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La Dulce Makes Move to Downtown Detroit

La Dulce Makes Move to Downtown Detroit


The tapas restaurant refreshes its menu for its new neighborhood

The restaurant's main dining room

A once-quaint restaurant on Main Street in Royal Oak is now a riverfront oasis in downtown Detroit. It took over a much larger space inside the Crowne Plaza Hotel and will be responsible for the hotel’s breakfast buffet as well as room service.

The space was built out in a mere two weeks, and it boasts a similar look and feel to the original space but with a bit more edge. A neon pink “Soup of the Day… Sangria” sign lights up above the bar, fitting the newly adopted neighborhood.

In the kitchen, the restaurant stays true to its roots by serving up imaginative Spanish tapas like black squid ink calamari plated in a repurposed sardine can, dulce de leche cake with a cotton candy topper, and tableside-carved jamón ibérico. Patrons can enjoy house-made sangria (that special soup of the day) or a variety of boundary-pushing cocktails while sitting on the patio overlooking the city.

What you’re ordering: a gin with homemade tonic, bao buns, and churros with all three dipping sauces.


Beirut Palace sold after 21 years in Royal Oak

The owner of Beirut Palace has sold the restaurant after 21 years in downtown Royal Oak, claiming construction and parking disruptions caused a recent sharp decline in business this year.

Hussein Ahmad sold all of the assets of the business at 205 S. Main St., minus the name, on Oct. 12 and is planning to open elsewhere in metro Detroit, he told Crain's. He declined to disclose the sale price &mdash "less than what it cost me to put it here" &mdash or the buyers. But he said the new owners are "Middle Eastern" and plan to stay open with similar offerings.

Ahmad also transferred his lease, he said. His Beirut Palace also has locations in Sterling Heights and Warren.

A new name and sign will be unveiled within the next two weeks, after Ahmad helps the new owners transition. The new name is also not known. In the meantime, the business will continue operating as Beirut Palace. Its five employees will stay on under new ownership.

The restaurant joins several other Royal Oak businesses that have closed downtown in recent months. Like Ahmad, some have cited parking pains since construction started just east of Main Street on the Royal Oak City Center development in May. It had left around 230 parking spaces offline as of July.

Beirut Palace's Royal Oak sales had fallen around 25-30 percent as of June, edging down to a 50 percent drop later in the summer, Ahmad said. He declined to provide specific figures.

When the two parking lots behind the restaurant where the city center project is taking shape closed, it "made it harder for customers to find parking," he told Crain's. "Plus, the carry-out companies, GrubHub, DoorDash (Food Delivery) and all that, they come in and they don't find parking places and they get ticketed and all that, so it made it hard for us."

Ahmad declined to elaborate on where a new location could take shape. It could take up to a year before it opens, he said.

Ahmad expects his restaurant's new owners will expand offerings, possibly serving Middle Eastern breakfast.

"Hopefully they're gonna survive . I wish them the best of luck," he said. "I hope they can do a lot better than what I did here."

Another high-profile closing came when Andiamo Trattoria shut its doors abruptly in July among complaints over lack of nearby parking from some downtown businesses clustered around Main Street and 11 Mile Road. Separately, the B Spot burger restaurant from Chef Michael Symon closed in August and Qdoba on Main Street closed in September.

Joe Vicari, owner of Andiamo operator Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, blamed his restaurant's demise partly on city parking lot closures. Others who have bemoaned lack of parking include Mike Dbouk, owner of nearby Boukie's Grill, and Dixie Moon Saloon owner Shepherd Spencer, who was part of a lawsuit challenging the city center development.

"They're hoping and expecting better business turnaround when this project is done," Ahmad said of other businesses in the area. "I hope the mayor (Michael Fournier) can take care of his residents."

Fournier and other officials have previously said lack of parking is a temporary wound that will heal as new construction brings in much-needed daily commerce. The city also launched a branding effort dubbed Rethink Royal Oak to engage the public around issues of parking and safety surrounding the incoming city center development.

The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority communicates regularly with businesses about concerns and hosts monthly stakeholder meetings, downtown manager Sean Kammer said Monday.

"There is continued interest to open and start a business and run a business in downtown Royal Oak," he said, and pointed to nearby parking options downtown.

Recent restaurant closures don't necessarily mean storefronts will stay empty: The former Blackfinn Ameripub, which closed unexpectedly a year ago, is expected to become a Bar Louie. Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters opened in August in the spot La Dulce left. City Ramen is targeting a December opening, according to its Facebook page, in what used to be a boutique. In another recent maneuver, Cantina Diablo's and Red Fox English Pub across Main Street from Andiamo are being remade into a Diamonds Steak and Seafood and a small-plates bar called Pinky's under a new operator.

Owners of a Chicago burger bar have purchased the closed Andiamo's liquor license, the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak reported. Matthew and Josef Boumaroun expect to seek approval Monday from the City Commission for their plans to use the license for a new restaurant. They want to open at 505 S. Main St., a couple blocks south of Andiamo's former location, according to a Royal Oak police report cited by the newspaper.


