Eddie Farah's soon-to-open Ferndale restaurant, John D Bistro
, will serve up unique cuisine that "appeals to all the senses," convey a Ferndale vibe that Farah's come to know after years of frequenting the city's top spots and do it in an atmosphere that says "cosmopolitan".
The food will be the creation of executive chef, Adis Celic, a grad of Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles. The vibe of the space that was formerly the popular Club Bart will be developed by restaurant designer Ron Rea of Ron & Roman Designer Architects in Birmingham. A refurbished stage is above the bar - a nod to the old Club Bart.
John D, taken from the name etched into the building where it's located at 22726 Woodward Ave (south of Nine Mile Road), opens March 10. It takes the place of Club Bart, which closed when the owner decided to retire.
"I want people to look at the food before they bite into it. I want all the senses to be cooking when you're served," says the 34-year-old Farah during a break from the final preps for a friends and media opening.
Earlier, when the paper came off the restaurant windows, he says passersby were taking long looks, trying to get in.
"In Michigan it's like something you've never seen," Farah says, describing it as a meeting of urban decay and modernism." It's like something right out New York or Chicago. It's got a very sexy look."
Besides Farah and Adis, John D has hired three other full-timers and Farah says he expects to hire more.
The menu includes lamb, fish, seafood, wild game influenced by Adis's and Farah's cultural backgrounds and interests. French, Asian, Italian, Bosnian, Mediterranean, among the influences. The restaurant holds up to 95 between its dining room, two lounges where there's eating and drinking and its bar, Farah says.
A Ferndale regular since the early 2000's, Farah brings years worth of personal market research to the table. He's also gotten guidance - rather than cold shoulder competition - from other restaurant and bar owners, he says.
"They really have been very helpful," he says. "It's actually good for all of us if we can bring more people into the city limits."
Source: Eddie Farah, owner, John D Bistro
Writer: Kim North Shine