Check out a few of the articles so far...
Thanks to Izzi Bendall, Carol Thompson, Maryanne MacLeod and Wendy Ziola for the coverage!
Check out a few of the articles so far...
Thanks to Izzi Bendall, Carol Thompson, Maryanne MacLeod and Wendy Ziola for the coverage!
The menu is here for our Sept. 22 Chateau de Leelanau Winemaker Dinner with cuisine by Chef Chris Franz of The Rattlesnake Club! Limited spaces are still available, so give us a ring with payment to reserve your spot: (586) 843-3690.
Winemaker Matt Gregory will be here to talk about the wines and his winery, answer questions and chat with guests, and Chef Chris will be here to prepare the food and talk about the ingredients and pairings. It'll be a fantastic night out!
Smokey Spiced Shrimp
Zucchini and Sweet Corn Salad, Cilantro Vinaigrette
Riesling Harvest Select
Michigan Peach Salad
Arugula, Fresh Peaches, Toasted Almonds, Peach Shrub Splash
Cabernet Franc Rosé
Grilled Flatbread Pizza
Pulled Chicken, Red Grapes, Goat Cheese and Rosemary
Solem Farm Red
Roasted Pork Loin
Dr. Pepper Glaze, Michigan Apple & Butternut Gratin
Crispy Truffled Fries, Blue Crumbles
Warmed Creamy Brie
Sweet Puff Pastry Crisp, Fig & Citrus Jam
The menu is here for our sold out Wok & Wine 7 on Monday, Sept. 15! You can still wait list for this event by calling (586) 843-3690; there's no cost to wait list, and you'll be the first to find out if spaces become available. Wine pairings TBD.
First: Beef Wontons
Second: Cucumber Salad
Third: Broccoli and Beef
Fourth: Crispy Chicken
Fifth: Yellow Curry Chicken
Sixth: Buoy Loy (Floating Lotus Dessert)
Reporters and bloggers: Looking for a press kit on our pending second location in Royal Oak? Click here to download a PDF version: [Download Mbtbtrpressfactsforweb82714]
Thank you for your interest!
Posted at 10:03 AM | Permalink
We are thrilled to announce that the Royal Oak Zoning Board of Appeals, upon reconsideration of our parking variance request, voted 7-1 at their Aug. 14 meeting to approve the variance, paving the way for work to proceed on our second location!
We've been working on the state licensing and municipal approvals for this space since late last year, but now the physical work can finally begin!
The second tasting room will be located at 29932 Woodward Ave., south of Webster, in the Oak Tree Shoppes plaza. There, we will be teamed up with our six current partner wineries (Chateau Aeronautique, Chateau de Leelanau, Domaine Berrien Cellars, Gill's Pier, Peninsula Cellars and Sandhill Crane Vineyards), plus two additional partner wineries (2 Lads, Verterra Winery).
At this point, we are targeting Nov. 1 for a "soft opening," with an official grand opening celebration to follow.
We'd like to thank the ZBA for their reconsideration and support of this matter, as well as the Royal Oak City Commission and Planning Commission, both of which were enthusiastic about our proposal when they approved us earlier this year.
We'd also like to thank all of the supporters who penned letters on our behalf and sent general good wishes our way. We couldn't have done it without you! Some of the letters made us tear up as they detailed the great experiences guests have had at our Shelby Township tasting room. We can't wait to offer those experiences in Oakland County, too!
While we'd love to be able to throw open our doors as soon as possible, there's still quite a bit of work to be done. The buildout on the space begins the week of Aug. 18, and we'll keep you updated on the progress as it goes along!
In the meantime, you can enter to win prizes with our #mbtbonwoodward Photo Contest via Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter. Click here for details!
Thank you again for your support, and we hope to see you in Royal Oak soon!
Michigan salad: Local greens topped with roasted beets, white beans, cucumber, sprouts and blueberry balsamic vinaigrette
Heirloom tomato and cucumber gazpacho, garnished with cashew sour cream
Ratatouille: eggplant, summer, squash, zucchini, onion, tomato, basil, parsley
Potato salad with green beans, shallots and caramelized onion, served over a bed of arugula
Summer squash pastry: Whole-wheat phyllo filled with roasted zucchini and squash, sweet corn, tomato and green beans, garnished with roasted garlic-basil aioli
Michigan peach parfait, layered with fresh local berries
We've update the info for Group Tasting and Private Tasting events at Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room!