Beirut Palace sold after 21 years in Royal Oak

The owner of Beirut Palace has sold the restaurant after 21 years in downtown Royal Oak, claiming construction and parking disruptions caused a recent sharp decline in business this year.

Hussein Ahmad sold all of the assets of the business at 205 S. Main St., minus the name, on Oct. 12 and is planning to open elsewhere in metro Detroit, he told Crain's. He declined to disclose the sale price &mdash "less than what it cost me to put it here" &mdash or the buyers. But he said the new owners are "Middle Eastern" and plan to stay open with similar offerings.

Ahmad also transferred his lease, he said. His Beirut Palace also has locations in Sterling Heights and Warren.

A new name and sign will be unveiled within the next two weeks, after Ahmad helps the new owners transition. The new name is also not known. In the meantime, the business will continue operating as Beirut Palace. Its five employees will stay on under new ownership.

The restaurant joins several other Royal Oak businesses that have closed downtown in recent months. Like Ahmad, some have cited parking pains since construction started just east of Main Street on the Royal Oak City Center development in May. It had left around 230 parking spaces offline as of July.

Beirut Palace's Royal Oak sales had fallen around 25-30 percent as of June, edging down to a 50 percent drop later in the summer, Ahmad said. He declined to provide specific figures.

When the two parking lots behind the restaurant where the city center project is taking shape closed, it "made it harder for customers to find parking," he told Crain's. "Plus, the carry-out companies, GrubHub, DoorDash (Food Delivery) and all that, they come in and they don't find parking places and they get ticketed and all that, so it made it hard for us."

Ahmad declined to elaborate on where a new location could take shape. It could take up to a year before it opens, he said.

Ahmad expects his restaurant's new owners will expand offerings, possibly serving Middle Eastern breakfast.

"Hopefully they're gonna survive . I wish them the best of luck," he said. "I hope they can do a lot better than what I did here."

Another high-profile closing came when Andiamo Trattoria shut its doors abruptly in July among complaints over lack of nearby parking from some downtown businesses clustered around Main Street and 11 Mile Road. Separately, the B Spot burger restaurant from Chef Michael Symon closed in August and Qdoba on Main Street closed in September.

Joe Vicari, owner of Andiamo operator Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, blamed his restaurant's demise partly on city parking lot closures. Others who have bemoaned lack of parking include Mike Dbouk, owner of nearby Boukie's Grill, and Dixie Moon Saloon owner Shepherd Spencer, who was part of a lawsuit challenging the city center development.

"They're hoping and expecting better business turnaround when this project is done," Ahmad said of other businesses in the area. "I hope the mayor (Michael Fournier) can take care of his residents."

Fournier and other officials have previously said lack of parking is a temporary wound that will heal as new construction brings in much-needed daily commerce. The city also launched a branding effort dubbed Rethink Royal Oak to engage the public around issues of parking and safety surrounding the incoming city center development.

The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority communicates regularly with businesses about concerns and hosts monthly stakeholder meetings, downtown manager Sean Kammer said Monday.

"There is continued interest to open and start a business and run a business in downtown Royal Oak," he said, and pointed to nearby parking options downtown.

Recent restaurant closures don't necessarily mean storefronts will stay empty: The former Blackfinn Ameripub, which closed unexpectedly a year ago, is expected to become a Bar Louie. Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters opened in August in the spot La Dulce left. City Ramen is targeting a December opening, according to its Facebook page, in what used to be a boutique. In another recent maneuver, Cantina Diablo's and Red Fox English Pub across Main Street from Andiamo are being remade into a Diamonds Steak and Seafood and a small-plates bar called Pinky's under a new operator.

Owners of a Chicago burger bar have purchased the closed Andiamo's liquor license, the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak reported. Matthew and Josef Boumaroun expect to seek approval Monday from the City Commission for their plans to use the license for a new restaurant. They want to open at 505 S. Main St., a couple blocks south of Andiamo's former location, according to a Royal Oak police report cited by the newspaper.


Beirut Palace sold after 21 years in Royal Oak

The owner of Beirut Palace has sold the restaurant after 21 years in downtown Royal Oak, claiming construction and parking disruptions caused a recent sharp decline in business this year.

Hussein Ahmad sold all of the assets of the business at 205 S. Main St., minus the name, on Oct. 12 and is planning to open elsewhere in metro Detroit, he told Crain's. He declined to disclose the sale price &mdash "less than what it cost me to put it here" &mdash or the buyers. But he said the new owners are "Middle Eastern" and plan to stay open with similar offerings.

Ahmad also transferred his lease, he said. His Beirut Palace also has locations in Sterling Heights and Warren.

A new name and sign will be unveiled within the next two weeks, after Ahmad helps the new owners transition. The new name is also not known. In the meantime, the business will continue operating as Beirut Palace. Its five employees will stay on under new ownership.

The restaurant joins several other Royal Oak businesses that have closed downtown in recent months. Like Ahmad, some have cited parking pains since construction started just east of Main Street on the Royal Oak City Center development in May. It had left around 230 parking spaces offline as of July.

