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One-Eyed Betty's Finds Fast Friend in Downtown Ferndale

Just a few weeks since its opening on Super Bowl Sunday, the beer bar and kitchen has quickly found a following.

seems to have found a fast friend in downtown Ferndale.

Just three weeks since its opening, the new bar and restaurant has found its niche in the community among lovers of craft beer and those who just can't resist a dish called "Bacon With a Side of Bacon."

The packed crowd you'll find most nights at the former Cantino Diablo's spot on West Troy Street is just one proof of the new hangout's following. With 36 Yelp reviews, 1,145 Facebook fans and 454 check-ins, the collective voice around town seems to be saying one thing: welcome home, Betty.

"The atmosphere is exactly what Ferndale is all about," said resident Walt Szymborski, who has visited Betty's a few times since its opening. "It's comfortable, it's inviting, it's familiar. I think it's a perfect fit for our neighborhood."

He said the food, beer and staff have all been "incredible" and the large community tables make conversation easy.

"You'll generally find that you might be sitting next to your neighbor," said Szymborski, who manages the Candle Wick Shop in Ferndale. "I love rubbing elbows with friends and neighbors in that kind of setting."

Walking into the newly renovated space, guests will notice high, exposed ceilings and a long bar prominently featured. Vintage pinball machines and a jukebox give patrons something to do while they wait for food or socialize, and rustic-looking art and sculptures by local artists give the space the feel of a hip tavern.

Though the establishment is clearly a nightlife hot spot, the atmosphere and menu offer a universal appeal and dining families are a common sight earlier in the evening.

The pitchfork-shaped door handle is a subtle reminder of the building's history, but there's otherwise no sign of the .

Opening craft beer bar was owner's dream

Betty's is a realized dream for Beth Hussey, who worked for many years as director of operations for the restaurant chain owned by Brian Kramer that includes Cantina Diablo’s and in Ferndale and Chesterfield.

Hussey, a 15-year Ferndale resident who just moved back to the area, got the chance to pitch her idea for the craft beer bar when business started slowing down at the Cantina Diablo’s in Ferndale after its Royal Oak location opened.

“It’s really the right demographic for beer enthusiasts,” Hussey said of Ferndale. She and Kramer are partners in the new business.

Hussey said the bar has been “very well received” in the community.

“It's been busy, busy,” Hussey said. “People seem to really, really love it – both the beer and the food. We're doing really good on Yelp, we're getting lots of great reviews, tons of Facebook fans and we're just packed at night.”

Extensive craft beer list, unique menu items

Popular dishes include fresh oysters, homemade doughnuts with dipping sauces, and “Bacon With a Side of Bacon” – a braised pork belly dish, applewood smoked with a fried poached egg.

Other menu items include sandwiches priced between $8-$10 such as a BLT, Betty Burger or Fire-Roasted Veggie Sandwich; and plates between $8-$16 including N'awlins Barbecue Shrimp, Steak Frites and Obligatory Fish and Chips.

And, of course, there's the extensive beer selection which is at nearly 80 bottles with 44 craft beers on draft and growing all the time – plus a long whisky and scotch list.

A popular breakfast is offered Saturday and Sunday mornings (made by the crew of women who previously served breakfast at Club Bart), and a variety of live events, happy hour specials and even a women's beer club are still being planned, Hussey said.

“It is going to be very event-driven, but right now we're just kind of trying to keep up with ourselves,” she said.

Hussey said she spends most – well, make that “all” – of her time at Betty's and feels gratified to see it finding success in the community.

“I'm really excited. It's been just go, go, go,” Hussey said. “It's sort of surpassed what my expectations were – which, my expectations were high, so I'm really really happy with the outcome. Just a little tired, that's all,” she added with a laugh.

Betty's a welcome addition, DDA director says 

Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the , said the new bar – with its local art, open floor plan and relaxed environment – really “fits with the Ferndale vibe.”

“It's already made a hit with the public,” Sheppard-Decius said. She said the huge craft beer selection is a big hit and fits with the craft beer craze that's growing in Michigan and the United States. “That's the fun part of it. You get to go in and try something different that maybe you've never had before.”

Sheppard-Decius said she knows Hussey and her staff are listening to customer feedback and continuing to tweak things as they go.

“It's great to see Beth Hussey as partner in this; it's nice to have her back in town,” she said. “It's really great to see the positive responses already and I know it makes them very happy because they've worked hard. A lot of (Hussey's) ideas and concepts are what you see there.”

Residents enjoy atmosphere, food choices

Ferndale resident Andy Kolacki recently visited Betty's and said he enjoyed excellent food and service.

"I thought it was great," Kolacki said. "To me it's a real nice bar/restaraunt that you can go to and hang out with four or five friends without that really loud club atmosphere."

Eating at Betty's is already part of a weekly routine for Eric Beyer. The Ferndale resident says he stops in once a week and hopes the restaurant will decide to open for lunch.

"It's a simple menu but a wide variety. Everything I've had there has been awesome," he said.

An admittant "Bud Light guy," Beyer says he mainly goes for the food (his favorite dish is "Poor Man's Plate" featuring rice, beans and kielbasa), but now he's getting the chance to try out new types of beer.

"I'm willing to broaden my horizons just to hang out there. The atmosphere is kind of refreshing," he said. "It's very laid back. It's just like total chill."

Beyer hopes Betty's is here to stay. "I'm so glad they opened," he said. "I hope it stays around for a while."

Know Before You Go

  • What: One-Eyed Betty's restaurant and bar
  • Location: 175 W. Troy, Ferndale
  • Hours: Monday through Friday 4 p.m.-2 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m.-2 a.m. Breakfast served Saturday and Sunday mornings. Food is served until 1:30 a.m. each night.
  • Parking: Street and lot parking available (metered)
  • For more information: Call (248) 808-6633 or visit www.oneeyedbettys.com
Ferndale Resident February 25, 2012 at 04:41 AM
I'm really excited to try this place. Looked up their menu and it all sounds amazing. Hoping it's as good as it sounds!
Beth Hussey February 25, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Yvonne, we are working on more vegetarian options. We are curious if vegetarian would suffice, or if we should work on vegan options as well? In the mean time, there are a few non-vegetarian items that can be modified; such as, the Poor Man's Plate without the keilbasa. My best friend is vegetarian and loves that dish. Thanks for the feedback, and check back soon.
Yvonne February 25, 2012 at 04:55 PM
That's great to hear, Beth! I am definitely excited to try it out. I think having vegan options would be fantastic - the more the merrier, amirite? Thanks for your responses, Laura & Beth!
Kelly Bennett February 25, 2012 at 05:34 PM
I don't think I'll ever have fish and chips anywhere else again! One Eyed Betty's is great. Don't even get me started on the beer list. I never thought I'd have a Fraoch or Ephemere again. And I discovered my new favorite cider there last night: Oliver Winery's Beanblossom Original Hard Cider. Delicious! Keep up the good work!
Patrick February 25, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I took a bunch of co-workers visiting from Amsterdam there a few weeks ago and they really enjoyed it. One guy from Germany was surprised to find a beer he normally doesn't see outside of Berlin.

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