This post authored by Nicole Rupersburg of Eat It Detroit.
Jeff King, owner of Woodward Imperial, likes to refer to Ferndale's newest neighborhood bar as a "community bar with a taco truck on the back." The "taco truck" is actually a full kitchen, and probably it might be better to stay away from the "t" word since Ferndale is pretty sensitive about it, but basically it's a super laid-back, sparsely-decorated space that's California dreamin' in the midst of Detroit realities ... which include a liquor license that has been delayed for the better part of nine months (to Ferndale's credit, the hold-up had nothing to do with them, but was the result of a drawn-out process of trying to buy the building's previous license out of bankruptcy which ultimately yielded nothing). The concept is simple: it's simple. (Like, that's the concept.) The décor is bare-bones rockabilly bar with a breezy bay feel. They'll be serving L.A.-style street vendor tacos made from scratch and prepared using predominantly locally-sourced ingredients. Chef Brennan Calnin studied culinary arts at Kendall College in Chicago and has worked for some of the top name chefs in the Midwest, including the world-renowned Takashi Yagihashi (who famously opened his first restaurant, the ill-fated Tribute, in Farmington Hills). King jokes, "This ain't no line cook!" Still, King emphasizes that this is a bar, not a restaurant. They will have no taps (only bottles and cans), no bar guns, and they won't be catering to the craft cocktail craze. "We're just waiting on the crowd that says, 'God, I just want to go somewhere and have a beer,'” King says. They'll be waiting on that crowd a little longer still as they await the state's stamp of approval for their liquor license, but THEN! Curbed's 2011 Neighborhood of the Year will have its very own California taco shack-slash-non-divey dive bar; take THAT downtown!
· Woodward Imperial brings al fresco taco bar, jobs to Ferndale [Metromode]
· A Look Inside the Soon-to-Open Woodward Imperial in Ferndale [Ferndale Patch]
· Previewing Woodward Imperial, Ferndale's Upcoming Taco Bar [Curbed Detroit]
· Woodward Imperial Now Has A Face [Ferndale Patch]