Beirut Palace's Royal Oak sales had fallen around 25-30 percent as of June, edging down to a 50 percent drop later in the summer, Ahmad said. He declined to provide specific figures.

When the two parking lots behind the restaurant where the city center project is taking shape closed, it "made it harder for customers to find parking," he told Crain's. "Plus, the carry-out companies, GrubHub, DoorDash (Food Delivery) and all that, they come in and they don't find parking places and they get ticketed and all that, so it made it hard for us."

Ahmad declined to elaborate on where a new location could take shape. It could take up to a year before it opens, he said.

Ahmad expects his restaurant's new owners will expand offerings, possibly serving Middle Eastern breakfast.

"Hopefully they're gonna survive . I wish them the best of luck," he said. "I hope they can do a lot better than what I did here."

Another high-profile closing came when Andiamo Trattoria shut its doors abruptly in July among complaints over lack of nearby parking from some downtown businesses clustered around Main Street and 11 Mile Road. Separately, the B Spot burger restaurant from Chef Michael Symon closed in August and Qdoba on Main Street closed in September.

Joe Vicari, owner of Andiamo operator Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, blamed his restaurant's demise partly on city parking lot closures. Others who have bemoaned lack of parking include Mike Dbouk, owner of nearby Boukie's Grill, and Dixie Moon Saloon owner Shepherd Spencer, who was part of a lawsuit challenging the city center development.

"They're hoping and expecting better business turnaround when this project is done," Ahmad said of other businesses in the area. "I hope the mayor (Michael Fournier) can take care of his residents."

Fournier and other officials have previously said lack of parking is a temporary wound that will heal as new construction brings in much-needed daily commerce. The city also launched a branding effort dubbed Rethink Royal Oak to engage the public around issues of parking and safety surrounding the incoming city center development.

The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority communicates regularly with businesses about concerns and hosts monthly stakeholder meetings, downtown manager Sean Kammer said Monday.

"There is continued interest to open and start a business and run a business in downtown Royal Oak," he said, and pointed to nearby parking options downtown.

Recent restaurant closures don't necessarily mean storefronts will stay empty: The former Blackfinn Ameripub, which closed unexpectedly a year ago, is expected to become a Bar Louie. Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters opened in August in the spot La Dulce left. City Ramen is targeting a December opening, according to its Facebook page, in what used to be a boutique. In another recent maneuver, Cantina Diablo's and Red Fox English Pub across Main Street from Andiamo are being remade into a Diamonds Steak and Seafood and a small-plates bar called Pinky's under a new operator.

Owners of a Chicago burger bar have purchased the closed Andiamo's liquor license, the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak reported. Matthew and Josef Boumaroun expect to seek approval Monday from the City Commission for their plans to use the license for a new restaurant. They want to open at 505 S. Main St., a couple blocks south of Andiamo's former location, according to a Royal Oak police report cited by the newspaper.


Beirut Palace sold after 21 years in Royal Oak

The owner of Beirut Palace has sold the restaurant after 21 years in downtown Royal Oak, claiming construction and parking disruptions caused a recent sharp decline in business this year.

Hussein Ahmad sold all of the assets of the business at 205 S. Main St., minus the name, on Oct. 12 and is planning to open elsewhere in metro Detroit, he told Crain's. He declined to disclose the sale price &mdash "less than what it cost me to put it here" &mdash or the buyers. But he said the new owners are "Middle Eastern" and plan to stay open with similar offerings.

Ahmad also transferred his lease, he said. His Beirut Palace also has locations in Sterling Heights and Warren.

A new name and sign will be unveiled within the next two weeks, after Ahmad helps the new owners transition. The new name is also not known. In the meantime, the business will continue operating as Beirut Palace. Its five employees will stay on under new ownership.

The restaurant joins several other Royal Oak businesses that have closed downtown in recent months. Like Ahmad, some have cited parking pains since construction started just east of Main Street on the Royal Oak City Center development in May. It had left around 230 parking spaces offline as of July.

Beirut Palace's Royal Oak sales had fallen around 25-30 percent as of June, edging down to a 50 percent drop later in the summer, Ahmad said. He declined to provide specific figures.

When the two parking lots behind the restaurant where the city center project is taking shape closed, it "made it harder for customers to find parking," he told Crain's. "Plus, the carry-out companies, GrubHub, DoorDash (Food Delivery) and all that, they come in and they don't find parking places and they get ticketed and all that, so it made it hard for us."

Ahmad declined to elaborate on where a new location could take shape. It could take up to a year before it opens, he said.

Ahmad expects his restaurant's new owners will expand offerings, possibly serving Middle Eastern breakfast.

"Hopefully they're gonna survive . I wish them the best of luck," he said. "I hope they can do a lot better than what I did here."

Another high-profile closing came when Andiamo Trattoria shut its doors abruptly in July among complaints over lack of nearby parking from some downtown businesses clustered around Main Street and 11 Mile Road. Separately, the B Spot burger restaurant from Chef Michael Symon closed in August and Qdoba on Main Street closed in September.

