After months of speculation, Ferndale restaurants Public House and Antihero have officially been sold to Kramer Restaurant Group, the group behind three other Nine Mile establishments One-Eyed Betty’s, Pop’s For Italian, and Rosie O’Grady’s. Owners Sharon and Perry LaVoisne of Working Class Outlaws restaurant group announced the sale on social media and confirmed the sale of the restaurants to Detroit News.
Last October, Eater Detroit uncovered a licensing application showing Public House and Antihero undergoing a transfer of ownership to an entity registered to Brian Kramer of Kramer Restaurant Group. Kramer declined to comment at the time, but said a full statement would be available as soon. LaVoisne denied the sale in an email to Eater, despite the liquor license transfers.
The couple say they now plan to focus on their remaining Ferndale restaurant, Imperial, and the opening of a second location in the former State Bar space next door to the Fillmore in Detroit.
The Working Class Outlaws restaurant group faced backlash last the summer after former employees at Imperial and Public House came forward on social media accusing the restaurant group of fostering a toxic work environment and turning a blind eye to accusations of racism and sexual harassment. These claims, which were later verified by Eater and other outlets, resulted in the temporary closures of Imperial, Public House, and Antihero. In protest, at least five employees from the restaurant group’s bar team resigned. Operations manager Jeff King, the subject of multiple harassment and sexual misconduct allegations, later resigned from the group.
While Public House and Antihero remained closed, Imperial eventually reopened. The restaurant group told Detroit News in August that a third-party human resources manager had been hired and the restaurant group’s management structure reworked.