- 52963 Van Dyke, Shelby Township, MI, 48316
- Overall User Rating:
- (2 ratings)
- Noon-2 a.m. Mon.-Sun.
- Official Web Site:
Status: You’d never suspect the glossy elegance behind the plain brick exterior of Shelby Township’s Empire Lounge. Located at the corner of Van Dyke and 24 Mile Rd., the 5,500-square-foot restaurant and lounge - which opened November 24, 2010 - can hold about 400 people. It's owned by Rita Salem, her husband Emil and brother Ron Shaba.
The target audience is the 30 and up demo. “We’re trying to get the professionals," says Emil Salem.
A 30-foot bar is on the first floor lounge, and colored lights highlight the staircase leading up to the restaurant on the second floor. A patio with abundant seating opened two weeks ago.
Gear: No athletic clothes or baseball caps are allowed at Empire, and Friday night, most people kept it casual sporting jeans, polo and button-up shirts and low-key dresses.
Mood: When you see the dark woods and the myriad of brass-studded leather couches and leather window treatments, you might feel more like you’re in a cigar bar than a casual upscale restaurant, but Rita Salem, who did all the interior design, avoided the men’s-club feel by contrasting the masculine details with blasts of red and gold in the chandeliers and privacy curtains.
The most striking detail of the lounge is the 10 1/2-foot chandelier dangling from the center of the venue. Red, pink, blue and purple lights mix with the gold glow from multiple hanging light fixtures to further entice visitor’s visual senses.
“It’s classy looking,” says Tera VanTiem of Shelby Township.
Pick me up: The menu features classic restaurant favorites like steak, chicken, seafood, soups and salads. Appetizers range from $9-$13, and an entrée will cost you anywhere from $15 for the Empire Chicken (sautéed chicken breast with mushrooms and white wine sauce) to $29 for Filet Mignon.
Martinis range from $8-$10, and beers will run you about $4.
Entertainment: There is a DJ booth on both the first and second floors and an area where live bands perform. About eight flat-screen TVs are scattered throughout Empire.
“Any place where you can hang out and listen to music is great,” says Michele Penrose of Macomb who was visiting Empire for the first time with friend Cindy Walter of Auburn Hill.
Party band Joyride performed a mix of top 40 Friday night.