Joe Vicari, owner of Andiamo operator Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, blamed his restaurant's demise partly on city parking lot closures. Others who have bemoaned lack of parking include Mike Dbouk, owner of nearby Boukie's Grill, and Dixie Moon Saloon owner Shepherd Spencer, who was part of a lawsuit challenging the city center development.

"They're hoping and expecting better business turnaround when this project is done," Ahmad said of other businesses in the area. "I hope the mayor (Michael Fournier) can take care of his residents."

Fournier and other officials have previously said lack of parking is a temporary wound that will heal as new construction brings in much-needed daily commerce. The city also launched a branding effort dubbed Rethink Royal Oak to engage the public around issues of parking and safety surrounding the incoming city center development.

The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority communicates regularly with businesses about concerns and hosts monthly stakeholder meetings, downtown manager Sean Kammer said Monday.

"There is continued interest to open and start a business and run a business in downtown Royal Oak," he said, and pointed to nearby parking options downtown.

Recent restaurant closures don't necessarily mean storefronts will stay empty: The former Blackfinn Ameripub, which closed unexpectedly a year ago, is expected to become a Bar Louie. Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters opened in August in the spot La Dulce left. City Ramen is targeting a December opening, according to its Facebook page, in what used to be a boutique. In another recent maneuver, Cantina Diablo's and Red Fox English Pub across Main Street from Andiamo are being remade into a Diamonds Steak and Seafood and a small-plates bar called Pinky's under a new operator.

Owners of a Chicago burger bar have purchased the closed Andiamo's liquor license, the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak reported. Matthew and Josef Boumaroun expect to seek approval Monday from the City Commission for their plans to use the license for a new restaurant. They want to open at 505 S. Main St., a couple blocks south of Andiamo's former location, according to a Royal Oak police report cited by the newspaper.


Beirut Palace sold after 21 years in Royal Oak

The owner of Beirut Palace has sold the restaurant after 21 years in downtown Royal Oak, claiming construction and parking disruptions caused a recent sharp decline in business this year.

Hussein Ahmad sold all of the assets of the business at 205 S. Main St., minus the name, on Oct. 12 and is planning to open elsewhere in metro Detroit, he told Crain's. He declined to disclose the sale price &mdash "less than what it cost me to put it here" &mdash or the buyers. But he said the new owners are "Middle Eastern" and plan to stay open with similar offerings.

Ahmad also transferred his lease, he said. His Beirut Palace also has locations in Sterling Heights and Warren.

A new name and sign will be unveiled within the next two weeks, after Ahmad helps the new owners transition. The new name is also not known. In the meantime, the business will continue operating as Beirut Palace. Its five employees will stay on under new ownership.

The restaurant joins several other Royal Oak businesses that have closed downtown in recent months. Like Ahmad, some have cited parking pains since construction started just east of Main Street on the Royal Oak City Center development in May. It had left around 230 parking spaces offline as of July.

Beirut Palace's Royal Oak sales had fallen around 25-30 percent as of June, edging down to a 50 percent drop later in the summer, Ahmad said. He declined to provide specific figures.

When the two parking lots behind the restaurant where the city center project is taking shape closed, it "made it harder for customers to find parking," he told Crain's. "Plus, the carry-out companies, GrubHub, DoorDash (Food Delivery) and all that, they come in and they don't find parking places and they get ticketed and all that, so it made it hard for us."

Ahmad declined to elaborate on where a new location could take shape. It could take up to a year before it opens, he said.

Ahmad expects his restaurant's new owners will expand offerings, possibly serving Middle Eastern breakfast.

"Hopefully they're gonna survive . I wish them the best of luck," he said. "I hope they can do a lot better than what I did here."

Another high-profile closing came when Andiamo Trattoria shut its doors abruptly in July among complaints over lack of nearby parking from some downtown businesses clustered around Main Street and 11 Mile Road. Separately, the B Spot burger restaurant from Chef Michael Symon closed in August and Qdoba on Main Street closed in September.

Joe Vicari, owner of Andiamo operator Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, blamed his restaurant's demise partly on city parking lot closures. Others who have bemoaned lack of parking include Mike Dbouk, owner of nearby Boukie's Grill, and Dixie Moon Saloon owner Shepherd Spencer, who was part of a lawsuit challenging the city center development.

"They're hoping and expecting better business turnaround when this project is done," Ahmad said of other businesses in the area. "I hope the mayor (Michael Fournier) can take care of his residents."

Fournier and other officials have previously said lack of parking is a temporary wound that will heal as new construction brings in much-needed daily commerce. The city also launched a branding effort dubbed Rethink Royal Oak to engage the public around issues of parking and safety surrounding the incoming city center development.

The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority communicates regularly with businesses about concerns and hosts monthly stakeholder meetings, downtown manager Sean Kammer said Monday.

"There is continued interest to open and start a business and run a business in downtown Royal Oak," he said, and pointed to nearby parking options downtown.

Recent restaurant closures don't necessarily mean storefronts will stay empty: The former Blackfinn Ameripub, which closed unexpectedly a year ago, is expected to become a Bar Louie. Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters opened in August in the spot La Dulce left. City Ramen is targeting a December opening, according to its Facebook page, in what used to be a boutique. In another recent maneuver, Cantina Diablo's and Red Fox English Pub across Main Street from Andiamo are being remade into a Diamonds Steak and Seafood and a small-plates bar called Pinky's under a new operator.

