Cameron Mitchell and Local Partners to Reopen Big Rock Chophouse in Birmingham

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants today announced it will reopen the Big Rock Italian Chophouse at 245 S. Eton St. in Birmingham, set in the former Grand Trunk Western Railroad Depot, in the summer of 2024.
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Restaurant rendering
The Big Rock Italian Chophouse will open its doors in Birmingham during the summer of 2024. // Rendering courtesy of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants today announced it will reopen the Big Rock Italian Chophouse at 245 S. Eton St. in Birmingham, set in the former Grand Trunk Western Railroad Depot, in the summer of 2024.

The project is a joint venture with Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and a number of local investor partners, including Tom Celani, founder and owner of Luna Entertainment in Novi, and Dario Bergamo, president and CEO of Globale Group, a sales and marketing group representing manufacturers in Warren, and a longtime automotive executive.

The $10 million investment in Big Rock Italian Chophouse will transform the landmark building into a signature restaurant to gather with family, friends, and business associates for all occasions.

The 11,000-square-foot fine-dining Italian chophouse will feature a curated menu of best-in-class prime steaks and chops, and a selection of handmade pastas, rich sauces, and a world-class wine list. Big Rock Italian Chophouse will also offer an extensive bourbon collection and a signature handcrafted cocktail menu.

“We’re thrilled to introduce Big Rock Italian Chophouse to Birmingham. Over the next year, our team will work to update and reintroduce this spectacular property,” says Cameron Mitchell, founder and CEO of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. “We consider southeast Michigan a second home market and are eagerly looking forward to the opening and success of another new concept in Birmingham.”

Throughout its 30-year history, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants has operated several restaurants in Michigan, including Cameron’s Steakhouse in Birmingham (now Mare Mediterranean) and Mitchell’s Fish Market in Livonia, Lansing, Rochester Hills, and Birmingham (the latter location is now Sidecar Slider Bar), which were sold to Ruth’s Hospitality in 2008.

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ sister-company, the Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern, currently operates four locations in Bloomfield Hills, Northville, Park Place, and Bingham Farms. Most notably, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants introduced the first Ocean Prime in Troy 15 years ago, and has since opened 17 more across the country from New York to Beverly Hills, with the newest location opening June 21, 2023, in Las Vegas.

Big Rock Italian Chophouse will be designed by Chicago-based design firm, Knauer Inc. The property will seat approximately 375 guests, including more than 100 outdoor seats and will have three unique bars and multiple private dining rooms.

It will feature a private cigar club and terrace with an intimate setting for members to enjoy exclusive, specialty cigar offerings. Each space will invite a unique experience by mixing contemporary details into a classic setting to give a timeless feel.

Rich leather and wood details contrasted by dramatic overhead canopies will create a warm and comfortable ambiance throughout the establishment.

“As a Detroit native, it is exciting to partner with an organization like Cameron Mitchell Restaurants to create Big Rock Italian Chophouse,” says Celani. “From dining and drinking to enjoying a cigar with friends after a long day, this will be a premier destination for many years to come.”

Big Rock Italian Chophouse will include a private membership club experience featuring a collection of amenities unique to Birmingham. In addition to a personal concierge, guaranteed reservations at Big Rock Italian Chophouse, and preferred reservations at any Cameron Mitchell Restaurant nationwide (including Ocean Prime in Troy), members will have access to an exclusive lounge and separate cigar lounge with an intimate setting and access to luxury amenities and special events not available to the public.

“Our goal is to create a comfortable space that will bring people together, not just for a special occasion, but to enjoy each other’s company over a glass of wine, a great meal, or a cigar,” says Bergamo. “Tom and I have a deep-rooted understanding of the metro Detroit market, and we are excited to see the realization of our and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants’ vision.”

After operating as a train station, in 1984 the building was converted to Norman’s Eton Street Station by Norman and Bonnie LePage. Following a successful run, which included new offerings and a different name to Big Rock Chophouse, the couple closed the restaurant in December 2021.

Founded by Cameron Mitchell in 1993, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants operates 45 restaurants company-wide under 20 different concepts, with 23 restaurants located in Columbus, Ohio.

In addition, the national Ocean Prime concept has 17 locations in 14 states plus the District of Columbia, and in summer 2023, will open its 18th location and first one in Las Vegas on June 21, 2023.

The Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern, a sister company of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, currently operates 22 locations in five states. For more information, visit www.cameronmitchell.com.

Luna Entertainment was founded by Celani in 2001 to oversee his existing gaming projects and continue to grow his presence in the gaming industry. Since that time, Luna expanded its reach in the gaming industry to include developing, financing, and owning casinos in Colorado, Nevada, California, and Oklahoma.

Luna also is engaged in the retail, real estate, and venture capital sectors, and its businesses include Harley-Davidson dealerships, a Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership, and Celani Family Vineyards in Napa Valley. For more information, visit https://lunaent.com/.

Big Rock Italian Chophouse will open in summer 2024. Guests interested in a membership can visit: https://cameronmitchell.com/big-rock-italian-chophouse.