BEVERLY HILLS — When the Beverly Hills Grill opened on March 16, 1988, the upscale dining market in metro Detroit was thriving.
But as once-strong competitors such as The Golden Mushroom, Les Auteurs and Van Dyke Place began to flounder and eventually disappear, the Grill remained as popular and successful as ever.
Proprietor of the Grill and owner of Roberts Restaurant Group Bill Roberts said that, when he opened its doors in 1988, he was trying to create a simple neighborhood restaurant that provided excellent food and service at a reasonable price.
“In addition, I had gone to California and wanted to emulate some of the newer restaurant trends of fresher ingredients, lighter and airy restaurant spaces, and with a friendly, non-snooty attitude,” he said.
“I also decided to feature California wines by the glass, which was an up-and-coming trend at the time.”
Along with exceptional menus and ambiance, Roberts said, he wanted the restaurant to be a valued member of the community “from the very beginning,” and he said he has made it a point to participate in community events and support causes that are important to guests.
Perhaps the most popular aspect of the Grill is the handwritten chalkboard of specials that change daily, which has long been a draw for guests who appreciate the creativity and variety.
Roberts Restaurant Group Director of Operations and former Grill general manager Carl Volk said half of the restaurant’s sales come from the chalkboard.
“People enjoy seeing what new items our chefs can create every day. This allows us to stay on the cutting edge,” Volk said.
“Restaurants can often become stagnant, but it allows us to be trendy and explore new avenues.”
However, tasty Grill classics such as the corned beef hash, warm tenderloin salad and the Creole shrimp linguine are also customer favorites and have been on the menu for decades.
Roberts said his personal favorite is the panko parmesan turkey cutlet, which appeared on the menu about six years ago. For dessert, both the BHG Brownie with Ray’s vanilla ice cream and angel food cake with raspberries have been among the best-loved menu items for 25 years.
“I think people love the Grill because our staff is hospitable, and they make our guests feel like they’re at home,” Roberts said.
“We currently have 17 staff members who have been at the Grill anywhere from five to 22 years, and eight others who were at the Grill have moved on to our other restaurants.”
Volk praised the Grill staff as the type who “come in with a smile and go home with a smile,” creating a warm, family atmosphere.
“We’re not trying to be ultra-fine dining. It’s an upscale-casual niche with a comfortable neighborhood feel, and it is chef-driven, with lots of talent,” he said.
“Guests tell me they’ve been coming here for 25 years and never had a bad meal yet. Some even come in for breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.”
For more information, visit www.robertsrestaurants.com.
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