Market, restaurants planned for Royal Oak site

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News
Patti Eisenbraun, Co-owner of Brown Iron Brewhouse in Washington Township, pours a glass of beer during the press event. Brown Iron Brewhouse will be one of the new retailers in the Woodward Corners by Beaumont development.

Royal Oak — Beaumont Hospital officials on Thursday unveiled some of the new businesses that are expected to open at the former Northwood Shopping Center at 13 Mile and Woodward.

The 13-acre hospital-owned site called Woodward Corners — which for decades housed familiar names like Cunningham Drugs, Kroger and J.C. Penney — will consist of six buildings, including a five-story hotel and various restaurants and retailers, according to Carolyn Wilson, Beaumont’s chief operating officer.

“We’re very excited at how things have come together,” Wilson said. “Visitors to our hospital and the area, the neighborhood, are going to have some interesting choices.”

Wilson said the $32.8 million development, which is under construction, is expected to employ hundreds of workers. She said the hospital is still talking to potential tenants but those who have signed leases and may open as early as May include:

-- Wahlburgers restaurant, a growing “upscale” sandwich eatery started by actor Mark Wahlberg and his brothers, Donnie and Paul.

-- New Order Coffee, a Detroit-based coffee house that will feature brewed-to-order drinks and pastries.

-- Woodward Corner Market, a 40,000-square-foot “neighborhood grocery store” operated by Michigan-based Mejier.

-- Grabbagreen, a fast-food franchise offering “healthy food-on-the go” selections, grains and green bowls, fresh-made juices and smoothies.

-- Brown Iron Brewhouse, offering house-crafted brews and smoked meats in a casual “beer garden” atmosphere.

-- AKT, a dance-based cardio concept fitness center.

-- Beaumont Urgent Care, a walk-in care facility designed to serve patients with minor injuries and illnesses.

The project comes amidst controversy over development in downtown Royal Oak, with some residents expressing concern over a loss of parking for diners and shoppers and fears that the city is losing its small-town charm.

Exterior of some of the buildings inside the Woodward Corners development by Beaumont development.

Representatives from several of the new businesses said Thursday they are looking forward to opening at the old shopping center site.

“This will be the second of our smaller store concepts,” said Peter Heinz, director of strategic growth for Meijier’s Woodward Corner Market. “We believe it is a great fit for this area.”

Heinz said about 50 workers will be employed at the market, which will specialize in “fresh food, local artisan groceries and Meijer and national brands.”

Patti Eisenbraun, managing member of Brown Iron Brewhouse, said she and husband Tim founded their brewery and smoke house concept in 2011 and first opened in Washington Township in Macomb County in 2015.

“We have received several awards for our beer, and last year USA Today ranked us as one of the best beer bars in the U.S. in a group which included New Orleans, Chicago and San Francisco,” Eisenbraun said.

“We will be operating and providing a family friendly atmosphere,” she said.

Veronica Rallo, 30, a employee for Wahlburgers, serves burgers during the Woodward Corners by Beaumont development press conference .

Wahlburgers’ local managing partner, Nino Cutraro, said he will be opening his sixth burger eatery with the Wahlberg brothers — four in Michigan and two in Ohio. The Woodward Corners location will include inside and outside dining and employ about 100 people.

“This is like a gourmet burger and people love them,” Cutraro said. “We expect to open in May, probably the first to open here.”

He looked out the floor to ceiling windows toward Woodward Avenue less than a few hundred feet away.

“I can’t even imagine what it's going to be like during Dream Cruise,” he said.

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