On Tap: Ale Mary’s Craft Beer Bar Coming to Downtown Royal Oak


Construction drawings for Ale Mary’s Craft Beer Bar, which will be located next to Tom’s Oyster Bar on Main Street in downtown Royal Oak, will soon be submitted to the city for review. The restaurant’s manager, Justin Pries, says he expects to open this spring.

In the meantime, Ale Mary’s is already developing a local fan base. In addition to nearly 3,400 likes on Facebook, the bar is already running promotions. Founding members pay a one-time fee and, in return, receive benefits including lifetime discounts off their tabs on Sunday through Thursday, along with sneak previews of beers.

“I’m working with breweries on the west side of the state right now to have events in house,” Pries says. “We want to do beer dinners on a regular basis. He adds each beer server will be certified through the Cicerone Certification Program.

“(Our) chef has been working on items that are cooked in beer, so we’re running specials over at Tom’s (Oyster Bar) right now to get a little feedback,” Pries says, noting that the side-by-side businesses are owned by the same company. The Ale Mary’s space is currently an extra dining room at Tom’s at 318 S. Main St. 

He adds that once Ale Mary’s opens, patrons to Tom’s customers can likely expect a more wine-focused menu. “Tom’s will still have craft beers and Michigan beers and great stuff like that, but I think that with the amount of craft beer we’ll have on the other side, it won’t be as much of a focus over at Tom’s anymore,” he says.

And while Ale Mary’s will offer high-end bourbon, scotches, and whiskeys, in addition to beer, “that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get your martini if you want it.”