The 279-seat fine dining spot will serve classic Joe Muer dishes and modern healthy plates crafted by chef Matt Fitchett
Many of the elements that diners are familiar with when they think of Joe Muer Seafood — white tablecloths, oysters Rockefeller, buttery shrimp Ilene, fine wines and detailed service — will be found at the new location opening Monday in Bloomfield Hills.
The new 279-seat Joe Muer, located next to the Kingsley Inn, continues the history of the storied restaurant name. Joe Muer originally opened in Detroit in 1929. The longstanding business closed just before the turn of the century and was revived in the Renaissance Center in 2011.
“To me, this is a great opportunity for people to reminisce,” said Joe Meur Seafood general manager Dan O’Connor. “Now the history has just continued on for the next generation.”
Besides the familiar dishes, the Bloomfield Hills restaurant is decorated with vintage photos of the original restaurant. A black and white checkered design covers the floor similar to the downtown location, and there’s also a piano player performing nightly. Servers wear white suit coats with red bow ties. (Customers are asked to wear business casual attire.)
The decor is certainly modern-retro, however, with sunburst chandeliers, velvet-y purple booths and large windows facing Woodward in the north dining room. On the other side of the bar, a second dining area has gold accents and rustic wood chairs.
O’Connor, who was formerly the general manager of Morton’s the Steakhouse in Troy, said the focus at Joe Muer is hospitality. Much of the front-of-house staff went through a two-week training process.
“We were very fortunate that we could use the facility downtown for training, so they were able to walk through what (the servers) go through downtown, taste the food with the chef, and just experience what we’re trying to get across as far as elegance and remarkable service.”
“It’s all about the wow factor,” he adds.
Michigan born and raised chef Matt Fitchett says that while around 80 percent of the menu is classic Muer dishes, he has 20 percent “to play with.”
“We’re going to do a classic Joe Muer menu, our chalkboard features will change seasonally, and at lunchtime we’re going to feed the locals, try to feed them what they need on a lunch menu.”
Formerly of Birmingham’s Big Rock Chophouse, this Schoolcraft College alum says his cooking style focus on healthy food.
“Lentils, legumes, fresh relish, salads, American-style cuisine ... I just try to keep it really healthy,” he said. “I still like the white linen and classy service, but you know, staying hip. Just trying to keep it real with freshness.”
Like O’Connor, Fitchett stresses the important of hospitality.
“You get into this classy environment, it’s a lot different than our new restaurants that are popping up all over. It’s a different vibe, but we’re here to take care of people.”
Starting Monday the Bloomfield Hills restaurant will be open seven nights a week for dinner, and weekdays for lunch. Weekend brunch will be added later.
Joe Muer Seafood is at 39475 Woodward, Bloomfield Hills. Make reservations through OpenTable.com or call (248) 792-9609.