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Ferndale’s New Izakaya Debuts This Week With Ramen and Chicken Fried Tofu

Antihero swings open on Thursday night

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.

The wait is almost over for Antihero, the new izakaya-style bar and restaurant from Ferndale hitmakers Working Class Outlaws. The Japanese-influenced restaurant is set to open at 231 W. Nine Mile on Thursday, November 29, the Detroit Free Press reports.

It’s been more than four years since the Working Class Outlaws restaurant group acquired the space next to Public House for a new project. At the time, the owners intended to open by 2015. Come 2016, the Outlaws were still teasing the unnamed project that would eventually become Antihero. The departure of chef Brandon Zarb from Imperial and Public House in July spelled even more delays for the restaurant, but the group landed on its feet and hired Los Angeles-based chef Nick Erven.

Erven helmed several well-received Koreatown district restaurants in Los Angeles and most recently was the opening chef at Rappahannock Oyster Bar. He made the move to metro Detroit in October before diving directly into menu development at Antihero. “I think the overarching theme of the whole thing is ‘fun.’ It’s fun drinking food and fun cocktails,” Erven told Eater in October.

On the menu expect a variety of bar food such as black garlic chickpea fritters, dumplings, and buttermilk brined “chicken fried” tofu as well as ramen and tableside hibachi grilled meats and seafood for two. The bar will be offering a full range of cocktails including Japanese highballs from a Suntory Toki highball machine as well as Korean soju and sake.

The 5,000-square-foot restaurant features plenty of maple wood paneling, communal seating, and booths as well as murals by artist Glenn Barr (Barr’s work can also be seen inside nearby Joebar in Hazel Park.)

Antihero opens its doors at 4 p.m. on Thursday for dinner and doesn’t take reservations.

Long-Delayed Izakaya-Style Restaurant Antihero Debuts in Ferndale on Thursday [Freep]
Los Angeles Chef Jumps On Board at Antihero in Ferndale [ED]
All Antihero Coverage [ED]
All Openings Coverage [ED]


23839 John R Road, , MI 48030 (248) 291-5711 Visit Website


231 West Nine Mile Road, , MI 48220 (248) 307-7383 Visit Website

Public House

241 West Nine Mile Road, , MI 48220 (248) 733-4905 Visit Website