A flurry of new bar and restaurant openings

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

We’re in the eye of the latest storm of new bar and restaurant openings in Metro Detroit. This includes a fish concept in Southwest Detroit, a revamped Birmingham restaurant, a vegetarian cafe in Ferndale and more.

On Nov. 16, the folks behind Johnny Noodle King and Green Dot Stables opened the Huron Room at 2547 Bagley in Detroit. The Great Lakes-themed spot offers lunch and dinner daily, plus drinks.

Pick your fish – perch, walleye, whitefish, smelt, trout or a catch of the day – and have it prepared as fish and chips, a fried fish sandwich or as tacos. Besides fries, sides includes onion rice, succotash, fish hush puppies, three-bean salad and of course, cole slaw.

The menu expands to include much more, like turducken meatloaf, Peking pheasant, Scotch quail egg, venison kofta, a Brussels sprout salad and more.

The same day Huron Room opened its doors, Forest debuted at 735 Forest in Birmingham. Headed by chef Nick Janutol, the restaurant is a refreshed version of Forest Grill, which closed in January. The menu has small plates, pasta and entrees such as duck breast and lamb shoulder. On the cocktail menu, find popular classics like French 75, Moscow mule and Detroit’s own the Last Word.

One of the most anticipated restaurant openings may be happening soon. La Rondinella in Eastern Market has been holding soft openings as far back as September. While a grand opening date has not been announced – the restaurant doesn’t even have an official social media presence yet – it’s expected to be open and serving Saturday.

La Rondinella, which is owned by Dave Mancini who also has the supremely popular pizza joint Supino’s next door, has been buzzed about since spring of 2014.

In the burbs, downtown Ferndale is getting an all-vegetarian and vegan restaurant. The Green Space Cafe is officially opening Tuesday. The “clean eating,” plant-based restaurant has a full bar, as well as products from Drought, a Detroit-based organic, cold-pressed raw juice company. Find it at 215 W. Nine Mile where Italian restaurant Maria’s Front Room once was.

On Monday, Jim Brady’s Detroit will open at 1214 S. Main in Royal Oak where Oxford Inn was. The address is the same, but nearly every other detail has been changed including the exterior.

Jim Brady’s Detroit, owned by third-generation restaurateur Tom Brady, will open for dinner at 4 p.m. The plan is to add lunch service in a few weeks.

Atwater Brewery opened a Detroit Taphouse and Biergarten Wednesday at 237 Jos Campau in Detroit. There was a grand opening Thanksgiving Eve with $1 beers.

The 5,000-square-foot space has a capacity of 125, and a private dining space is available. The menu has pizza, chicken chili and fish tacos. Atwater, which also has a restaurant in Grosse Pointe Park, will open a another tap house in Grand Rapids in the Rowe Hotel building this spring.

1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza chain opened its first Michigan location in Roseville Nov. 5. The second will open in Livonia at 29484 Seven Mile on Wednesday. Customers who follow the pizza chain on social media can get a free pizza on opening day.

Back to bars, the newest Hamtramck hangout is the Polka Dot. The neighborhood bar is located where the Atlas Lounge was (and before that, Roadrunner’s Raft) at 2363 Yemans. The bar’s facade is completely updated including windows that you can see through (a rarity in Hamtramck), and the inside got a fresh coat of paint and a good scrubbing.

The Polka Dot, which is owned by the same family behind Hamtramck’s beloved Polish Village Cafe, is having some trial runs now and plans to be fully functional by January.

Also expected to officially open soon: Standby bar at 225 Gratiot in the art-filled Belt Alley behind the Z Garage, and a third Bucharest Grill location at 110 Piquette.