It's big and brown with navy blue awnings and it's caught the eye of most Rochester Patch readers.
"Just what is going in at the corner of Crooks and M-59?" you asked.
The answer is Clubhouse BFD.
The BFD stands for "Beer, Food and Drinks" and it's the latest venture by Scott LePage, owner of .
"We own the land," LePage said, "So we decided to use it!"
Here are the facts you've been waiting for:
- Opening date: LePage originally hoped to open The Clubhouse at 2265 Crooks Road the week of Feb. 7 but the date has been pushed back. "We don't want to rush it," LePage said. "We want to do it right from the get-go." While they are hoping to open by the 14th, the 21st is a possibility, too. Staff training has begun.
- Business hours: Initially, at least, the restaurant will be open for dinner only, starting with a Happy Hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. The closing hour will be determined by "what business justifies" LePage said.
- Days of business: The Clubhouse will be opened Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays. "I'm not interested in the rat race," LePage said.
Beer: The shining star
LePage has always loved the bar at East Side Mario's.
"It's so cool, but I've always wanted to make it bigger."
With the growing craft beer craze and an empty building sitting there, LePage decided the time was right for Clubhouse BFD.
While LePage has been involved in the restaurant business his whole life— his father Norman LePage, has opened 40 restaurants including Birmingham's famous — this was his first time opening one from scratch.
"I've never been in charge of construction before. You need a strong stomach to watch all your life savings go into something you hope is successful," LePage said. They ended up gutting the place. "But if you do it right, everything else falls in place."
His goal was to create "a place I would go drink beer."
And talk about beer: there will be 140 beers in bottles and 40 beers on draft. The beer menu will include 20 craft beers from Michigan and another 20 from around the United States. Clubhouse is licensed to sell bottled beer as carry-out and patrons can build-their-own six-pack.
"Spirits and wine will also be offered," LePage said, "But we wanted beer to be the shining star."
Comfort food with a flair
With the focus on beer, the food selections have been limited to one panel of the restaurant's menu. But each of the 15 items has been specifically selected for The Clubhouse.
"The Big Rock chefs helped us with the menu," LePage said. "We'd eat out a lot to find a dish we love then send the chefs in to figure out how to make it for Clubhouse."
For his favorite dish on the menu, Lou Lou's Salami, LePage didn't have to look far. It's his aunt's recipe.
"My aunt makes this for every family function and my dad will meet her in the driveway to make sure he gets a big chunk," LePage said. "It's just great to nosh on."
Other entrees on the menu include macaroni and cheese and a burger from the LePage family's past.
"My dad's first restaurant was Nifty Norman's," LePage said. "My favorite burger ever was on the menu as Nifty's Choice. We're offering it at The Clubhouse. You have to come in to see the toppings!"
Who determines where you eat?
"My kids determine where we eat," LePage said.
Knowing this is the case for most of us in Rochester Hills, he wanted to create a destination that's family-friendly.
"There's no pretense here," he said. "It's casual, great for families and kids. We're going to have board games at tables, great food and great beer. And of course some big televisions to watch the game. We'll cater to everybody."
Recalling his days at Nifty Norman's where the staff knew their customers by name, LePage hopes to capture that same sense of community at Clubhouse BFD.
"I want it to be fun," LePage said. "After all, if you can't enjoy it, then what's the purpose?"