Blue Moose Tavern grand opening
A 23-year run has ended for the Pony Express Saloon.
“It had just run its course,” general manager Darren Lee says of the Farmington Hills establishment. “It had lost its flavor.”
In recent weeks, Lee has been busy remodeling the bar, putting together a new staff and preparing to unveil a new name: Blue Moose Tavern.
Blue Moose held a soft opening last week, but the three-day grand-opening party gets rolling Thursday with an appearance by the Reefermen. WRIF-FM (101.1) will be on hand Friday, and WXYT-FM (97.1, the Ticket) will be in the house Saturday. Samuel Adams, Miller Lite and Blue Moon will be giving away samples tonight, Friday and Saturday respectively. A few lucky guests will also win mini-refrigerators and tickets to sports events.
The 90-person bar is open 7 a.m.-2 a.m. seven days a week and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fish,
ribs and steak specials are on the menu, but “we concentrate on burgers,” Lee says, noting that Blue Moose offers 14 gourmet-style burgers. An outdoor patio can accommodate 35 patrons.
6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Blue Moose Tavern, 31650 W. Eight Mile, Farmington Hills. 248-474-3533. No cover.
The Hub Sports Bistro grand opening
The Hub Sports Bistro, located in a shopping center in Macomb Township, is under new ownership.
Lisbeth Chavarria-Stradley took over the bar Oct. 19 after former owners Brad Ditamasso and Eric McDonald put it up for sale.
“We saw an opportunity for this place to flourish,” says Chavarria-Stradley, who’s getting help with the bar from her husband Jeremy Stradley, brother-in-law Mike Stradley and general manager Mike Brooks. They’ll hold a grand-opening celebration Saturday with a two-hour food buffet and music from DJ Danny D. Live music will come courtesy of Punch featuring Marine City native Jeff Gutt, a contestant on the 2012 season of “The X Factor.”
The Hub is a “neighborhood sports bar with an upscale feel,” Chavarria-Stradley says. “We have a mix of young and old looking for great music, food, drinks and neighborhood familiarity.”
The menu at the 5,000-square-foot bar “is the one area we changed significantly when I took over,” Chavarria-Stradley says. The Hub now serves a mix of appetizers, burgers, ribs and sandwiches. There are 20 beers on tap.
The establishment has 20 high-definition televisions and several house DJs (DJ Fury on Fridays, DJ Danny D on Saturdays, DJ Big Daddy Mondays). Chavarria-Stradley says she’s still working on a long-range plan for entertainment. “We are exploring many options. Live performances are just one of them.”
The Hub is open 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday and noon-2 a.m. Sunday. 16780 21 Mile Rd., Macomb Township. 586-226-3399. No cover.
It took just four weeks for 23-year-old Pierre Shamoon to convert an American Home Fitness store into an upscale hookah lounge.
“I’ve been in the hookah industry for the last eight years, and I finally figured it was time to open up my own,” says Shamoon of Sterling Heights.
iHookah Lounge opened Sept. 7 in Farmington Hills. The 3,200-square-foot site is decorated in red and black, and offers a variety of tobacco, including Starbuzz, Fumari and Al Fakher. There are multiple televisions, and Shamoon says they draw large sports crowds during the week. On Fridays and Saturdays, iHookah has live music. There is no food available, but guests can bring their own from other establishments.
A hookah is a water pipe that’s used for smoking flavored tobacco. “You don’t inhale it,” Shamoon says. “It’s just for the flavor. It’s a social-type thing.”
iHookah has an online store where people can purchase hookah products. Shamoon says he also plans to start distributing iHookah brand of hookahs and tobacco in the near future.
Noon-2 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and noon-4 a.m. Friday-Saturday. 32614 Northwestern Hwy., Farmington Hills. No cover. 248-432-7508. www.ihookahlounge.com and www.ihookahshop.com.
The Orange Barrel
For years, McLovin’s Irish Sports Bar on 14 Mile Road in Madison Heights maintained its Irish roots (if only by name). On Oct. 19, that all changed when the Orange Barrel made its debut.
The sports bar and grill replaces McLovin’s, which opened last April. The two-story, 3,000-square-foot bar was also known over the years as the Naughty Irishman, McCool’s Sports Pub and Shenanigans.
To update the space, Gabrielle Marshall, one of its four owners, altered all of the booths, remodeled the downstairs “to make it more of an upscale lounge” and added more TVs.
The Orange Barrel, named for Marshall’s love of the color, serves bar food as well as pasta and fish dinners. It also has an ongoing 5-pound burger challenge. Customers can attempts to eat a 5-pound hamburger in 20 minutes for a chance to earn prizes.
You’ll find a DJ on Tuesdays and Thursdays, karaoke on Wednesdays and live bands on Fridays and Saturdays. Ladies Night is Thursday, and it features $2 shots, $4 Long Island iced teas, $3 martinis, $1 tacos and free desserts with the purchase of an entrée.
11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Sunday. 350 E. 14 Mile, Madison Heights. 248-291-6927. No cover.