The developers behind Bistro 82 are moving forward with plans for a new casual restaurant and music venue concept inside Royal Oak's former Franklin Fine Wine building. Owner Aaron F. Belen reveals to The Detroit Free Press that the restaurant will be called The Morrie — an homage to his late grandfather Morrie Fenkell.
Described as a family-friendly, roadhouse-style venue, the eatery will feature a menu developed by Bistro 82 chef Derik Watson. Diners can expect an assortment of burgers served on house-baked buns, entree-sized salads, and creative potato offerings like tater tots, waffle fries topped with brisket, and pork belly and egg fries. On the beverage side Scott Sadoff — director of operations for Belen's AFB Hospitality Group — tells Eater that The Morrie will have 16 taps pouring local craft beers and a small list of specialty cocktails.
The 8,000-square-foot building will seat around 240 diners. Sadoff says the design takes a "comfortable approach" with tables made from grained wood wrapped in black steel and red and gold bar stools. The restaurant will feature a distinctive accent wall, which may incorporate records and record covers as a play on the musical aspects of the venue. The bar has also been insulated with a special material for improved acoustics. Sadoff emphasizes that The Morrie is not a sports bar, however the restaurant will offer up to 14 flat screen televisions for news, sports, music, and events.
"We wanted to open up a venue where people can come literally seven days a week," Sadoff says. The Morrie is aiming for a mid-summer opening. Take a peek at the renderings below.