Former Mr. B's in Royal Oak to open Saturday as Alchemi and Prep's Gaming Room

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Mr. B's Gastropub, a longstanding casual bar and restaurant in downtown Royal Oak is just about ready to reopen as two new concepts. Saturday, chef and owner Johnny Prepolec will debut Alchemi and Prep's Gaming Room and Nightclub.

Mr. B's was a spacious American restaurant that seemed to cater to sports fans, families and the bar crowd, with a large, but familiar, menu. Alchemi will take over one side of that space. It's being described as a "farm-to-table bistro" and will have American dishes, global fare, small plates and options for vegans and vegetarians. 

Chef and owner Johnny Prepolec has turned Mr. B's Gastropub into Alchemi and Prep's Gaming Room and Nightclub.

“The quality of the food and cocktails is going to be the showcase,” said Prepolec of Alchemi. He is working with local farms for fresh produce, and will also grow some of his own right in the restaurant in a window box on display to guests. “You can do amazing things when you start with an exquisite product.”

Some of the planned dishes at Alchemi are lamb ćevapi, seared salmon poached in a red curry and coconut milk sauce, macaroni and cheese made with farfalle and Amish cheddar, a New York strip steak and a vegetarian Indian dal dish with flatbread and basmati rice.

A grow box with fresh produce will be inside Alchemi, opening Saturday in downtown Royal Oak.

Prep's Gaming Room and Nightclub is a more casual sister restaurant to Alchemi. Prep's has an outdoor cafe, walk-up window with street food, cocktails and beer. Inside it's like a sports bar with video games and a high-tech golf simulator. 

Prepolec — who told The Detroit News in June that he had COVID-19 in March and has since recovered — has taken advantage of the temporary closure of restaurant dining rooms in Michigan due to the pandemic to schedule a revamp of his Main Street restaurant. He had originally planned to do this overhaul next year, but with the downtime and cooperative lenders, he decided to move the project forward. 

Prohibition-era themed restaurant Johnny's Speakeasy will continue to operate in the basement level. 

The logo for Alchemi, a new concept in the former Mr. B's Gastropub space in downtown Royal Oak.

All three restaurants are at 215 S. Main in Royal Oak. To make reservations for Johnny's Speakeasy or Alchemi, call (248) 675-8875 or use the OpenTable app. 

More:Metro Detroit restaurants make updates and improvements during pandemic downtime

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Twitter: @melodybaetens