A craft studio, a cheesesteak joint and a gastropub with a quirky name are among the new or soon-to-be-open restaurants and shops in cities across southeast Oakland County.
A do-it-yourself makers studio will offer string art, canvas painting, jewelry-making, tie-dyeing — and even a Jackson Pollock-inspired Splatter Room.
“You can get in and get messy. It’s almost art as an extreme sport,” said Jenna Hance, franchise owner of Pinspiration Berkley.
The Pinterest-inspired studio is scheduled to open this fall at 2733 Coolidge Highway. Customers will be able to choose from dozens of crafts, with the studio providing all the supplies and tools needed to make the projects come to life. There will be a dedicated room for parties and private get-togethers.
Hance was working on a graduate school project about finding meaningful work when she saw a Facebook ad from Pinspiration that sought a franchisee in the area. A longtime arts and crafts lover who grew up in Berkley, she and her husband, Jeff, applied. They beat out about 250 other applicants.
The studio will be the company’s first Michigan location.
The coronavirus pandemic is at the forefront of the Hances’ minds as they prepare to open the 2,400-square-foot business. Tables will be appropriately spaced out, Hance said. There will be stringent cleaning protocols.
Pinspiration Berkley will also offer a craft that’s very on-trend: face mask decorating.
Nearby, architectural photographer Laszlo Regos is turning 3127 12 Mile Road into a studio and art gallery. Regos owns the building and previously ran Spectrum Photo out of it for several years.
“I thought my place, as a gallery, would fit in perfect,” Regos said.
The Berkley location of Holy Cannoli’s bakery at 2752 Coolidge Highway never reopened after it closed in March due to the pandemic, but the downtown Rochester location is up and running again.
Co-owner Cathy Schulte said a combination of pandemic-related factors, including the recent difficulty of buying some ingredients, such as sugar, in bulk, led to the decision to consolidate operations at 415 S. Main Street in Rochester.
The bakery is famous for its namesake dessert. It also sells Italian cookies and other sweets.
Schulte said she would like to be able to open another shop in Berkley in the future.
Clawson residents Andrea and Tyler Williams are preparing to open their gastropub, Pumachug, in August in the former Black Lotus site at 1 E. 14 Mile Road.
“It’s been a long road, with some pandemic related hurdles, but we’re finally here,” reads the homepage of Pumachug’s website.
Jeremy Echols, described in a Facebook post as “a classically trained chef with a big city attitude,” has been hired as head chef.
Also in August, a groundbreaking is expected for the new Weiss Distilling Co. building at 34 E. 14 Mile Road, according to a Clawson Downtown Development Authority newsletter.
Owner Ojas Akolkar opened Tribalfare in November in a restored 1923 Craftsman house at 288 W. 14 Mile Road. The boutique featured jewelry, textiles, stationary and other items that Akolkar collected during her travels.
Tribalfare successfully weathered the coronavirus pandemic, Akolkar said, and she planned to stay in the area long-term. But then her husband, Rajiv, got an unexpected job offer in Florida. Akolkar said the decision to close the shop and relocate was difficult.
“While I am giving up my space here, I don’t think I’m giving up at all on my plan and vision for Tribalfare,” she said. “I’m just detouring.”
Akolkar plans to focus on improving Tribalfare’s website to give customers a more personalized online shopping experience. She said she hasn’t ruled out opening another physical space in the future.
Apparel and print shop Ink Detroit is on the move, leaving Ferndale for a larger, 3,500-square-foot building in Hazel Park.
Co-founder Steve Mansour said the business needed more space so it could ramp up production to meet an increased demand in online orders.
Ink Detroit designs and prints Michigan and Detroit-themed goods. It sells a wide variety of T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, as well as accessories such as hats, coffee mugs and even skateboards. Among the shop’s most popular items, Mansour said, are shirts with the trademarked sayings, “Detroitish” and “I (heart) Detroit.”
The company also offers custom design and printing services.
The new building at 731 E. Nine Mile Road will have an approximately 500-square-foot retail store. The remaining space will be used for printing, production and storage.
Mansour said he and co-founder Paul Marcial, a graphic designer, plan to invest in additional printing equipment. They also hope to add two to four employees to their current staff of five (which includes them).
“We’re looking forward to moving into the new space and offering more options to the consumer,” Mansour said.
Pending final approvals from the city, Mansour and Marcial are eyeing an August opening.
Also in Hazel Park, We Juice is opening in August at 906 E. Nine Mile Road, according to its Facebook page. It will feature raw juice, smoothies, tea blenders and bowls.
A building that sold fresh seafood for decades has a new life — as an urgent care. Beaumont Urgent Care opened June 29 at 309 E. 11 Mile Road in the space formerly occupied by Superior Fish Co.
Geared toward patients with minor injuries or illnesses, the facility offers services such as an on-site laboratory, X-rays and fiberglass splinting.
All Beaumont Urgent Care locations offer COVID-19 testing, including antibody testing. They can also provide exposure management and strategic planning, employee screenings, return-to-work determinations and free employee symptom checker tools for businesses, schools and organizations looking to safely reopen amid the pandemic, according to a Beaumont Urgent Care news release.
The clinic is Beaumont Urgent Care’s second location in the city. The first opened in August 2019 in the Woodward Corners development at 13 Mile and Woodward Avenue.
A couple of blocks down 11 Mile Road, a shuttered Sonic fast-food restaurant is on track to become a Chipotle.
The Royal Oak Planning Commission in July approved a rezoning request and site plan that will pave the way for developer Alrig USA to transform the building at 305 W. 11 Mile Road into a Chipotle. According to planning commission documents, the plans include a 621-square-foot addition to the existing 1,767-square-foot building, plus an outdoor dining area.
Also in Royal Oak, Lefty’s Cheesesteak is now open at 30270 Woodward Avenue. An online menu shows the restaurant serves up cheesesteaks and other types of hoagies, plus burgers, coney dogs, salads and corned beef sandwiches.