE FOR 30 YEARS. It stands as a testament that a traditional friendly neighborhood pub never goes out of style: everyone comes here and everyone is welcome. It’s nestled along Woodward Avenue in the heart of Ferndale and is a mainstay in the community with a loyal following of longtime regulars.

In traditional bar fashion, Danny’s is small and dark save for soft lighting from the green bulbs on the ceiling. Various other interesting flair adorns the walls and bar, with a couple pinball machines tucked away toward the back. The thing that sticks out the most about Danny’s is its solid character.

Danny himself spoke to Ferndale Friends to explain the longevity of his success. “Our formula is to keep it simple: Pour good drinks at a reasonable price. Keep the menu simple and easy to prepare, add things when you see a need for them, not just because the guy down the street has them. Many bar owners think they have to have all of the latest things, but many times it’s just a waste of money. Give your customers what they want, not what you think is cool. The most important is to find the best employees you can, treat them fair, and give them good reason to stay with you. That should be the secret of any good business.”

On the evolution of Ferndale throughout the years and its impact on his business, he said, “The community has changed dramatically over 34 years. Our own contribution to the city has always been to welcome all people regardless of race, creed, color, gender or sexual orientation. As things evolved, we were in a perfect place to welcome new people and ideas into the community. However, it has always been our position that everyone was welcome, unless they caused trouble. Our relationship with our customers is one of family. And just like family sometimes we have disagreements, but eventually we make up.”

ON HIS OWN BACKGROUND AND LIFELONG RELATIONSHIP WITH FERNDALE: “My family moved to Ferndale in 1946. Back then, it was a quiet community where everybody knew everybody. Kids played outside all summer until the street lights came on. My wife, Sally, has an even longer history. Her grandfather had a grist mill on the northwest corner of 8 Mile and Pinecrest. In 1946 my father built a restaurant on 8 Mile near Pinecrest. The grist mill was gone by that time.

“I bought the bar from Nick Pappas in 1985 when everybody was saying not to buy in Ferndale. However, my history with the city made me ignore all of that good advice.

“In the beginning, Nicks – later to be named Danny’s when I accidentally broke the Nick’s sign – had more of a county-western atmosphere. There were a lot of fights and a lot of customers being barred. It was a little rough-sledding in those days.

“When you kick out your base, you have to rebuild from the ground up. Over the years, the city changed and the new residents began to discover us.

“About ten years ago I left my full-time job and decided to spend more time with the bar. I found some of the best bartenders around and convinced them to come to work for me. They are my second family and they don’t seem to want to leave. I’m a very lucky owner.”

SAT JUNE 22 | THE FRONT PORCH | ALL OVER FERNDALE

By Sara Teller

EACH YEAR, THE FRONT PORCH FESTIVAL BRINGS FERNDALE RESIDENTS TOGETHER for a day of music on neighborhood porches with a variety of bands playing an eclectic mix of tunes. Planning for this year’s event is well underway. “We are looking to have a porch this year dedicated to children’s music,” said Michael Benghiat, its founder and executive producer. “Additionally, we are always looking at components outside of music such as comedy or spoken word on porches in between performances.”

He added, “From day one we’ve always explored how we can extend the Front Porch brand and the event past the 6:00 P.M. cutoff into the downtown area.” The idea would be for merchants and venues to host music well into the night. Benghiat called the concept “kind of like a Front Porch at Nite.”

This summer, the line-up is also set to expand. “The first two years we focused on just getting the event under our legs. This year, however, we just may accomplish something like this,” Benghiat explained. “Last year we had twenty-seven porches and fifty-seven performances. This year, if we choose, we can have as many as thirty-five porches” which would equate to seventy performances. However, he said there is a need to “try to keep the footprint as tight as possible so that attendees can easily get from porch-to-porch and see as much music as possible.”

There will be some return acts from the first two years as well as new entertainment with submissions being received from bands all over Michigan. Benghiat said, “While the concept of music on porches fits so well with the folk, singer songwriter and Americana genres, we have submissions from performers labeling themselves as powerpop, blues, jazz, classical, gospel, house/dance/EDM, worldbeat improv, hip-hop, funk instrumental, modern country and more.”

