Check Out the Plans for Birmingham's Newest Bistro Hopeful, Crush Bistro
The Planning Board unanimously passed along plans from Crush Bistro, What Crepe? and Birmingham Sushi at their Wednesday night meeting. Plans will go to the City Commission in February.
The three applicants for Birmingham's 2013 bistro licenses were given the stamp of approval by the Birmingham Planning Board on Wednesday night, including the newest restaurant looking to break onto the Birmingham restaurant scene — Crush Bistro.
Alongside Crush Bistro in vying for the two bistro licenses Birmingham offers each year are two familiar faces: Birmingham Sushi and What Crepe?
Under Birmingham's 2007 bistro ordinance, only two bistro licenses are approved by the city commission each year. Bistros are defined as having seasonal sidewalk seating, a full-service kitchen and no more than 65 seats inside and 10 seats at the bar.
Plans for all three applicants were passed along at an initial pre-screening by the Birmingham City Commission in mid-October, during which commissioners narrowed the field from six applicants to three.
During last week's meeting, Planning Board members passed along plans for Birmingham Sushi and What Crepe? relatively quickly, speaking with both of the restaurant's owners. Birmingham Sushi has been on Hamilton Row since 2009 while What Crepe? has been open on North Old Woodward since early this year.
However, board members spent more than two hours discussing the plans for Crush Bistro, which is looking to move into the bottom level of the 555 building on South Old Woodwad.
Planning Board members, as well as city commissioners, were fans of the Crush's proposed location, with commissioner Mark Nickita noting Crush would "activate the (city's) south end."
So, what do you need to know about Crush Bistro?
- The restaurant would be built into a space under the building, along a service drive between South Old Woodward and Woodward. The space is currently taken up by a concrete seating area.
- The restaurant would be two stories: the first floor would be entirely enclosed while the second floor would be made up of two outdoor terraces and connect to the adjoining parking garage.
- Crush would be owned by the owner of Sinbads Restaurant in Detroit, including owner Marc Blancke and executive chef John Fleming. Also with a stake in the property are the managers of the 555 building.
- The cuisine would be a mix of seafood and other hearty dishes, including steak to chicken ciabatti sandwiches. Dozens of wines, served by the glass and bottle, are also on the menu.
- While the outdoor terrace facing Woodward would be mainly used for private parties, original plans for the terrace facing South Old Woodward included enclosing it during colder months to extend the outdoor dining season.
- Parking would be located along the street and in the parking garage.
- According to the attorney representing the restaurant owners, the eatery could be built in three months and be up and running in six months.
Plans for all three bistro applicants will now go to the City Commission in February for final approval.