Take a peek at the info and feel free to contact us with questions or to book your event. If you'd like to give us a ring or stop by in person to chat about options, we're here 12-9 p.m. Wed/Thurs, 12-10 p.m. Fri/Sat and 12-6 p.m. Sun. You can also email us any time at email@example.com. We look forward to hosting your group!
Click on image to view larger.
If you've chatted with us at our Shelby Township store or driven past 29932 Woodward and seen our "coming soon" signs, you might be wondering what the deal is on our pending Royal Oak location.
Believe us, we're super excited and eager to get this location up and running. (We've been working on the licensing on this site for nearly a year, and those spiffy coming soon signs have been up since December!)
Here's an update on what's going on …
I don't want to read a big, long dissertation. Just give me the Cliff's Notes version.
OK, here it is: We already have approval from the state of Michigan, unanimous approval from the Royal Oak City Commission and unanimous approval from the Royal Oak Planning Commission.
There's one final hurdle we need to clear, and that's obtaining a parking variance from the Royal Oak Zoning Board of Appeals. If we do not receive this variance, we cannot open in this location.
If you're a Royal Oak resident in support of our plan, we humbly ask for your support at the Aug. 14 ZBA meeting, where the vote on the variance is scheduled to take place. (Scroll down for more details on the meeting.)
Wait, I thought you already went to the ZBA in July?
Yes, we did. Unfortunately, at that time, four members were absent and the action taken — 3-2 in our favor — was classified as a denial. Unbeknownst to us until after the vote occurred, such variances require a majority of total ZBA members, not a majority of present members (meaning we needed five votes for approval).
There was some confusion that occurred in the wake of this vote and after the meeting, and we were waiting on a ruling from the city attorney on what the outcome was.
We are deeply appreciative of the fact that the ZBA has agreed to look at this issue again at their Aug. 14 meeting.
Why is a parking variance needed for this location?
Because we are a wine tasting room and Royal Oak does not have a specific classification for an establishment with our format, the city has classified us as a bar (which we contend we're not).
Parking requirements for bars are calculated based on square footage, not the number of seats. Therefore, even though we're only asking for 37 seats, the city is calculating the parking needs based on the idea that we could fit 130+ people into the building.
We need the ZBA to essentially concur that we don't need as many parking spaces as the city ordinance states and waive that requirement.
We have no intention of handling crowds at such an astronomical capacity in this space. We set our seating at 37 for a reason. We want to maintain a sedate, quiet, comfortable atmosphere.
If we were classified as retail, we would actually need fewer spaces than the business that was there before us.
What's the parking like in that area?
We specifically chose this location because of the huge parking lot attached.
There are 55 spaces in the rear of the building that belong to the entire shopping center, Oak Tree Shops. (There also are many spots along Woodward and a handful along the west end of Webster that we are not allowed to count in our parking calculations.)
Our guests won't have to search for parking, pay for parking or park far away, and that was important to us.
We have the support of our neighboring businesses in Oak Tree, and they are primarily weekday, daytime businesses. If you have visited us in Shelby Township, you know that we are typically quieter during the day, with people just popping in and out to buy bottles, and busier in the evening, particularly 7-9 on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 7-10 on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you venture out to the Oak Tree shopping center to look at the lot, it is virtually deserted in the evenings, and we have a steadily growing file of photos from various days and times to demonstrate this.
The parking lot is well separated from the neighborhood to the east. There's a street (Hawkins), plus a stone wall with landscaping.
We are confident that our business will not cause any stress or inconvenience to our fellow businesses, nor to the residents living nearby. We certainly hope and anticipate that all of our neighbors in the Woodward and Webster area will find us to be an asset to their community.
At the June 10 Planning Commission meeting, Commissioner Newman said: "I've visited this site to check out the parking deficit and … during the hours after 5 p.m., that lot is completely empty. There were maybe two or three cars when I went up there each time. So I don't think there will be a parking problem during those hours. I think it's a great idea for this location."
Commissioner Vaara, who said she's resided nearby for 17 years, concurred: "I think this is a great idea. I live in this neighborhood. There's plenty of parking."
(1) The first is on whether to rescind the action taken July 10, since the 3-2 vote technically constituted a denial.
