Restaurant to fill former Famous Dave’s BBQ site

Microbrewer coming to Crooks Road, M-59 area

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published July 10, 2018

 Griffin Claw Brewing Company is set to open this month on Crooks Road, north of M-59.

Griffin Claw Brewing Company is set to open this month on Crooks Road, north of M-59.

Photo by Linda Shepard

ROCHESTER HILLS — A new restaurant will open soon on the site formerly occupied by Famous Dave’s BBQ restaurant on Rochester Road, near Auburn Road.

Anchor Bar, a franchise owned by Banana Leaf Inc., serves up casual food and drinks.

“This is a family-oriented fantastic restaurant,” David Draper, representing the Anchor Bar owners, said. “My clients are spending a significant amount on the build-out. We are working with the city now and are moving along.”

Draper said the owners hope to open the restaurant sometime this month.

By a unanimous vote June 18, the Rochester Hills City Council approved recommendation for a Class C resort liquor license for Anchor Bar.

“I am so looking forward to seeing a restaurant bar there; it has been empty for so long,” Councilwoman Susan Bowyer said. “I definitely will come and check it out.”

On the same day, the City Council unanimously approved a recommendation for a new microbrewer, small wine maker and small distiller license for Griffin Claw Brewing Company, located on Crooks Road, near M-59.

Scott LePage, owner of Griffin Claw, said the establishment includes two different entities with two separate addresses, including a clubhouse with a traditional liquor license and a microbrewery.

“Once we got approvals, we could start brewing, distilling and doing wine,” LePage said about the new license.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said the LePage family has been a fantastic partner in the community.

“They have worked well with us and the city is appreciative of their investment,” Barnett said.  

Rochester Hills City Clerk Tina Barton said both the Anchor Bay license and the Griffin Claw license were not under the authority of local ordinances.

The Anchor Bay resort liquor license requires state approval only — as does the Griffin Claw microbrewer, small wine maker and small distiller license, she said.

“These are manufacturer wholesale licenses; our ordinance does not speak to them,” Barton said. “Our ordinance gives us no authority over these licenses; this is simply us saying we recommend or not recommend their application for approval.”