New restaurants, shops coming, going in Oakland County

Posted on January 30, 2019

Texas barbecue, a New York City meal and the vibe of a Parisian home are what some of the newest shops, restaurants and businesses in southeast Oakland County have to offer.


New York City street food is the star of Detroit Eatery’s menu at 200 W. Fifth Ave., the former Detroit Dog Co. location. Think gyro rice platter, Asian fried rice, pita wraps, burgers, wing dings — all priced under $9, said co-owner Joe Ullah.

“We are four friends from high school who wanted to do this together and we were inspired by our trips to New York, where we’d eat well from vendors,” Ullah said.

Another nod to the Big Apple is Detroit Eatery’s late hours. It’s open until 3 a.m. to capture the snack-seeking crowd exiting nearby O’Tooles and Fifth Avenue bars.

In warmer months, Ullah promises to open the garage-door-style walls to provide an al fresco feel. The eatery seats about seven, but most guests stand around bench-style tables to eat. He expects to add patio tables outside, as well.

“We’re adding to the menu as we hear from customers,” Ullah said. “We get a good lunch crowd from Beaumont Hospital and they are seeking vegan or vegetarian options.”

Ullah previously ran Royal Oak’s Moti Mahal Indian restaurant at 411 S. South Washington Ave., which will open this spring as Kaizen Ramen, an eatery that makes its own ramen noodles in house, said Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority Downtown Manager Sean Kammer.

Shawarma 205 recently opened with new owners and a new menu at the former Beirut Palace at 205 S. Main St., keeping the same phone number as its predecessor.

Manager Sam Samer is offering a free bowl of lentil soup to those who stop in to try the new Middle Eastern restaurant in town.

Samer is proud of the restaurant’s use of organic, fresh ingredients, as well as a menu that also offers American and Mexican dishes.

The restaurant’s signature dish is the 205 Combination, which offers a variety of meats like kafta, along with hummus and rice.

Former University of Michigan quarterback John Wangler and wife Lorraine Wangler are closing their athletic wear store Co. 512 Original Athletics after five years, according to Lorraine Wangler.

The shop at 512 N. Main Street is hosting a going-out-of-business sale and plans to close its doors Feb. 2, unless its signature Adidas performance merchandise moves quicker, she said.

“Despite the efforts of so many faithful customers, our associates and suppliers, we just did not experience the growth we needed to keep our doors open,” according to the closing announcement on its Facebook page.

“We’re redirecting our focus,” said Lorraine Wangler.

Instead of a storefront, the Wanglers will concentrate on the wholesale company they own, Top Cat Sales, which sells licensed athletic apparel in five Midwest states to retailers, schools, universities and corporations.

The hardest part about closing the storefront will be saying goodbye, Lorraine Wangler said. “They are like family to us,” she said.

John Wangler is also a partner in Red Effect Infrared Fitness, with six locations, including one in Birmingham and a seventh location opening soon in Troy. Patrons are exposed to infrared heat therapy during workouts to stimulate the circulatory system and fully oxygenate the body’s cells.


Willow and Fernn Boutique at 528 N. Old Woodward Ave. will feature a little bit of everything in this lifestyle shop when it opens in mid-March, said owner Vicki Blazier.

Ladies’ fashions, including Italian silks, designer jeans and luxe knits from California, home décor, jewelry, gifts and a bath salt bar will be available in the 1,200-square-foot space once occupied by Level Multisport.

“Even the furniture used for the displays will be for sale,” Blazier said.

Blazier also plans for it to be a destination for night-time events, whether essential oil workshops or a ladies night out gathering.

Blazier may be the teacher of some of the workshops. She is a registered clinical aromatherapist, making her an expert in the science and healing of essential oils. She is also a Rieki master, a Japanese technique that helps others relax, reduce stress and heal using energy.

“I use the term lifestyle boutique because Willow and Fernn offers more than just fashions for you or your home, it’s a lifestyle,” she said.

Nalu, a full service spa and salon, expects to open Feb. 1 at 887 E. Maple Road, in the former Peter’s Place for Hair location.

Co-owner Neil Johnson, who has styled hair in Birmingham for 20 years, decided to set up his own space, offering cuts, color, makeup and nails, all in an elegant Parisian environment.

“It will be decorated like a Parisian Victorian house, all very ornate and classy,” Johnson said.

The salon, at more than 2,000 square feet, will have eight chairs.

Johnson said his hair styles have been featured in multiple publications, including Allure.

“I was born and raised in Hawaii and the name ‘Nalu’ is a tribute to that,” he said. “It means ‘waves.’”


Woodpile BBQ Shack, a three-year Clawson mainstay, is opening an even bigger location this spring at 630 E. 11 Mile Road, in a former VFW hall, partner Scott Moloney said.

It’s far from a shack. Unlike the Clawson spot, the 5,000-square-foot building will accommodate dine-in seating, an indoor bar and centralize its catering kitchen.

“From a menu standpoint, it will be 90 percent identical to Clawson,” said Moloney, who also owns Treat Dreams Microcreamery.

One notable addition is a fryer, so loaded French fries will be on the Madison Heights menu, along with its famous pit beans, mac and cheese and homemade slaw.

Moloney expects the take-out business to be as active as Clawson’s because it’s close to the freeway and near an active industrial daytime population.

“In Texas, barbecued beef brisket is king, so we say we have the best brisket north of Texas,” Moloney said.


Mr. EyeglassMan Optical recently relocated to 122 E. 9 Mile Road from an upper level of the Ferndale Center Building on Woodward Avenue, said owner Frank Curry, an optician who stocks more than 300 different frames

“Now that we have a storefront, we’re able to do some unique displays like our Christmas tree decorated with eyeglasses and it got a lot of attention,” Curry said.

Curry specializes in stocking frames that are bold conversation pieces, often with a lot of color.

He has a collection of frames that he’ll offer for free with the purchase of lenses.

“Conversation pieces and customer service is what we’re known for,” he said.


Handmade goodness will abound at The Artisan Shoppe, which is targeting Feb. 1 as its opening date at 3017 W. 12 Mile Road, the former City Style home.

Owner Tracy Thomas is curating a collection of 30 to 40 vendors who sell everything from hand-sewn clothes to clocks, candles, metal art, jewelry and Thomas’ own signature Sweet & Sassy Bath & Body products.

Thomas had her own bath products store in Shelby Township but needed a location closer to home in Southfield to avoid a long commute. When this space became available, she said she decided to try a multi-vendor concept to help shoppers have a spot for one-stop shopping, as well as help the creative community.

Each vendor will get about a 3-by-7-foot space.

“I’ve been making soap for my family for about 10 years,” Thomas said. She’s looking forward to introducing them to a new fan base.


Two recent closings occurred in Clawson, said Joan Horton, Downtown Development Authority director.

“EveryDay Yoga Studio, which was open for eight years at 42 E. 14 Mile, closed when the owner decided her purpose had been fulfilled and it was time to move on to other adventures,” Horton said.

Element Salon also closed after two years at 50 N. Main Street. The building owner is hoping to find a retail tenant, Horton said.

Rene Wisely, Detroit Free Press.