In addition to planning the festival, The Front Porch television show is still in the works. “We’re still working on the production of a potential show, which may not necessarily be on a TV platform per se,” Benghiat said. “The most important component needed, of course, is funding. We’re still seeking the needed funding to produce a ten-to-thirteen-episode series.” 

Benghiat is pleased with the success of the first two events and is thankful for the support received. “Enough cannot be said for the tremendous support we receive from Ferndale residents to lend us their porches that are turned into stages for the day and all the artists and performers for their willingness to participate,” he said. “And, we so appreciate our partnership and collaboration with the City of Ferndale and police.”

For more information, check out www.thefrontporchmi.com.

 

SAT-SUN JUNE 1-2 | PALMER PARK

Palmer Park Art Fair

DETROIT’S PALMER PARK hosts one of the area’s most beautiful boutique art fairs on June 1-2. The artist tents are in a serpentine pattern winding near the lake and up to the log cabin. This creates a relaxed environment inviting shoppers to take their time and explore. The jurors for this show tend to select artists that enhance that calm atmosphere, though there certainly are some of the edgier Detroit artists participating. The show features over 60 professional artists from across the region and also includes more emerging artists than just about any other juried art fair. Mint Artists Guild, the teen art program that has a small presence at the Funky Ferndale Art Fair features as many as fourteen teens in a group tent. The Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club adds another ten adult emerging artists. Breakfast Club tent participants are new to art fairs and include artists in their twenties and others close to seventy. This year the fair adds an authors’ tent, featuring area writers. Food trucks and a beer tent round out the offerings. The art fair is June 1st and 2nd. Saturday hours are 10 AM-7 PM, Sunday 11 AM-5 PM. Free parking is available in area lots and along Merrill Plaisance. To get to the art fair head south on Woodward and take the first right, about 3/4 mile south of Seven Mile. Information and artists lists are at PalmerParkArtFair.com. 

 

SAT-SUN JUNE 22-23 | ST MARY’S ORCHARD LAKE

Fine Art Fine Wine Fair

THE FINE ART FINE WINE FAIR WILL BE HAPPENING AGAIN at St Mary’s June 22-23, featuring dozens of juried fine artists with one-of-a-kind exquisitely crafted works. Artists from many states participate and display works of painting, mixed-media, fiber art, drawing, jewelry, sculpture, and many more categories. We will also have wine tasting tickets available so that you can enjoy your art shopping experience while tasting an amazing variety of wines. For details visit FineArtFineWineFair.com. The Grosse Pointe Art Fair will also be returning for its second year to the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club May 18-19 in partnership with the Great Lakes Boating Festival, which has free admission and free parking at the high school with a complimentary shuttle. For more information visit GrossePointeArtFair.com. 

JUNE 16 | FERNDALE HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM 

Ferndale Community Concert Band

THE FERNDALE COMMUNITY CONCERT BAND wants to thank our patrons, advertisers, donors and friends for their continued support. The FCCB will end their Fourth Concert Season on Sunday, June 16, 2019, 3:00 PM, with its “Salute to our Fathers” Concert, held on Father’s Day, at Ferndale High School, 881 Pinecrest. Historically, a patriotic and father-themed concert will be enjoyed by all! Immediately following the concert, the FCCB will host their Annual Ice Cream Social, to say “Thank You” to all our concert goers who have attended our concerts, this season.

The 2019-2020 Concert Season runs from September through June. The FCCB performs (5) five concerts per season, usually in October, December, February, April and June. The Ferndale Community Concert Band is a diverse, multigenerational musical ensemble of experienced volunteer musicians from all over Metro Detroit. Its Mission is twofold: to provide quality, challenging musical and mentoring experiences for the members and student musicians, as well as educating and entertaining the citizens of Ferndale and surrounding communities. Please check out our website at www.fcconcertband.org or email us at fcconcertband@gmail.com for more information about the Band. The FCCB was established in May 2015 as a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization.

