New restaurant/music venue to debut in Ferndale

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Ferndale is expected to see the debut of Otus Supply, a new bar, restaurant and music venue before the winter holidays.

Located at 345 E. Nine Mile, the 10,000-square-foot space is the latest from the team behind the popular Toast restaurants in Ferndale and Birmingham.

Otus Supply will have two bars, a permanent outdoor seating and a kitchen helmed by chef Myles McVay. The still-under-construction building was originally going to be called Black Owl, but a naming conflict with a Kalamazoo cafe caused owners to look for a new name. (Otus is a genus of owls.)

Plans are to have circular doorways leading into smaller living room areas, a chef’s table and a rooftop garden.

Co-owner Thom Bloom says the cuisine will be influenced by the Great Lakes.

“It’s simple food, not prepared simply,” Bloom says. “We want to harken back to before there was a drive through, and before there were Wal-Marts, when people broke bread and listened to music and drank wine. We want to touch back to the 1800s and what the cultures were that integrated to Detroit. What was the French mama cooking in the kitchen, what did the Dutch mother cook? How were they canning, how were they farming? You were growing what you had here, they were using it.”

He says McVay — who has worked at Toast in Birmingham as well as Cafe Muse and Opus One, to name a few — will do a lot of nose-to-tail butchering (meaning little of the animal is wasted) and a lot of pickling.

The habits of the black owl influenced the menu planning, Bloom said.

“Where he would fly, we would draw influence from,” he said. “There will be a lot of Great Lakes fish, different wild animals and animals grown in the state by local farmers.”

As for the bars, Bloom says the cocktails will be approachable — “zero pretension,” he says — and there will be plenty of craft brew and special beer dinners. One bar will more of a “sexy saloon whiskey bar” and the other will focus on beer. He’s tapped Dan Filipek as beverage director. Filipek is originally from Detroit but has worked in top New York City restaurants such as Jean-Georges.

Bloom met his partner Scott Myrick in the early ’90s while working in the local concert business, so making Otus Supply a live music venue is a natural step for them.

He says the goal is to make the music aspect of the restaurant somewhat how the original House of Blues was “before Live Nation got a hold of them.”

“We’re really passionate about roots, New Orleans flavor, wholesome, great music,” he says. Details are still being worked out, but Bloom says the concert space will be flexible and could be part of the dining room or separated into a 150-200 capacity area.