John D Bistro to Open Saturday in Former Club Bart Spot
Take a sneak peak inside the new restaurant and lounge in Downtown Ferndale.
A new restaurant that will feature "modern American" foods will open Saturday in the location of the former Club Bart in Ferndale.
John D Bistro is described as a "fusion" restaurant and lounge featuring the designs of restaurant designer Ron Rea while retaining the funky charm of the original Club Bart.
Owner Eddie Farah said he has been involved in the restaurant business his whole life but John D's is his first place of his own. He said choosing Ferndale as the home for his first restaurant was easy.
"I've been hanging out in Ferndale since 2001," he said. "I love it. Everyone's laid back, everyone knows their food and wants to have a good time."
Executive Chef Adis Celic, who attended Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles and graduated at the top of his class, aims to "redefine comfort food" in a way that will set the new bistro apart.
Specialties include prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, scallops and caprese salad. Entrees will run $10-$30 and a small selection of local craft beers will be on tap.
Farah said between the chef's influences and his own, the John D's foods will be unique in preparation and presentation.
"Everybody has the same ol' filet, the same ol' lamb chops, salmon," Farah said. "What we're trying to do is we're putting our own spin on it."
He said the menu is small and selective - "If it's on the menu we feel we are the best at that particular dish," he said.
The community suffered a let-down when the longtime Ferndale staple Club Bart shut its doors last summer. Farah said he was nervous about how the community would respond to John D's taking its place, but reaction so far has been positive.
"I finally took the paper off the garage [door] and since I did that everybody's been stopping in. Everyone's loving it," he said. "I'm hopeful that everybody gives us a chance."
Becki Chernoff, of Royal Oak, attended a preview for the new restaurant Thursday night and said it looked like a good place for a date or to stop in for a drink. "I can't believe it's the same place," she said, comparing the newly renovated space to the former Club Bart. "I'm really impressed."
Oak Park resident Paul Randolph, a friend of Farah, also attended the preview night. "I think it's great," he said of John D's. "It's amazing."
What's in a name?
So who is John D, you might ask? Farah still isn't positive, but the name was etched into the building's original stone from the 1920s or 1930s. While the whole team was trying to come up with a name, Farah noticed "John D" etched in the stone above the front door when he arrived to the building one day.
"I tried to do as much research as possible into him and all I could figure out was he was either the builder or architect back in the '20s or '30s," Farah said. "I thought that was really cool and kind of ties into the history of the city so I went with it."
If you go
- Where: John D Bistro, 22726 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
- Hours: Open seven days a week. Sunday-Wednesday 4 p.m.-2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.); Thursday-Saturday 4 p.m.-2 a.m. (kitchen closes at 11 p.m.)
- Prices: Entrees range from $10-$30. A variety of snacks and shared plates are also available. View the full menu here (coming soon).
- For more information: Call 248.398.4070 or visit www.johndbistro.com (going live soon).