 

7/18 – 8/15 – 9/19 | VESTER & WOODWARD

Get Reel Movies On Vester

OUTDOOR MOVIES IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN FERNDALE return for the 8th year this Summer on July 18, August 15 and September 19! Enjoy a summer evening under the stars, watching a blockbuster movie while lounging in your camp chair or blanket, right in the middle of the street. FREE outdoor movies include pre-show activities and entertainment, food and snack vendors and, most importantly, a guaranteed good time. Movies start at dusk, but get there early, pick your spot and enjoy treats from our vendors or nearby restaurants! The big – 26-foot wide! – screen will be set up right on Vester Street, between Woodward & Bermuda. Get all the details at www.downtownferndale.com or www.facebook.com/DowntownFerndale or www.facebook.com/DowntownFerndale

 

SAT MARCH 30 | DURFEE INNOVATION SOCIETY

Detroit Soup

DETROIT SOUP, A PROGRAM OF BUILD INSTITUTE, is a microgranting dinner celebrating and supporting creative projects in Detroit. For a $5 donation, attendees receive soup, salad, bread and a vote and hear four presentations ranging from art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology and more. Each presenter has four minutes to share their idea and answer four questions from the audience. At the event, attendees eat, talk, share resources, enjoy art and vote on the project they think benefits the city the most. At the end of the night, we count the ballots and the winner goes home with all of the money raised to carry out their project. Winners come back to a future SOUP dinner to report their project’s progress.

In addition to funding projects, SOUP aims to:

• Empower residents • Help create jobs

• Allow people to establish new relationships and networks

• Promote action and change

• Foster critical dialogue • Instill neighborhood pride

• Provide a deeper understanding of democracy

The SOUP model is now being replicated in over 170 cities around the world, while in Detroit is has lead over $140,000 in local giving $5 at a time with over 20,000 attendees participating in one of the 176 community dinners throughout the city. Build Institute is hosting an upcoming Youth SOUP, a special Detroit SOUP focused on celebrating and supporting projects by changemakers age 14-24. Anyone is welcome to attend, but proposals must involve and should be presented by Detroit young people. Youth SOUP takes place on Saturday, March 30th at Durfee Innovation Society from 1-4. To find out more about these and other upcoming events, check out www.detroitsoup.com or http://buildinstitute.org. ■

SUN JUNE 2 | 1-5 PM | HUNT. WOODS LIBRARY

Huntington Woods Home Tour

THE 27TH ANNUAL HUNTINGTON WOODS HOME TOUR is an open house tour of five beautiful homes, featuring a variety of architectural styles which reflect the diversity and character of our city. All proceeds raised from this event are redistributed to local charities supporting education, women and children’s causes, such as Berkley High School scholarships, the Huntington Woods 4th of July Parade, Berkley Youth Assistance program, Norup Food Pantry and other great organizations. Sunday, June 2, 2019, 1:00 – 5:00 PM. Ticket prices: $20 advanced $25 at the door (16 years and older). Huntington Woods Library 26415 Scotia Rd, Huntington Woods MI www.hwwl.org/ ■

 

FRI JUNE 7 | FOX THEATER, DETROIT

Forgotten Harvest’s 27th Annual Comedy Night

ACTOR/COMEDIAN JIM GAFFIGAN WILL HEADLINE the 27th Annual Comedy Night hosted by Metro Detroit’s only food rescue organization, Forgotten Harvest. Comedy Night will take place on Friday, June

7th at the Fox Theatre. Tickets range from $35 – $175, and will be available through the Fox Theatre box office or at www.forgottenharvest.org/2019comedynight. Corporate sponsorships start at $1000 and can be purchased by contacting Rebecca Gade-Sawicki at (248) 864-7527. Jim Gaffigan is a four-time Grammy nominated comedian, actor, two-time New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. Gaffigan is known around the world for his unique brand of humor which largely revolves around fatherhood and his observations on life and food. The event offers a chance for Forgotten Harvest and its supporters to celebrate their achievements in the community. Tickets are going fast. Act now to get into the action. ■

 

JUNE 20 | LOCATION TO BE DETERMINED

Art Of The Cocktail

THE FERNDALE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY’S signature fundraising event, The Art of the Cocktail, returns a fun-filled sixth year on June 20th. The Ferndale DDA continues its efforts to raise funds for public art in the district by bringing back the event of the year! Exhibiting the creative blending talents of the district’s best bartenders, attendees will be the judge of each cocktail creation, crafted from identical

ingredients supplied to each bartender. Guests can watch the creative genius at work, taste the results and vote for their favorite to designate Downtown Ferndale’s Cocktail of the Year. The evening also includes a silent

auction, music, appetizers and much more! A limited quantity of tickets will be available, via the Ferndale DDA or PayPal, so make sure you get yours! All proceeds help the DDA continue its efforts to raise funds for public art in Downtown Ferndale. www.downtownferndale.com ■

