Restaurateur George Lucaj, along with brothers Jerry and Louis Sanchez, are set to open Lucaj’s fifth restaurant in metro Detroit — appropriately named Fifth Tavern — within the next five weeks. The new eatery will occupy the site of the former Rio Bravo restaurant at 2262 S. Telegraph, north of Square Lake Road, in Bloomfield Township.
“Location is everything, and it’s a great location,” says Dan McNamara, the restaurant’s general manager, who previously served as director of food and beverage at Copper Canyon Brewery in Southfield. “You’re going to get people going to and from concerts, people coming off their boats in the summer, and people in Auburn Hills who just want to come down (for a meal).”
McNamara says the restaurant can best be described as upscale casual with a sports bar. “When you come in, you’re going to say, ‘Wow, this is a nice place.’ It’s going to look upscale, and have a bit of an upscale menu, but we’re going to be casual. We’re not going to do reservations or call-aheads. It’s going to be first come, first seated,” he says.
While management is still hammering out the menu, McNamara says guests can expect to see such entrees as steak, pasta, and fish as well as prime rib dinners on Sundays. The restaurant is still in the process of visiting local meat shops and lining up its purveyors — U.S. Foods in Wixom serving as the restaurant’s main vendor.
McNamara adds that, like Lucaj’s Grand Tavern locations in Farmington Hills and Rochester Hills, there will be an emphasis on Michigan craft beers. Lucaj also owns G. Georges, formerly George’s Honey Tree, in West Bloomfield Township and Village Palace in Orchard Lake.
Fifth Tavern — which will employ 70 to 90 people once open — is finishing up construction while it waits to secure the last of its permits, including its certificate of occupancy.
Hours are tentatively set at 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday to Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, with brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The kitchen will close one hour before the restaurant does.