- 24223 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI, 48080
- Overall User Rating:
- (42 ratings)
- 11 a.m.-2 a.m. daily (kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Sun.-Thu. and 11 p.m. Fri. & Sat.)
- Official Web Site:
Status: Located on the Nautical Mile in St. Clair Shores, Waves Chill & Grill offers an island-feel without the hassle of having to leave metro Detroit.
The 14-year-old, 5,700 square-foot restaurant is owned by Scott Vezinau and Don Moore and can seat about 250 people. “The demographic is probably 25 to 40,” says Manager Kim Campbell.
A 1,000 square-foot patio - complete with tiki torches - opened in late June this year, and a 50-person banquet room is available for rent.
Gear: Despite the tropical atmosphere, there were no leis, grass skirts or bikinis Thursday night as patrons kept things simple with a jeans and t-shirt vibe. Waves workers rocked blue button-up shirts and black pants.
Mood: Combine the sultry summer Michigan weather with the bamboo-covered walls and thatched huts that shelter the restaurant’s booths, and you may just be able to convince yourself that you’ve crossed the Pacific and are dining on Easter Island. Waves even throws in a Moai, the massive human-like stone statue found throughout Polynesia, and greets guest with “Ahola” when they arrive.
“I think we’re just like a little hidden vacation spot in the Nautical Mile,” Campbell says.
Electric blue lights simulating rolling waves light the bar area and palm trees are decorated in green Christmas lights. Colorful murals, surf boards and fish on the walls and ceiling add to the tropical feel.
Pick me up: If you think of Waves as a Caribbean-style restaurant, then you know the cuisine possibilities are as diverse as the tropical islands. Polynesian inspiration can be seen in the marinated char-grilled jumbo chicken wings ($6.99), Hawaiian influences are obvious in the Waves Hawaiian Pineapple Torte with cream cheese frosting ($5.99) and appetizers - available only at the bar - include Rajun Cajun chicken stixs ($4.99), breaded mozzarella wedges ($4.99), 14 oz Ribeye steak tips with crumbled blue cheese ($15.99) and more. Bar appetizers are half off from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, and all-you-can-eat perch is available Mondays through Thursdays for $12.99.
“Seafood is big time with us,” Vezinau adds.
Despite having a distinct bar area, Campbell says “we’re a restaurant with a bar.”
The martini menu reads like the carte du jour of a sweets shop with drinks like Pink Lemonade, Toasted Coconut, Milky Way, Mango Infused Mango Martini, Creamsicle and more.
Bar specials are available daily.
Entertainment: If Hawaii’s not in your budget at the moment, just grab a lei and head to Waves on a Friday night to experience the rhythmic sounds of Hawaii accompanied by hula dances.
Karaoke is featured Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and a top 40 and house DJ spins Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 6 p.m. There is a small wood dance floor in between the restaurant and the bar and a half dozen or so flat-screen TVs are available in the bar area.