 

SAT JUNE 28 | 10AM – 6PM | DOWNTOWN BERKLEY

Berkley Art Bash

ART, MUSIC AND FOOD LOVERS looking to add a little color to their weekend will find a diverse assortment of photographs, garden art, jewelry, pottery, paintings, gourmet offerings, live music and more at the Berkley Art Bash in beautiful downtown Berkley. The show, which is presented by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce, has more than 150 vendors with many of them showcasing Michigan artists. Kids activities

include inflatable moon bouncer, creative craft projects and air brush tattoos. Attendees will enjoy free parking and many shops along Twelve Mile and Coolidge will be hosting sidewalk sales and offering

 

up additional entertainment & activities throughout the day. 12 Mile Road between Kipling and Buckingham in downtown Berkley. www.BerkleyArtBash.com ■

 

THURS-SUN JULY 4-7 | DOWNTOWN ROYAL OAK

Michigan Rib Fest

KICK OFF THE SUMMER IN GRAND FASHION! Rib Fest will once again welcome thousands of guests for a weekend of BBQ, bands, and family fun in downtown Royal Oak. Rib Fest will showcase an unparalleled selection

of unique cuisine, food trucks, and BBQ – along with a selection of adult beverages. More than a dozen food vendors will be offering up mouthwatering fare that’s sure to please even the most discerning palate. With a list of bands as long as the food vendors, Michigan Rib Fest presents a carefully crafted entertainment lineup that’s fit for all ages. The event will feature some of the state and region’s most impressive local talent with a range of musical genres and styles performing all day that will please any crowd! Admission is free all weekend, with festivities running Thursday, July 4 – Sunday, July 7. MichiganRibFest.com. ■

 

Story By: Ingrid Sjostrand
Photos By: Bernie Laframboise

HAVE YOU EVER ORDERED SUSHI AND HAD IT ARRIVE AT YOUR TABLE ON FIRE with literal blue flames rising from each roll as it’s placed in front of you?

It’s probably not your typical sushi experience, but it’s commonplace at Inyo Restaurant and Lounge, which is more than your typical sushi restaurant. Katie Pickhover, general manager, describes the menu – located at 22871 Woodward – as “Asian fusion.” And that flaming dish is the Dynamite Roll, their most popular item.

“It is the most-ordered and most-talked-about. The “Dynamite” specialty roll is salmon, crab, avocado, tempura fried and topped with a spicy cream sauce and roe served over fire,” Pickhover says. “We have quite a few table-side ‘wow’ items, sparking questions like ‘what is that?’ and ‘how can I get that?’”

Another one of those ‘wow’ dishes is the Beijing Duck, a three-course meal that can feed up to four and costs only $60.

“Some of our cooler items that aren’t as popular include a table-side Beijing duck: An entire duck comes out, they cut the breast table-side, and it includes two more courses, a choice of soup, lettuce wraps or pan-fried Asian noodles,” she says. “I wish more people ordered it; anything table-side is fun and can create an experience throughout the restaurant.”

THESE SPECIALTY DISHES are just part of what makes Inyo special. Opened in 2009 by Norman Acho and Executive Chef Kenny Wee, they wanted to create a unique concept using their knowledge of multiple international cuisines.

“Customers sometimes come in requesting traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean but our version has Kenny’s new flair on it, which makes it different from other restaurants,” Pickhover says. “Most people like that, but if you are looking for traditional you probably won’t find it here.”

“Kenny has an extensive background in multiple Asian cuisines, creating Asian fusion was some-thing important and he puts his personal twist on everything,” she adds. “He has lived in Malaysia and Melbourne, Australia and takes a lot of inspiration from his childhood and places he grew up. His background and experience aren’t some-thing you’d find in other Asian restaurants.”

Inyo also prides itself on creating custom, seasonal cocktails and offering specials. Each weeknight, customers can come in for deals including half off appetizers on Mondays and more. Their cocktails are often Asian inspired and utilize traditional ingredients.

