212 Opens on Fifth Avenue

The new downtown restaurant features an eclectic craft cocktail list and steak among its extensive menu.

A new restaurant opened this week at 212 Fifth Ave. in downtown Royal Oak.

212 serves upscale fare from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week. Entrees include Michigan strip steak, Great Lakes walleye and Pekin duck breast.

"We are a primarily Michigan-based company. Our food is all completely made in-house from Michigan distributors. We make our own sausages. We make our own pastas, jams, breads—everything," said Jenna Goudreau, general manager. "We're fine dining, but you're comfortable to come in jeans and a T-shirt."

Theresa Erickson April 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM
I applaud them for using Michigan sourced food--less fuel wasted and carbon emissions. We need more vegan and vegetarian friendly menus--not more steak. Get wise to the fat, sugar, salt conspiracy by the food industry. Lagging behind on the food issue shows metro Detroit is not as forward thinking as it pretends to be.
Bob April 17, 2013 at 01:07 PM
If you want a vegan restaurant, then open one. Meanwhile, keep your filthy hands off my steak.
Matt M April 17, 2013 at 02:13 PM
I think an upscale restaurant like this is perfect for Royal Oak residents who want something other than the typical bar food that you can get at Woody's, Mr. B's or Rock Bar. Whether or not you agree with what's on the menu based on political/sociological leanings is irrelevant. Your vegan lifestyle is a personal choice. It shouldn't be a government-issued mandate.
Dan April 17, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Judy Davids (Editor) April 17, 2013 at 06:48 PM
The restaurant is located at 212 W. Fifth Ave.
Gayle Chinn April 17, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Judy, If you want to get technical, Judy The name of the street was changed to Fifth Avenue not west Fifth Avenue on June 7, 1989, going from Washington the the Grand Trunk rail tracks. I personnaly paid the city for the new signs and I know it is the only Fifth Avenue in Oakland County and probably one if not the shortest Fifth Avenue in the U.S.A. Just a little history on Royal Oak.
Tim H April 17, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Just a note. It is not 100% vegan. Also, I like all food. Inn season cafe is great. Back to the news at hand. This place looks great. If it is anything like local in Ferndale I will be going there a lot. I stopped inside today and it looks really nice. It will definitely be a better / classier option than some of its neighbors. Side bar: as a Royal Oaker, I have noticed my friends I tend to be going to Ferndale a lot more for Bar and Food. I feel the the restaurants and crowds seem to be lowering the bar. Not too happy about this... I really hope this will be a step int the right direction. We could learn a lot from Ferndale and Birmingham about their standards on establishments; both in quality of food / drink and class. For that matter we could learn a lot from some of the great places opening up in corktown, midtown, and downtown Detroit!!
Jennifer April 17, 2013 at 10:22 PM
I haven't seen a menu to know what is on it, but I am looking forward to a date night with my husband at this new venue. I applaud any new business owner investing in his/her community, and I am especially pleased to see that this owner intends to support other Michigan businesses in the process! Best wishes for a successful endeavor, Local 212!
Judy Davids (Editor) April 17, 2013 at 10:48 PM
There is a photo of the menu above for those who are curious.
Judy Davids (Editor) April 17, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Thanks Gayle! I will correct that in the story.
Tim H April 18, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Ron, you need to head down there sometime. It is much different than even 5 years ago - ferndale has slingshot past RO in many ways ( at least in the eyes of young proffessionals like me) .The fine dining and gastro pubs in Ferndale are noticeably superior. You can even see this on the yelp and trip advisor reviews. Royal Oak needs to raise the bar. PS. Although the places you cite might appear clean the food is not at the same level. Check any of the following in Ferndale for a way better food and drink scene than in RO. Imperial One Eye Bettie's Local Maria's Front Room Anita's Kitchen Cork The Emory Woodward Avenue Brewery There are many more. Check it out your self and see the difference.
Nick Raftis April 18, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Tim, thanks for the recommendation. www.innseasoncafe.com
john doe April 18, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Tim, idk what bar you went to in Ferndull, but most of them have an element of 8 mile encroaching, and just walking through the metered lot behind wild wings can get you harrassed or scared... Royal Oak = safe, Ferndale is lil detroit
kh April 18, 2013 at 06:10 PM
it is the address
Nika April 18, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Your comment was too funny Bob of RO! Love a great steak. I hope the execution is flawless and much success to 212. The location is the death valley of restaurants in RO, hope they are here for the long haul, if the food is good..."they will come."
Tim H April 18, 2013 at 08:55 PM
