by CYNTHIA KMETT
Can we ever have too many restaurants on Big Beaver?
Darden Restaurants, which already has The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood and Bahama Breeze on Big Beaver, has plans for two new eateries in the Troy City Centre at Big Beaver and Crooks.
The site plan for these two restaurants made an appearance on the Troy Planning Commission agenda’s last meeting after Unicorp presented its plans to renovate the 888 office building complex there. Darden wants to bring us a Seasons 52 restaurant, and a Yard House, more of a casual, tap house eatery with a beer-centric atmosphere. You will have to venture north on Rochester Road if Olive Garden is among your Darden favorites.
Season 52 is described as an American fresh grill and wine bar that will change its menu with the seasons, and have daily offerings. It will have private dining rooms and a patio. Darden’s representative, James Powell, said it was “a contemporary design inside and has lots of wood.” Think of Yard House as an American sports bar, with lots of beer and excellent food, they promise.
The two newest restaurants will be outbuildings on the 888 W. Big Beaver site, and along Crooks Road. They will stand side by side with an outdoor area between them. Their placement location in the Troy City Centre was approved in a concept site plan in February of this year. The two eateries will have completely different facades, almost.
If you follow Troy Planning Commission at all, you know they do not like to see a lot of EIFs building material, because of its reputation for needing upkeep. So that was a concern.
Planning Commission John Tagle thought the Season 52 colors – think peach and sand – would be great in Florida, not so much on Big Beaver. He also pointed out that buildings on this site are to be finished on all four sides with architectural details. The traffic into the complex from Crooks will drive past the back of both buildings. The Yard House will be shades of light and dark gray in a more sleek design.
What probably sent the two eateries back for more planning is what Planning Commissioner Tom Krent observed. He said the back of the buildings looked like giant billboards, empty billboards. He and Commissioner Don Edmunds both suggested art might be an answer for them.
Planners are always hoping for more landscape art.
As to why Darden’s site plans didn’t include details of the streetscape and benches on the mile roads, the planners were reminded that this is the domain of the developer as approved in the February concept plan. Of course, there were a few concerns about the lighting plan, and dumpster screening, but those are usually easy to work out. One other problem for Season 52 is that its main entrance is supposed to face Crooks, not Big Beaver.
Don’t worry, the site plan was postponed, but they’ll be back with everything lined up by the first of the year.