The owners of Bastone Brewery
and its offshoot restaurants and bars at the corner of Fifth and Main Streets in Royal Oak are changing up, opening a new restaurant, adding a patio and reworking the nightclub -- all part of focusing on their success with Euro-inspired eats and Belgian craft beer.
The first to change will be Cafe Habana, a 40-seat Cuban spot connected to Bastone. It will become Monk: A Belgian Beer Abbey. The club, Commune, downstairs will be reworked into Craft and focus on fresh-made, home-spun spirits.
Bastone, the mostly Belgian-flavored restaurant with favorites such as mussels and frites washed down with house-made Belgian suds, will grow in size, adding a space with high top tables and TVs. It will be more of a true bar space, with spots for a quick meal and a waiting area for tables. A lounge, extra tables and a private room will be added above the bar and an extra seating area will be added to the first floor. Outside on the sidewalk along Fifth Street, 36 seats will be added.
Vinotecca, the intimate wine bar also connected to Bastone, will remain the same.
"With a concept like ours where we have moveable parts, we can keep it fresh, change it up," says David Ritchie, operating partner. "People have asked if sales were good. They don't believe sales were good if we're closing Cafe Habana. For us, this suits us so we streamline and focus on our core business, the European aspect of what we do. And we have a beer guy right here who's won many awards."
The changes will happen in phases, but quickly, and lead to at least five new full-time jobs, Ritchie says. All parts of the latest iteration are expected to be complete by mid-May and open slowly and completely by June 1 so that kinks can be worked out, he says.
Café Habana has already closed and is under construction. As Monk, it will have about five more tables and open by about April 15, Ritchie says.
It'll be almost nine years to the day since Union Brewery LLC, which operates all the establishments, opened, he says.
Next will come Bastone, and the transition from Commune to Craft will start after that and be complete by the middle to the end of May. The club first opened nine years ago as Cinq. With nightclubs, it's probably wise to change it up at least every five years, he says.
"We want to move away from the mass market drinks and serve craft cocktails," Ritchie says. We'll use fresh ingredients, make our own infusions and syrups. It flows right into the craft beer."
Craft will have a retro look, decorated with big stereo speakers and other details that "give you the feeling you're hanging out in your friend's basement."
Writer: Kim North Shine
Source: David Ritchie, operating partner, Union Brewery LLC