Owners of a Chicago burger bar have purchased the closed Andiamo's liquor license, the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak reported. Matthew and Josef Boumaroun expect to seek approval Monday from the City Commission for their plans to use the license for a new restaurant. They want to open at 505 S. Main St., a couple blocks south of Andiamo's former location, according to a Royal Oak police report cited by the newspaper.


Beirut Palace sold after 21 years in Royal Oak

The owner of Beirut Palace has sold the restaurant after 21 years in downtown Royal Oak, claiming construction and parking disruptions caused a recent sharp decline in business this year.

Hussein Ahmad sold all of the assets of the business at 205 S. Main St., minus the name, on Oct. 12 and is planning to open elsewhere in metro Detroit, he told Crain's. He declined to disclose the sale price &mdash "less than what it cost me to put it here" &mdash or the buyers. But he said the new owners are "Middle Eastern" and plan to stay open with similar offerings.

Ahmad also transferred his lease, he said. His Beirut Palace also has locations in Sterling Heights and Warren.

A new name and sign will be unveiled within the next two weeks, after Ahmad helps the new owners transition. The new name is also not known. In the meantime, the business will continue operating as Beirut Palace. Its five employees will stay on under new ownership.

The restaurant joins several other Royal Oak businesses that have closed downtown in recent months. Like Ahmad, some have cited parking pains since construction started just east of Main Street on the Royal Oak City Center development in May. It had left around 230 parking spaces offline as of July.

Beirut Palace's Royal Oak sales had fallen around 25-30 percent as of June, edging down to a 50 percent drop later in the summer, Ahmad said. He declined to provide specific figures.

When the two parking lots behind the restaurant where the city center project is taking shape closed, it "made it harder for customers to find parking," he told Crain's. "Plus, the carry-out companies, GrubHub, DoorDash (Food Delivery) and all that, they come in and they don't find parking places and they get ticketed and all that, so it made it hard for us."

Ahmad declined to elaborate on where a new location could take shape. It could take up to a year before it opens, he said.

Ahmad expects his restaurant's new owners will expand offerings, possibly serving Middle Eastern breakfast.

"Hopefully they're gonna survive . I wish them the best of luck," he said. "I hope they can do a lot better than what I did here."

Another high-profile closing came when Andiamo Trattoria shut its doors abruptly in July among complaints over lack of nearby parking from some downtown businesses clustered around Main Street and 11 Mile Road. Separately, the B Spot burger restaurant from Chef Michael Symon closed in August and Qdoba on Main Street closed in September.

Joe Vicari, owner of Andiamo operator Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, blamed his restaurant's demise partly on city parking lot closures. Others who have bemoaned lack of parking include Mike Dbouk, owner of nearby Boukie's Grill, and Dixie Moon Saloon owner Shepherd Spencer, who was part of a lawsuit challenging the city center development.

"They're hoping and expecting better business turnaround when this project is done," Ahmad said of other businesses in the area. "I hope the mayor (Michael Fournier) can take care of his residents."

Fournier and other officials have previously said lack of parking is a temporary wound that will heal as new construction brings in much-needed daily commerce. The city also launched a branding effort dubbed Rethink Royal Oak to engage the public around issues of parking and safety surrounding the incoming city center development.

The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority communicates regularly with businesses about concerns and hosts monthly stakeholder meetings, downtown manager Sean Kammer said Monday.

"There is continued interest to open and start a business and run a business in downtown Royal Oak," he said, and pointed to nearby parking options downtown.

Recent restaurant closures don't necessarily mean storefronts will stay empty: The former Blackfinn Ameripub, which closed unexpectedly a year ago, is expected to become a Bar Louie. Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters opened in August in the spot La Dulce left. City Ramen is targeting a December opening, according to its Facebook page, in what used to be a boutique. In another recent maneuver, Cantina Diablo's and Red Fox English Pub across Main Street from Andiamo are being remade into a Diamonds Steak and Seafood and a small-plates bar called Pinky's under a new operator.

Owners of a Chicago burger bar have purchased the closed Andiamo's liquor license, the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak reported. Matthew and Josef Boumaroun expect to seek approval Monday from the City Commission for their plans to use the license for a new restaurant. They want to open at 505 S. Main St., a couple blocks south of Andiamo's former location, according to a Royal Oak police report cited by the newspaper.


Beirut Palace sold after 21 years in Royal Oak

The owner of Beirut Palace has sold the restaurant after 21 years in downtown Royal Oak, claiming construction and parking disruptions caused a recent sharp decline in business this year.

Hussein Ahmad sold all of the assets of the business at 205 S. Main St., minus the name, on Oct. 12 and is planning to open elsewhere in metro Detroit, he told Crain's. He declined to disclose the sale price &mdash "less than what it cost me to put it here" &mdash or the buyers. But he said the new owners are "Middle Eastern" and plan to stay open with similar offerings.

