Former Emily's Chef to Open Local Kitchen and Bar in Ferndale
Rick Halberg says he'll feature 'familiar food done extremely well' in the casual restaurant in the former Via Nove space.
A new restaurant is coming to Ferndale that will utilize as much locally grown food as possible to create “extremely well-crafted comfort food.”
Chef Rick Halberg, the owner and chef for the upscale Emily's restaurant in Northville that closed in December, is finalizing plans to open Local Kitchen and Bar, a casual restaurant in the location of the former Via Nove restaurant on Nine Mile Road. Via Nove closed in late December.
Halberg said he wanted to open a more casual restaurant and thought Ferndale would be the perfect location.
“We wanted to do something community based and real urban,” he said. “I'm not in the fine dining business any longer and it's a great location for us, it's a perfect corner.”
And, he said, “Ferndale is hopping, Ferndale is great.”
Halberg said renovations will begin around March 1 and Local Kitchen and Bar is expected to open in May or June. On the menu will be “familiar food done extremely well” including “a fantastic burger, super-fresh seafood and fish,” along with craft and local beer.
As for his plan to use local food, Halberg said it's a natural choice.
“It just makes sense. Support the people around you,” he said. “The basic tenet of it is where the world should be going really. Support your local communities in every possible way.”
Jennifer Roosenberg, executive director of the Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce, said she expects the local food aspect will be a big draw for the new restaurant.
“I think the fact that it's going to be unique in that it's utilizing local flavors, local foods, I think that will definitely be attractive to people,” she said. “I think there will definitely be a niche for that for him.”
The city can always use another restaurant that offers quality food, she said.
“I'm familiar with his other restaurant in Northville so I'm excited about the caliber and the reputation that he's going to bring to Ferndale,” she said, adding that it will likely attract visitors from outside the city as well.
A four-season patio with a wood-burning fireplace will be featured at the front of the new restaurant and there will also be a small bar and a community table – one large table that seats 16 or so people, where people can choose to sit with others.
Halberg said the city of Ferndale has welcomed him.
“So far everybody's been great, very welcoming and the city seems to be very excited about what we're doing,” he said.
Local Kitchen and Bar will have a staff of about 40-50 people, Halberg said. To find out about employment opportunities, email email@example.com.