The former Big Boy in Bloomfield Township has a new owner that wants to bring a taste of the southwest to Telegraph Road.
The owners of Riverstone Hospitality, LLC, James Belinson and Chef Zackary Sklar, petitioned the township for special zoning variances and a Class C liquour license for a new restaurant earlier this year, and are expected to discuss the project tonight before the Bloomfield Township Planning Commission. The public hearing on the project is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Township Hall.
The Mex, as it is described in township documents, will be about 6,300 square feet on a main floor, new mezzanine and two places for seasonal outdoor seating. The exterior will consist of a southwester color scheme and a newly-designed roof. The landmark Big Boy sign, which is now just a steel shell, will also be removed.
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The previous owner surprised many residents and customers alike when it closed in April without much warning. In May, we asked what belonged at the location as part of our Visions for Vacancies series.
Readers suggested other chains such as Outback Steakhouse, IHOP or local ones such as Crispellis.
William Van Horn, the representative for the Van Horn Real Estate, which owns the property, said the restaurant closed when the longtime operator decided to retire. Constructed in 1978, the 51,000-square-foot building has more than 240 feet of frontage on northbound Telegraph and is seen by roughly 70,000 motorists a day. He said he always envisioned it to be a restaurant space.
According to the proposed floor plan, the main restaurant, bar, dining areas and outdoor seating locatins provide for a total 196 seats. Commissioners and the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees, would need to grant a zoning variance to extend business hours beyond 9 p.m. and the liquor license before the project begins.