La Dulce, a Tapas and Churros Restaurant, to Open in Downtown Royal Oak


La Dulce, a new restaurant in downtown Royal Oak that will feature small plates and Spanish-style doughnuts, is set to open in June.

“This kind of restaurant is more informal and let’s you try several different plates, and I think that’s a little bit more where people feel comfortable,” says Luis Negrete, co-owner of La Dulce with his brother, Juan Carlos Negrete.

The siblings, who have lived and traveled in Europe, plan to offer an authentic European dining experience with a variety of churros and hand-crafted cocktails.

“I hope to introduce people to this type of food and have them understand this concept of sharing these small plates, having fun and slow food, taking your time to eat your meal, and having a few drinks,” Negrete says.

The 3,000-square-foot space, at 115 S. Main St., will operate like a coffee house and bistro during breakfast and lunch hours, and will serve tapas and drinks at night. The price for three tapas and a drink will range from $15 to $35, Negrete says.

Menu options include sweet and savory churros with an option of the classic chocolate dipping sauce as well as beer batter cheese or tomato garlic dipping sauces; a Jamón Serrano tapa, a small plate consisting of Spanish tomato bread and jamón serrano; and a mole old fashioned, a classic old fashioned infused with mole — a dry rub commonly used in Latin American cuisine — and dried chilies.

The brothers spent about $1 million renovating a former shoe store, adding a full kitchen, and importing furniture and fixtures from Europe, to transform the space into a 60-seat restaurant.

The location “kind of melds in between Birmingham, Ferndale, Troy, Madison Heights, (and) it perfectly serves a good amount of communities,” Negrete says. “It’s a big town, but it lacks variety, so it’s a good opportunity.”