“We have the luxury of incorporating sake into our drinks and that is something you wouldn’t see if you weren’t at an Asian restaurant,” Pickhover says. “It allows us to create a lot of different flavors. We also try to change our drinks up for the seasons, creating something lighter for summer like the Malaysian butterfly, which was made of muddled cucumber, sake, vodka and elderflower.”

IN THE NINE YEARS SINCE OPENING, Inyo has watched the Ferndale community grow and expand, and they credit a lot of that to City Hall and their support of small businesses.

“The downtown community has been up and coming for so many years, it’s amazing to watch everything develop in this city,” Pickhover says. “Ferndale has a lot of community and the city is great at showing love to small businesses, that really helps with success here. We try to participate in the community as much as possible – through Pridefest, Small Business Saturday and other things.”

Inyo’s hours are 11:00 A.M. – 10:00 P.M. Sunday through Tuesday, 11:00 A.M. – 11:00 P.M. Wednesday through Friday, and 11:00 A.M. -Midnight on Saturdays. They also have a second location in West Bloomfield.

By Andrea G.
Photos By Bernie LaFramboise

THIS YEAR, HOWE’S BAYOU IS CELEBRAT­ING ITS 20TH YEAR OF CREOLE CUISINE ON WOODWARD A VENUE. The Ferndale classic is known for their New Orlean’s-inspired decor and menu. The restaurant offers a transportive experience, with each visit featuring rotating food specials and specialty cocktails.

As one of Ferndale’s longest operational restaurants on Woodward, the Howe’s Bayou family has watched Ferndale grow around them. Owner Michael Hennes has been running the restaurant since nearly the beginning, after taking over for the original owner a year and a half into operations. Although he was working at a nonprofit at the time, Hennes took an inspiring trip to New Orleans which helped make his decision to take on the restaurant. Hennes calls it a pleasure to be among Ferndale’s unique dining options and to watch the city blossom from within the heart
of it.

The restaurant has a low turn-over rate, with many employees spending years on the team delivering deliciousness. One employee in particular, Will Webb, has been with the restaurant since opening day, working as an integral part of the Howe’s Bayou kitchen. The low turn-over rate is a sign of a great place to work, but also a sign that the entire staff has combined their talents to create a family dynamic. The team effort of coming up with new treats and sustaining the welcoming atmosphere helps make Howe’s Bayou stand out amongst neighboring restaurants. The accommodating service is consistently cited as one of the highlights of visiting.

Howe’s Bayou focuses on famously New Orleans dishes – gumbo, jambalaya, catfish, po-boys, and don’t forget about the shrimp. Homemade lobster bisque is among the rotating selection of fresh seafood. Their incredible bar comes up with seasonal creative craft cocktails, especially focused on bourbons and ryes. Louisiana beers and boutique wines are also available to pair with the southern dishes.

The restaurant doesn’t have a specific date for an anniversary, so they will celebrate their 20th year of operation with events and specials throughout the rest of the year. Watch the restaurant’s web site, www.howesbayouferndale.net and their Facebook page for announcements of what is in the works. They are open for lunch and dinner and offer a happy hour Monday through Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. As Michigan cools down into winter, you can always warm up at Howe’s Bayou.

By Ingrid Sjostrand

From international cuisine to ice cream and freshly-brewed beers and meads, Hazel Park has been building a food and drink destination along John R Rd. for years. Check out some of the city’s most popular dining destinations.

CELLARMEN’S
24310 John R Rd.| 586-413-4206

MEADS CONTINUE TO RISE AS THE NEXT BIG beverage, and Hazel Park is at the forefront with Cellarmen’s – the only Demeter-certified biodynamic meadery on the planet.

Founded in 2015, by four friends – Dominic Calzetta, Ian Radogost-Givens, Jason Petrocik and Andrew Zalewski – they have created over 100 flavors in the three years since opening, including fan-favorite “Hungry Girl,” a strawberry-and-white pepper mead.

“We make mead, cider, and beer out of the highest quality ingredients we can find – we use only real fruit and honey in our recipes and never use flavorings or fruit concentrates,” Calzetta says. “We all come from kitchens, so everything is very food- and flavor-driven, along with tradition of mead and cider making.”

Quality has been key in every decision Cellarmen’s has made, including picking the ideal location for their business.

“Bolyard Lumber had been a staple in the community for years. The building actually burned down in the ‘60s and was rebuilt to what we have today. The space in the back which was the former yard is perfect for our production,” Calzetta says.
Hazel Park as a city continues to win them over too.