Ahmad also transferred his lease, he said. His Beirut Palace also has locations in Sterling Heights and Warren.

A new name and sign will be unveiled within the next two weeks, after Ahmad helps the new owners transition. The new name is also not known. In the meantime, the business will continue operating as Beirut Palace. Its five employees will stay on under new ownership.

The restaurant joins several other Royal Oak businesses that have closed downtown in recent months. Like Ahmad, some have cited parking pains since construction started just east of Main Street on the Royal Oak City Center development in May. It had left around 230 parking spaces offline as of July.

Beirut Palace's Royal Oak sales had fallen around 25-30 percent as of June, edging down to a 50 percent drop later in the summer, Ahmad said. He declined to provide specific figures.

When the two parking lots behind the restaurant where the city center project is taking shape closed, it "made it harder for customers to find parking," he told Crain's. "Plus, the carry-out companies, GrubHub, DoorDash (Food Delivery) and all that, they come in and they don't find parking places and they get ticketed and all that, so it made it hard for us."

Ahmad declined to elaborate on where a new location could take shape. It could take up to a year before it opens, he said.

Ahmad expects his restaurant's new owners will expand offerings, possibly serving Middle Eastern breakfast.

"Hopefully they're gonna survive . I wish them the best of luck," he said. "I hope they can do a lot better than what I did here."

Another high-profile closing came when Andiamo Trattoria shut its doors abruptly in July among complaints over lack of nearby parking from some downtown businesses clustered around Main Street and 11 Mile Road. Separately, the B Spot burger restaurant from Chef Michael Symon closed in August and Qdoba on Main Street closed in September.

Joe Vicari, owner of Andiamo operator Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, blamed his restaurant's demise partly on city parking lot closures. Others who have bemoaned lack of parking include Mike Dbouk, owner of nearby Boukie's Grill, and Dixie Moon Saloon owner Shepherd Spencer, who was part of a lawsuit challenging the city center development.

"They're hoping and expecting better business turnaround when this project is done," Ahmad said of other businesses in the area. "I hope the mayor (Michael Fournier) can take care of his residents."

Fournier and other officials have previously said lack of parking is a temporary wound that will heal as new construction brings in much-needed daily commerce. The city also launched a branding effort dubbed Rethink Royal Oak to engage the public around issues of parking and safety surrounding the incoming city center development.

The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority communicates regularly with businesses about concerns and hosts monthly stakeholder meetings, downtown manager Sean Kammer said Monday.

"There is continued interest to open and start a business and run a business in downtown Royal Oak," he said, and pointed to nearby parking options downtown.

Recent restaurant closures don't necessarily mean storefronts will stay empty: The former Blackfinn Ameripub, which closed unexpectedly a year ago, is expected to become a Bar Louie. Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters opened in August in the spot La Dulce left. City Ramen is targeting a December opening, according to its Facebook page, in what used to be a boutique. In another recent maneuver, Cantina Diablo's and Red Fox English Pub across Main Street from Andiamo are being remade into a Diamonds Steak and Seafood and a small-plates bar called Pinky's under a new operator.

Owners of a Chicago burger bar have purchased the closed Andiamo's liquor license, the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak reported. Matthew and Josef Boumaroun expect to seek approval Monday from the City Commission for their plans to use the license for a new restaurant. They want to open at 505 S. Main St., a couple blocks south of Andiamo's former location, according to a Royal Oak police report cited by the newspaper.


Beirut Palace sold after 21 years in Royal Oak

The owner of Beirut Palace has sold the restaurant after 21 years in downtown Royal Oak, claiming construction and parking disruptions caused a recent sharp decline in business this year.

Hussein Ahmad sold all of the assets of the business at 205 S. Main St., minus the name, on Oct. 12 and is planning to open elsewhere in metro Detroit, he told Crain's. He declined to disclose the sale price &mdash "less than what it cost me to put it here" &mdash or the buyers. But he said the new owners are "Middle Eastern" and plan to stay open with similar offerings.

Ahmad also transferred his lease, he said. His Beirut Palace also has locations in Sterling Heights and Warren.

A new name and sign will be unveiled within the next two weeks, after Ahmad helps the new owners transition. The new name is also not known. In the meantime, the business will continue operating as Beirut Palace. Its five employees will stay on under new ownership.

The restaurant joins several other Royal Oak businesses that have closed downtown in recent months. Like Ahmad, some have cited parking pains since construction started just east of Main Street on the Royal Oak City Center development in May. It had left around 230 parking spaces offline as of July.

Beirut Palace's Royal Oak sales had fallen around 25-30 percent as of June, edging down to a 50 percent drop later in the summer, Ahmad said. He declined to provide specific figures.

When the two parking lots behind the restaurant where the city center project is taking shape closed, it "made it harder for customers to find parking," he told Crain's. "Plus, the carry-out companies, GrubHub, DoorDash (Food Delivery) and all that, they come in and they don't find parking places and they get ticketed and all that, so it made it hard for us."

Ahmad declined to elaborate on where a new location could take shape. It could take up to a year before it opens, he said.

