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Stockyard Chef OUT at Soon-to-Open Ferndale Seafood Restaurant Voyager

Two Chicago transplants are slated to replace Marc Bogoff

raw bar red tile
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

It appears that the bromance between restaurateur Eli Boyer and chef Marc Bogoff is over. The pair announced their partnership last year with plans to launch a new seafood eatery and raw bar, Voyager, on the east side of Ferndale. However, in a release today the restaurant confirms that it is moving forward with a new culinary team.

Boyer has recruited two chefs out of Chicago — Justin Tootla and Jennifer Jackson — to replace Bogoff in the kitchens. The pair assisted in launching Logan Square’s Thank You Chinese and have hosted pop-ups throughout the Midwest. Tootla and Jackson also gained experience with seafood while working at Kinmont supper club. “We’re thrilled to develop a menu that harnesses a coastal American vibe while tying-in influences from our experiences abroad and here in the states,” Tootla, a Michigan native, says in a statement.

people in front of voyager building
Jennifer Jackson, Justin Tootla, and Eli Boyer are partners in Voyager, a forthcoming seafood restaurant in Ferndale.
Courtesy of Voyager

According to a representative for the restaurant, Bogoff (who operates the popular food truck and supper club Stockyard) is no longer involved in the project. Eater has reached out to the chef for further information.

Voyager is expected to debut in March in a 1,400-square-foot former garage at 600 Vester St. The restaurant will seat 40 patrons including 28 in the main dining room and 12 at the bar. It will also feature a small outdoor patio. Diners can expect a curated seafood menu with an oyster-centric raw bar, as well as craft beer, wine, and cocktails. It’s unclear how the changes in partnerships will impact Boyer’s other project slated to land in Capitol Park.

Tootla and Jackson are the latest in a string of Chicago-based transplants. Boyer himself returned to Michigan after gaining experience in Chicago to help open Gold Cash Gold. He left that restaurant in 2015. Josef Giacomino and David Vermiglio also left the Windy City to launch Grey Ghost in 2016 and Thomas Lents of two Michelin-starred Sixteen announced in January that he would be heading up the culinary program at downtown Detroit’s Foundation Hotel.

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