“The city could not be more perfect for us. A few of us lived here before we opened and always had eyes on our building. When we began our relationship with the City, we knew it was the place for us,” Calzetta says. “The people, the spirit, the leadership – there is nothing not to love about Hazel Park.”

Cellarmen’s 200-seat tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday, where you can find live music and monthly comedy shows. Their products are sold throughout Michigan at all craft beer retailers.

PI’S THAI CUISINE
24940 John R. Rd | 248-545-4070

AUTHENTIC INTERNATIONAL CUISINE CAN BE HARD TO COME BY, so when a credible place opens it tends to succeed. Pi’s Thai illustrates this perfectly, having opened over 30 years ago when owners Pirote (Pi) and Boonserm (Boon) Chinthanond migrated to Hazel Park from Thailand and opened their restaurant.

“Thai cuisine was relatively unknown in the Metro Detroit area and Thai restaurants practically nonexistent. Pi and Boon saw an opportunity to introduce the exotic flavors of Thai cuisine to Metro Detroiters and in the Spring of 1986 Pi’s Thai Cuisine opened in Hazel Park,” the restaurant’s Cuisine Management says.

When they retired in 2011, they passed ownership to second cousins to ensure family recipes would be honored. The restaurant built an online presence and the building was updated but the food stayed the same – fresh ingredients and authentic dishes.
“Everything served at Pi’s Thai Cuisine are the original recipes Pi and Boon would cook at home. About 95 percent of the sauces used are also homemade,” says management.

Spicy Thai food is not uncommon, but Pi’s prides itself on their extra fiery levels; they’re known to not even let new customers try ‘hot’ without sampling their ‘medium’ spice first.

“We work hard to create the best flavors for our food and we want our customers to enjoy it, not suffer from the spiciness of the chili,” Pi’s Thai says. “However, we do have some brave souls that order ‘extra hot’ on the regular. Only a handful that I can remember have ordered ‘triple extra hot’.”

The most popular dishes are their Pad Thai, fried rice and drunken noodles. Pi’s has become a staple in Hazel Park and over the last 32 years, Pi’s has come to see the residents as family – even watching some come in as small children and slowly build their spice level as they grow.

“Food brings family together, and especially in Thai culture where the phrase, ‘Have you eaten?’ is used interchangeably to ask, ‘How are you?’” the cuisine management says. “Coming to Pi’s Thai Cuisine is an experience and we wouldn’t have it any other way!”

JOEBAR
23839 John R. Rd. | 248-291-5711

THE EVERYDAY NEIGHBORHOOD BAR, for the ‘everyday Joe’ – a down-to-earth watering hole with authentic food, fair priced drinks and good music,” Cari Vaughn, co-owner of Joebar, describes the restaurant best.

“Our clientele is an amazing mix of college-aged kids, blue-collar workers, city officials, suburbanites and city dwellers,” she adds.

Opened in March 2017, Vaughn runs Joebar with Managing Partner and Chef Rebecca LaMalfa and husband Joe Vaughn. The restaurant offers weekend brunch and $10 burgers and beer, but there is more than meets the eye at 23839 John R. Rd. Technically, it’s three restaurants in one.

They recently collaborated with Dark Matter Coffee, a Chicago-based roaster, to open shop inside the restaurant. This is Dark Matter’s first location outside Chicago. Additionally, the back half of the restaurant is “frame” – a unique culinary space that holds chef residencies.

“We’ve played host to the most amazing chefs this past year, from the likes of James Rigato, Craig Lieckfelt, George Azar and Luciano DelSignore,” Vaughn says. “No two days are ever the same at frame. From cocktail workshops to private events, it’s an ever-changing line-up of chefs and experiences. frame doubles as a food studio by day for commercial and editorial clients.”

Whether you’re looking for a fresh-roasted cup of coffee, a burger and a drink, or an exclusive culinary experience, it can all be found inside the doors of Joebar.

DOUG’S DELIGHT
24110 John R. Rd

DOUG’S DELIGHT is probably the newest restaurant in Hazel Park, but it already has a lot of history and connections in the city. You could call it Mabel Grey’s little sister; the restaurant is run by their Executive Chef James Rigato and Pastry Chef Kristina Conger.
“Doug’s has been around for 50 years, and has served as a community gathering place for ice cream and snacks,” Rigato says. “It sat for a couple years, and then we bought it and restored it to what you see today.”