Ahmad expects his restaurant's new owners will expand offerings, possibly serving Middle Eastern breakfast.

"Hopefully they're gonna survive . I wish them the best of luck," he said. "I hope they can do a lot better than what I did here."

Another high-profile closing came when Andiamo Trattoria shut its doors abruptly in July among complaints over lack of nearby parking from some downtown businesses clustered around Main Street and 11 Mile Road. Separately, the B Spot burger restaurant from Chef Michael Symon closed in August and Qdoba on Main Street closed in September.

Joe Vicari, owner of Andiamo operator Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, blamed his restaurant's demise partly on city parking lot closures. Others who have bemoaned lack of parking include Mike Dbouk, owner of nearby Boukie's Grill, and Dixie Moon Saloon owner Shepherd Spencer, who was part of a lawsuit challenging the city center development.

"They're hoping and expecting better business turnaround when this project is done," Ahmad said of other businesses in the area. "I hope the mayor (Michael Fournier) can take care of his residents."

Fournier and other officials have previously said lack of parking is a temporary wound that will heal as new construction brings in much-needed daily commerce. The city also launched a branding effort dubbed Rethink Royal Oak to engage the public around issues of parking and safety surrounding the incoming city center development.

The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority communicates regularly with businesses about concerns and hosts monthly stakeholder meetings, downtown manager Sean Kammer said Monday.

"There is continued interest to open and start a business and run a business in downtown Royal Oak," he said, and pointed to nearby parking options downtown.

Recent restaurant closures don't necessarily mean storefronts will stay empty: The former Blackfinn Ameripub, which closed unexpectedly a year ago, is expected to become a Bar Louie. Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters opened in August in the spot La Dulce left. City Ramen is targeting a December opening, according to its Facebook page, in what used to be a boutique. In another recent maneuver, Cantina Diablo's and Red Fox English Pub across Main Street from Andiamo are being remade into a Diamonds Steak and Seafood and a small-plates bar called Pinky's under a new operator.

Owners of a Chicago burger bar have purchased the closed Andiamo's liquor license, the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak reported. Matthew and Josef Boumaroun expect to seek approval Monday from the City Commission for their plans to use the license for a new restaurant. They want to open at 505 S. Main St., a couple blocks south of Andiamo's former location, according to a Royal Oak police report cited by the newspaper.


Beirut Palace sold after 21 years in Royal Oak

The owner of Beirut Palace has sold the restaurant after 21 years in downtown Royal Oak, claiming construction and parking disruptions caused a recent sharp decline in business this year.

Hussein Ahmad sold all of the assets of the business at 205 S. Main St., minus the name, on Oct. 12 and is planning to open elsewhere in metro Detroit, he told Crain's. He declined to disclose the sale price &mdash "less than what it cost me to put it here" &mdash or the buyers. But he said the new owners are "Middle Eastern" and plan to stay open with similar offerings.

Ahmad also transferred his lease, he said. His Beirut Palace also has locations in Sterling Heights and Warren.

A new name and sign will be unveiled within the next two weeks, after Ahmad helps the new owners transition. The new name is also not known. In the meantime, the business will continue operating as Beirut Palace. Its five employees will stay on under new ownership.

The restaurant joins several other Royal Oak businesses that have closed downtown in recent months. Like Ahmad, some have cited parking pains since construction started just east of Main Street on the Royal Oak City Center development in May. It had left around 230 parking spaces offline as of July.

Beirut Palace's Royal Oak sales had fallen around 25-30 percent as of June, edging down to a 50 percent drop later in the summer, Ahmad said. He declined to provide specific figures.

When the two parking lots behind the restaurant where the city center project is taking shape closed, it "made it harder for customers to find parking," he told Crain's. "Plus, the carry-out companies, GrubHub, DoorDash (Food Delivery) and all that, they come in and they don't find parking places and they get ticketed and all that, so it made it hard for us."

Ahmad declined to elaborate on where a new location could take shape. It could take up to a year before it opens, he said.

Ahmad expects his restaurant's new owners will expand offerings, possibly serving Middle Eastern breakfast.

"Hopefully they're gonna survive . I wish them the best of luck," he said. "I hope they can do a lot better than what I did here."

Another high-profile closing came when Andiamo Trattoria shut its doors abruptly in July among complaints over lack of nearby parking from some downtown businesses clustered around Main Street and 11 Mile Road. Separately, the B Spot burger restaurant from Chef Michael Symon closed in August and Qdoba on Main Street closed in September.

Joe Vicari, owner of Andiamo operator Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, blamed his restaurant's demise partly on city parking lot closures. Others who have bemoaned lack of parking include Mike Dbouk, owner of nearby Boukie's Grill, and Dixie Moon Saloon owner Shepherd Spencer, who was part of a lawsuit challenging the city center development.

"They're hoping and expecting better business turnaround when this project is done," Ahmad said of other businesses in the area. "I hope the mayor (Michael Fournier) can take care of his residents."

Fournier and other officials have previously said lack of parking is a temporary wound that will heal as new construction brings in much-needed daily commerce. The city also launched a branding effort dubbed Rethink Royal Oak to engage the public around issues of parking and safety surrounding the incoming city center development.

