Royal Oak’s roadhouse-style restaurant and bar, the Morrie, is angling for mini chain status. Owner Aaron Belen of AFB Hospitality Group tells Crain’s that he’s secured space in Birmingham for a second outpost of the casual restaurant and bar and aims to open between four and five more locations across the region in the next five years.
The Morrie’s second restaurant is poised to land at 260 N. Old Woodward Ave., an address that previously belonged to short-lived Peas & Carrots Hospitality restaurants Au Cochon and Arthur Avenue. The project is still pending final approval by the Birmingham City Council but could receive the go-ahead as soon as March 28. Beyond Birmingham, Belen is also investigating possible locations in downtown or Midtown Detroit and Ann Arbor.
The Morrie’s original location debuted in fall 2016 with a focus on American comfort foods and live music. Expanding the Morrie into several locations would be a new direction for AFB Hospitality, which until now has focused primarily on single-location restaurants in Royal Oak. The group also owns French fine-dining restaurant and 2014 Eater Detroit Stone Cold Stunner, Bistro 82.
If all goes according to planned, the second location could open by the close of 2018.