The diner-style space opened in April of 2018 and is a reinvention of the original Doug’s that closed in 2014 when owner Vicky Muccino passed away. The restaurant will still feature favorites like soft serve and hot dogs, but there will be upgrades and unexpected culinary specials too.

“It’s definitely fun and nostalgic. The savory side is hot-dog-focused, with tater tots, curly fries and nacho cheese, but Brittany Decamillo (our savory chef) is always doing cool specials like al pastor tacos and bacon-&-jalapeño grilled cheese on homemade sourdough,” Rigato says. “The sweet side features ten percent milk fat soft serve ice cream, Guernsey’s hard scoop and dairy products, as well as homemade brownies and cookies. We’re definitely sourcing the nicest products possible.”

Open seven days a week as of June, they hope to expand pastry production in the coming months and continue to promote the growth of Hazel Park.

MABEL GREY
23825 John R. Rd | 248-398-4300

MABEL GREY MIGHT BE ONE OF THE most recognizable restaurants in Hazel Park – it won the Detroit Free Press title of “Restaurant of the Year” in 2017, was featured in The New York Times and became a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for “Best New Restaurant” in 2016 – and these accolades are well deserved.

Owner and Chef James Rigato opened Mabel Grey in 2015, with business partner Ed Mamou, to expand his culinary imagination and build unique new flavors and dishes.

“I wanted a small restaurant that I could oversee and use as a vessel of constant creativity and shareable space for my fellow industry friends,” Rigato says.
“We allow the menu, space, ambiance, music and vibe to change with all the other variables of life.”

“The menu is an ever-changing playlist reflecting the seasons and influences around me. I think of Mabel Gray as a canvas for creativity, R&D, exploration, education and personal growth. Change is a necessity for these things,” he adds.
The restaurant seats 40, and Rigato created an urban ambiance to reflect the city around him.

“I lived at 11 Mile and John R for years. I’ve always loved Hazel Park. The layout, the buildings. The businesses like Pi’s Thai, Loui’s Pizza, Kozy Lounge were places I already loved,” he says. “I liked the idea of taking a small, shotgun building, the kind a tool-&-die shop would be in, and opening a creative food think tank where I could be free.”

As for future plans for the restaurant, visitors can expect to see continuous change and an ever-evolving menu.

“Mabel Gray will continue to change, grow, evolve and celebrate the people and influences that walk through both its front and back doors. I always have ideas and aspirations for the future,” Rigato says.

 

FERNDALE IS NOT YOUR CONVENTIONAL MIDWEST TOWN, and that is reflected in the unusual shops, eclectic restaurants and even its festivals.

For 15 years, The Funky Ferndale Art Fair has been bringing unexpected and edgy fine art to the city. A few years later, the DIY Street Fair began, adding music, beer and a selection of less traditional art mediums. Both shows return this year on September 21-23.

Presenting two fairs at the same time creates an opportunity for shoppers to see a greater variety of art. Those attending one fair may discover that there are also things that they love on the other side of Woodward. Each fair is separate, with different planning and visions, so they stay surprising.

In addition to over one hundred artists or vendor booths in each show, both offer hands on opportunities to explore the arts. Traditionally, DIY has had family-friendly projects adjacent to the library. Funky has introduced some unusual projects over the years, from the world’s longest comic strip to toilet-paper-mache. This year, participants will be able to work on the community mural, create take home art projects, visit selfie stations, have their caricature painted and more.

Both shows have their own distinctive personality. DIY has a strong focus on music, beer and food trucks. It celebrates the concept that peo-ple with a “Do It Yourself” outlook bring a passion to everything they do. Funky Ferndale is dedicated to juried artists from across the country. Many are represented in major museums and galleries. A difference between Funky Ferndale and other major art fairs is that the jurors look for artists that have an edgier touch. You may find some of them in other fairs, but to see over 100 in one place you must go to Funky Ferndale.

Funky Ferndale Art Fair has turned into a very competitive show, with over 300 applicants each year for about 120 spaces. The committee works to include both established favorites and great new artists. This year, more than 25 artists are coming for the first time. This includes established artists from as far away as California and some that work out of their Ferndale garages. A list of artists, with sample images of their work, is available on the FunkyFerndaleArtFair.com web site.