That might have been the case some 10 years ago. I would encourage you to visit any of the places cited above. Believe it or not my friends and family have been seeking out Ferndale as the crowds are less rowdy, and the clientele seem to respect and appreciate the establishments quite a bit more, and the establishments appreciate you - i.e. better service. It has been trending this way for about 3 years now. Effectively since bars started advertising on 95.5 and they opened up the theater the restaurants started lowering the bar ( short of a handful of notables - cafe muse, ronin, oak city grill, bastone & complex, town tavern, pizzeria biga, and redcoat). I hope Local 212 is a step in the right direction - so far I am impressed with what I see. I also look forward to see what the new place that is replacing sangria looks like - it going to be called "up down". I have my reservations about it though as its ownership is affiliated with oft problematic, now shut down, Hamilton Room in Birmingham. If you want a good example of how how restaurants are swinging to a lower brow look no further than the Oxford Inn. Used to be one of my faves - can't say that anymore. I only mention this all because I hope Royal Oak raises the bar back up before we become as out washed as a once flourishing Pontiac scene. Ok that's my rant. Viva Royal Oak.
Laura Harrison April 18, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Local 212 owner has been in the bar/restaurant business for several decades. He also owns Oak City Grill on Sixth and was the former owner of Rumors on Main. A good chef = a good meal.
john doe April 18, 2013 at 11:23 PM
my car got keyed there last month on a wednesday... then last tuesday ... Wing Night at BWW... a group of "brothers" slapped a guys wing box out of his hands in the parking lot 50 feet from me, harrassing him for being WHITE! Ferndale is downright scary now...
CDE April 19, 2013 at 01:48 AM
I understand completely what Tim is saying about Royal Oak, there are so many restaurants that are laissez about their food. There are GREAT exceptions in Royal Oak--D'Matos, Lily's, 212, Oak City Grill, Royal Oak Brewery (great beer too, far superior to the WAB), Ronin, Pizzeria Biga, Cafe Muse, Lockhart's, and Town Tavern. My confusion with Tim's statement is that the same situation exists in Ferndale, there are many poor restaurants there to go along with all the great ones. For instance--BWW, One Eyed Betty's (sorry Tim), Anita's Kitchen (sorry again, been there twice--eek), Como's, Rosie O's, and Dino's--just to name a few. Not to be too picky Tim, but Cork is in Pleasant Ridge and food was subpar when I went. To add to the Ferndale list and though they are not going-out type of restaurants, I would add Toast and Fly Trap as good restaurants. John Doe, I think you might be exaggerating the scariness of Ferndale--it is a nice town, different than Royal Oak for sure, but a nice town.
CDE April 19, 2013 at 01:51 AM
One more thing...Royal Oak is a also a great beer town too--Royal Oak Brewery, Lily's, and Bastone's all brew their own beer and all three brew different and excellent beers. Couple that with the fact that Jolly Pumpkin will eventually open a brewery and distillery downtown and Milking it Productions is a brewery (not a brewpub) that is located in the northwestern part of Royal Oak.
Bob April 19, 2013 at 01:16 PM
The 95.5 crowd is a sign that the apocalypse is upon us.
Bob April 19, 2013 at 01:19 PM
It looks like a classy addition to the scene. There menu items, not necessarily the pricing, look a little high falutin' for my taste. I personally would prefer a high end Big Beaver Rd style steak house, but that kept getting shot down. Anyway, I hope they succeed.
john doe April 19, 2013 at 01:53 PM
what i DONT like is that it seems to be that liquor license holders in town, seem to easily get other liquor licenses over outsiders.... which leads me to think there is payola going on
Nick Raftis April 19, 2013 at 02:30 PM
John D ----- The liquor lisc. situation has changed in the last 10 years, and the state has created other options for restaurants, like the bistro lisc. and there are fixed full lisc. available that are not transferable. I personally think that ROPD Dep. Chief G. Young is doing a outstanding job coordinating these lisc. for Royal Oak. Prior to the last few years, I agree that the insiders may have had preferencial treatment in the past, but the other lisc. options have minimized that issue.
The Duke of Royal Oak April 19, 2013 at 02:41 PM
So who is "He" the article has no reference to whom the owner or owners are, experience, etc... very vague. Perhaps there should be a food reviewer before there is an article. "ECLECTIC CRAFT COCKTAILS"? What?
Mark Itall April 19, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Not shot down Bob, no one has ever submitted plans for a Big Beaver style Steak house in RO.
john doe April 19, 2013 at 04:34 PM
NICK, There was supposed to be a steakhouse on the east side of 5th ave before noodles, two years ago, council said too many liquor lic already... then Emagine gets one, lockhardts, 526, etc.
Nick Raftis April 19, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Agreed, but its different now, the restrictions are minimized because of the new options available from the State, including bistro in the DDA. BTW, Royal Oak is the only city in the State that has its own Liquor Control Commission that reports to the board. Also, I own the Inn Season Cafe and it has been turned down for a lisc. already because of the unique zoning and the lack of parking. But if we were across the street to the west, about 50 feet away, we could get one (thats in the DDA). So I know how you feel John Doe.
royaloakforum.com April 19, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Fortunately you keep the place pretty well packed even without the liquor license, but the increased sales would be nice. Can you do outdoor dining on 4th? And what is going on with the "Hayward Pharmacy" building to your west anyway?
john doe April 19, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Nick, best of luck in your pursuit... thats my point, lic. for all those who apply and meet requirements... there cannot be too many bars, the free market makes sure of that, what will happen is the bars will compete for business and the great businesses will prosper while the shholes will fail and die... and a better city will emerge


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