Two new restaurants coming soon to township

By: Robin Ruehlen | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 31, 2012

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Two new restaurants will soon join the ranks of delicious dining in Bloomfield Township.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a special land use request for Eddie Merlot’s Restaurant at 37000 Woodward Ave., at Big Beaver Road, as well as a Class C liquor license for Café ML at 3607 W. Maple Road.

Planning Director Patricia Voelker said Eddie Merlot’s will occupy the first floor of a recently completed mixed-use building at the southeast corner of the intersection. The restaurant is also seeking to obtain a Class C liquor license in the future.

“The site plan that was approved several years ago speaks to the building having frontage on Woodward and Big Beaver, and will occupy 11,948 square feet, as well as some outdoor seating,” Voelker said.

Eddie Merlot’s identifies as a “premier American steakhouse” that features prime aged steaks, seafood and an extensive fine wine collection. The restaurant chain currently has locations in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The Bloomfield Township location, slated to open March 1, 2013, will not serve lunch but will be open 4-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4-midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and 5-9 p.m. Sundays.

According to the restaurant’s floor plan, the main dining area of the restaurant seats 104, along with a 98-seat lounge and three private dining rooms, for a total of 326 seats. The outdoor seating area will consist of a 42-seat patio surrounded by a decorative metal fence.  The Design Review Board and the township fire marshal approved the site plan in September.

Bruce Cross, the director of operations for the Platinum Restaurant Group, told the board that he is “anxious” to get started on the restaurant.

“We have our building permit pulled, and we’re ready to get under construction and ready to be in this area,” he said.

Resident Marcia Robovitsky told the board during the public hearing that she did not believe the building could be considered mixed use.

“There’s no residential there, so in my opinion, everything you have approved and decided based on mixed use is a joke,” she said.

“This seems to be a nice restaurant … but isn’t mixed use.”

Café ML will take over a 3,500-square-foot space in Bloomfield Commons, in what was previously Blockbuster Video, and it’s the second Bloomfield Township establishment for local restaurateur Bill Roberts.

Roberts, a township resident, is also proprietor of Roadside Bar & Grill on Telegraph Road, Streetside Seafood in Birmingham, Beverly Hills Grill in Beverly Hills and Town Tavern in Royal Oak.

Capt. Scott McCanham of the Bloomfield Township Police Department told the board that his investigation of Roberts and his business partner, Denise Abrash, for the Michigan Liquor Control Commission revealed nothing that should prevent them from obtaining the license.

“There was nothing to indicate that they will be anything but successful,” he said.

Roberts said the menu for the American-style, casual dining Café ML will focus on healthy dining, and it’ll be “a little more global in its approach.”

“I was at a tasting this afternoon, and I’ve got some young chefs who are excited and throwing some ideas around,” he said.

“It’s definitely going to feel different than the Roadside or Beverly Hills Grill.”

Café ML is slated to open in early 2013. The hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays.

Roberts said he is excited to open his second restaurant in the township and appreciates the support he has received so far.

“It’s been great doing business here. We’re about ready to put a shovel in the ground any day,” he said.

“We’re ready to go.”