DIY has a wide selection of offerings, including items such as soaps, candles and t shirts. All show creativity and a dedication to quality. Their web site (www.Ferndalediy.com) includes lists and photos of what to expect on the East side of Woodward and Nine.

If you’re looking for a great time and some quality one-of-a-kind items, there’s no place better to go than art weekend in Ferndale featuring both the Funky Ferndale Art Fair and the DIY Street Fair.

Funky Ferndale Art Fair – Friday 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Nine Mile west of Wood-ward.

DIY Street Fair – Friday 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM until Midnight and Sunday 11:00 AM until 11:00 PM. Nine Mile and adjacent areas east of Woodward.

Parking – Ferndale’s many parking lots will be open. Street parking is permitted in many areas. The Credit Union One parking structure will also be available for a small donation for Fern Care.

FunkyFerndaleArtFair.com 

Ferndalediy.com

Story by Sara E. Teller
Photos by Bernie Laframboise

Forgotten Harvest was founded 27 years ago by Dr. Nancy Fishman, who knew firsthand what it felt like to go to bed hungry. “She had suffered the indignity of hunger herself and vowed to dedicate herself to relieving hunger in Metro Detroit,” explained Tim Hudson, the organization’s Chief Development Officer. “Nancy started Forgotten Harvest from the back of her own vehicle and began to rescue food from restaurants in the area.”

Fishman’s venture has since branched out substantially and, today, Forgotten Harvest employs over 70 people and has a fleet of 35 trucks that rescue food from grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors, and other Health Department-approved sources in and around its headquarters in Oak Park. In it’s 2016-2017 fiscal year alone, the effort’s Rescue Team has received over 45.8 million pounds of food by collecting surplus, prepared, and perishable items.

The food that is collected is redistributed to those in need, fulfilling Forgotten Harvest’s mission of relieving hunger in metro Detroit and preventing nutritious food waste. “We deliver that food free of charge to over 250 agencies in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties,” Hudson said. He added that those who need food can visit pantrynet.org directly, contact Forgotten Harvest at (248) 967-1500 or send the organization a message on any of its social media channels.

Forgotten Harvest offers volunteer opportunities at its headquarters in Oak Park, as well as at Forgotten Harvest Farms and is actively seeking participants. “Last year over 16,000 people volunteered at our Oak Park headquarters and at Forgotten Harvest Farms” Hudson said. “Interested parties can register to volunteer online. It’s easy. There are two sessions held six days a week. Morning and afternoon sessions are available.”

Recent notable donations to the cause include 16,200 pounds of frozen poultry contributed by Miller Amish Country Poultry on behalf of The Kroger Co. of Michigan this past December. The Miller Poultry contribution included 300 40-pound cases of frozen bagged drumsticks, representing approximately 36,000 meal portions; 300 12-pound cases of fully cooked chicken sausage, representing approximately 10,800 meal portions; and 100 cases of ground chicken, representing approximately 1,800 meal portions. Little Caesars Pizza also donated $30,000 toward the cause during the holiday season.

Hudson said that operating in Oak Park is ideal because, “It is a central location for our trucks and was chosen due to access to all major freeways.” This allows volunteers to quickly and easily collect and redistribute items. He added, “One in six people face hunger or food insecurity in the Tri-County area,” which makes being positioned in Oak Park important for readily providing hunger-relief services to those in need.

Forgotten Harvest is a member of Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that includes a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks which feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-based agencies. Feeding America works to educate the general public about hunger. The national office produces educational and research papers spotlighting this issue, and its public policy staff works with legislators to advocate for changes in public attitudes and laws geared toward hunger issues to aid in nationwide hunger elimination and prevention.

Forgotten Harvest is creative with the ways in which it raises contributions to support its efforts. Twenty-six years ago, comedian Tim Allen co-founded Forgotten Harvest Comedy Night, and the Detroit-area comedian will return this year to host the event at the Fox Theatre on April 20 at 8:30 P.M. The annual event benefits and gives the organization’s supporters a chance to showcase their achievements in the community. Past presenters have included Jay Leno and Martin Short, among other notable celebrities.

Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, 313Presents.com, and ForgottenHarvest.org.