- 22634 Woodward, Ferndale, MI, 48220
- Overall User Rating:
- (2 ratings)
- 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Sun.
Status: To put it simply, the Loving Touch is a pool hall. But for a more accurate description and experience -- look beyond the pool tables and spend some quality time at the new Ferndale hangout.
“I think that we were going for a really unique space where people can hang out and relax,” says owner Krista Johnston. “The nature area is a prime example of that. You don’t usually see living plants in a pool hall. We just tried to make a very unique space for people.”
The unobtrusive building tucked between the Woodward Avenue Brewers and Sneakers Pub has no sign to beckon consumers into the glass-front building, and soft orange-tinted lights, a woody atrium, ample seating and subtle vibe give the Loving Touch an original lounge-like feel.
The hall, which opened the weekend before Thanksgiving, is owned by WAB and Emory owners husband and wife team Chris and Krista Johnston,Chris' brother Grant and business partner Brian Reedy.
“We didn’t want to open WAB II and WAB III,” says Krista Johnston. “We opened the WAB when we were in our twenties and Emory in our thirties. Our whole design concept has matured.”
Gear: If you can play pool, have a drink and sit in it, you’re more than welcome to wear it.
Mood: Only a few months old, the Loving Touch is “still trying to figure itself out,” says Manager Chris Wujek. But the hand-built chairs, tables and jigsaw piece bar convey a relaxed, sincere environment without the posturing you may expect to find at a venue that considers itself “green.”
“They’re very into recycling,” Wujek says of the owners who use recycled napkins and straws.
Even the wood in the atrium area features furniture made from Ferndale trees. And everything, with the exception of the pool tables, was built by Chris and Grant Johnston and Reedy.
“We have an arborist friend, and he had a lot of extra wood. He let us pick and choose from all of the wood that he had,” says Krista Johnston.
Tiny white lights play peek-a-boo between live vines that wind their way up two walls towards a skylight.
“I think it’s wonderful,” say Phil, of P.T. Catering, who has lived in Ferndale for 17 years. “People can come in here and relax. This is my place to come to get away from it all.”
Pick me up: Because there’s no kitchen, Wujek describes the Loving Touch as “an after-dinner kind of place.” There is, however, a vending machine, and customers are allowed to bring food in from the WAB, the Emory or have food delivered from other venues.
Loving Touch carries four of the eight WAB beers, including the custom and raspberry blonde. There are 10 beers on tap and no bottled beer.
Doctored by Wujek, the specialty shot, appropriately named the Loving Touch, is blended with tequila (just enough to taste), peach schnapps, apple pucker and a splash of cranberry and pineapple juice.
Cocktail servers take to the floor around 8 p.m.
Entertainment: There are two seven-foot tables and five eight-foot tables that will run you $1.25 a game or $5 for five games. Two LCD TVs flank either side of the bar which has a floating MDF ceiling with recessed lighting and speakers.
There’s no live entertainment, but the Loving Touch will be the host of a fund-raising event Feb. 26 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. For $10 at the door you get $1 off drinks, free pool and snacks. Raffle tickets that night are $5 that could land you gift certificates to area businesses and CDs by metrto Detroit's talented local musicians.
On April 4, a free, alternative crafts show will be held from noon-7 p.m. The event features 20 artists and crafts-people with music provided by DJs.