(2) If that motion passes, there will be discussion on, and a separate new vote on, whether to grant the parking variance.
The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 14, in commission chambers on the third floor of City Hall, located at 211 S. Williams in Royal Oak. Public comment on all agenda items is permitted. Parking at the Farmers Market might be the best option.
If you are a Royal Oak resident and/or a fan of Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room, we would greatly appreciate your support at this meeting. If you're unable to attend but would like to write a letter of support, you are welcome to forward it to Michigan By The Bottle Tasting Room, 45645 Hayes, Shelby Township, MI 48315, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will include it in the packets we're preparing for ZBA members.
We kindly ask that anyone who speaks on our behalf be pleasant, professional and respectful. The ZBA members are citizens who have offered their time to make the decisions that are best for the city and surrounding area.
What's the bottom line?
We sincerely appreciate the ZBA giving us another opportunity to present our concept to them, and we are hopeful for a positive outcome.
We can't emphasize how excited we are to come to Royal Oak and help be part of the revitalization of this stretch of Woodward. According to our landlord, the space we plan to move into has been vacant for FIVE years.
As Commissioner Poulton said at the June 10 Planning Commission meeting: "This is going to add some life to (Woodward). Unless we look at some of these options, all we're going to have is all kinds of nail shops or wood shops, or we're going to continue to have those hotels existing along Woodward. We've got to look at new things such as this. … I think it's a good fit, and I fully support this."
Here are some of the other comments the commissioners made about our project:
City Manager Johnson (who visited our Shelby Township location "undercover"): "It's a lovely little store. Very nice, quiet. Very pleasant experience. Ms. Casey was an absolutely delightful host, even when she didn't know who I was and why I was there." (City Commission, 4/21/14)
Commissioner Douglas: "They have a very thoughtful approach to wine — a very educational approach. It's really all about promoting these Michigan wineries, and I love the fact that we're supporting Michigan businesses like this." (City Commission, 4/21/14)
Commissioner Poulton: "I think this is an excellent idea and will provide some life to the Woodward corridor. We're looking for new businesses and this is one I think would fit in nicely." (City Commission, 4/21/14)
Questions about our Royal Oak location and/or the Aug. 14 meeting?
Drop us an email at email@example.com. We're happy to provide more info!
Thank you in advance for your support!
Posted at 06:43 PM | Permalink
As of the morning of July 20, there were only a couple of spots left, so give us a ring by 6 p.m. July 20 if you'd like a spot! (586) 843-3690.
For full details on the event, click here.
Thank you to everyone who's expressed interest in how our Royal Oak store is coming along! For all of you who were looking for an update, here's the latest, as of July 11:
We were unanimously approved by the Royal Oak City Commission on April 21. The commissioners were very supportive and enthusiastic, as were the Planning Commission members, who approved our special land use and site plan unanimously on June 10.
Last night, on July 10, we appeared before the Zoning Board of Appeals as the final part of the government process prior to buildout beginning. We are seeking a parking variance that appears larger than it really is due to the way the city has classified us as a business — there's no true category we fit in as a tasting room.
However, we do not anticipate parking being an issue whatsoever, as there are spots along Woodward and a large adjacent parking lot that belongs to the entire shopping center. Our busiest periods are the exact opposite of our neighbors at the center, who have been supportive of our plan. A Planning Commission member noted at the June meeting that he went out to the site and noted that the parking lot was nearly empty in the evenings.
The ZBA ultimately voted 3-2 in favor of our variance; however, because four of the nine members were absent, there is confusion over whether we needed the majority of the present members or total members in order to move forward.
As of July 11, the city attorney was researching the language of the city's ordinances to determine whether the vote constituted an approval or whether we will have to reappear before the board for another vote. We hope to have more information by July 16.
We appreciate the ZBA listening to our presentation and hopefully we will have good news to share soon. We're anxious to get going, but all we can do at this point is sit tight. Thank you so much to everyone who has been so supportive of our efforts to bring MBTB to Oakland County!
We're teaming up with the Macomb Food Collaborative for this event. It's open to the public, and various Macomb-based food producers will be here with free samples. We'll have wine samples available under our regular pricing, but it'll be on a token system so you can stroll and munch at your leisure instead of being parked at a table. Hope to see you there!