The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority communicates regularly with businesses about concerns and hosts monthly stakeholder meetings, downtown manager Sean Kammer said Monday.

"There is continued interest to open and start a business and run a business in downtown Royal Oak," he said, and pointed to nearby parking options downtown.

Recent restaurant closures don't necessarily mean storefronts will stay empty: The former Blackfinn Ameripub, which closed unexpectedly a year ago, is expected to become a Bar Louie. Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters opened in August in the spot La Dulce left. City Ramen is targeting a December opening, according to its Facebook page, in what used to be a boutique. In another recent maneuver, Cantina Diablo's and Red Fox English Pub across Main Street from Andiamo are being remade into a Diamonds Steak and Seafood and a small-plates bar called Pinky's under a new operator.

Owners of a Chicago burger bar have purchased the closed Andiamo's liquor license, the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak reported. Matthew and Josef Boumaroun expect to seek approval Monday from the City Commission for their plans to use the license for a new restaurant. They want to open at 505 S. Main St., a couple blocks south of Andiamo's former location, according to a Royal Oak police report cited by the newspaper.


Beirut Palace sold after 21 years in Royal Oak

The owner of Beirut Palace has sold the restaurant after 21 years in downtown Royal Oak, claiming construction and parking disruptions caused a recent sharp decline in business this year.

Hussein Ahmad sold all of the assets of the business at 205 S. Main St., minus the name, on Oct. 12 and is planning to open elsewhere in metro Detroit, he told Crain's. He declined to disclose the sale price &mdash "less than what it cost me to put it here" &mdash or the buyers. But he said the new owners are "Middle Eastern" and plan to stay open with similar offerings.

Ahmad also transferred his lease, he said. His Beirut Palace also has locations in Sterling Heights and Warren.

A new name and sign will be unveiled within the next two weeks, after Ahmad helps the new owners transition. The new name is also not known. In the meantime, the business will continue operating as Beirut Palace. Its five employees will stay on under new ownership.

The restaurant joins several other Royal Oak businesses that have closed downtown in recent months. Like Ahmad, some have cited parking pains since construction started just east of Main Street on the Royal Oak City Center development in May. It had left around 230 parking spaces offline as of July.

Beirut Palace's Royal Oak sales had fallen around 25-30 percent as of June, edging down to a 50 percent drop later in the summer, Ahmad said. He declined to provide specific figures.

When the two parking lots behind the restaurant where the city center project is taking shape closed, it "made it harder for customers to find parking," he told Crain's. "Plus, the carry-out companies, GrubHub, DoorDash (Food Delivery) and all that, they come in and they don't find parking places and they get ticketed and all that, so it made it hard for us."

Ahmad declined to elaborate on where a new location could take shape. It could take up to a year before it opens, he said.

Ahmad expects his restaurant's new owners will expand offerings, possibly serving Middle Eastern breakfast.

"Hopefully they're gonna survive . I wish them the best of luck," he said. "I hope they can do a lot better than what I did here."

Another high-profile closing came when Andiamo Trattoria shut its doors abruptly in July among complaints over lack of nearby parking from some downtown businesses clustered around Main Street and 11 Mile Road. Separately, the B Spot burger restaurant from Chef Michael Symon closed in August and Qdoba on Main Street closed in September.

Joe Vicari, owner of Andiamo operator Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, blamed his restaurant's demise partly on city parking lot closures. Others who have bemoaned lack of parking include Mike Dbouk, owner of nearby Boukie's Grill, and Dixie Moon Saloon owner Shepherd Spencer, who was part of a lawsuit challenging the city center development.

"They're hoping and expecting better business turnaround when this project is done," Ahmad said of other businesses in the area. "I hope the mayor (Michael Fournier) can take care of his residents."

Fournier and other officials have previously said lack of parking is a temporary wound that will heal as new construction brings in much-needed daily commerce. The city also launched a branding effort dubbed Rethink Royal Oak to engage the public around issues of parking and safety surrounding the incoming city center development.

The Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority communicates regularly with businesses about concerns and hosts monthly stakeholder meetings, downtown manager Sean Kammer said Monday.

"There is continued interest to open and start a business and run a business in downtown Royal Oak," he said, and pointed to nearby parking options downtown.

Recent restaurant closures don't necessarily mean storefronts will stay empty: The former Blackfinn Ameripub, which closed unexpectedly a year ago, is expected to become a Bar Louie. Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters opened in August in the spot La Dulce left. City Ramen is targeting a December opening, according to its Facebook page, in what used to be a boutique. In another recent maneuver, Cantina Diablo's and Red Fox English Pub across Main Street from Andiamo are being remade into a Diamonds Steak and Seafood and a small-plates bar called Pinky's under a new operator.

Owners of a Chicago burger bar have purchased the closed Andiamo's liquor license, the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak reported. Matthew and Josef Boumaroun expect to seek approval Monday from the City Commission for their plans to use the license for a new restaurant. They want to open at 505 S. Main St., a couple blocks south of Andiamo's former location, according to a Royal Oak police report cited by the newspaper.