Ford’s Garage is set to open its second Detroit area restaurant. The budding burger-and-craft-beer franchise, inspired by Henry Ford himself, has signed a lease for nearly 9,000 square feet of space at 44175 West 12 Mile Road at the Fountain Walk in Novi.
Construction is set to begin in September, with a projected opening in the first quarter of 2023.
Ford’s Garage first entered the Detroit market in 2017 with a restaurant in Dearborn and has since become the go-to-place for burgers and beers, with a side of automotive history. In fact, the restaurant has served over one million meals to date. Franchise partner Billy Downs, who owns and operates the Dearborn location, has committed to opening four more of the vintage garage- and prohibition-themed restaurants in the area, including the development in Novi.
Though leases have yet to be signed for the other three locations, site selection has begun, and Downs says he’s “eyeing key areas where there’s restaurant synergy.”
“With people ready to put the pandemic in the rearview mirror, they’re back out dining again and looking for entertainment. People enjoy great food and energy in a restaurant that is comfortable, unpretentious and unique to the casual dining space,” says Downs. “As it turns out, the Ford Motor Company’s rich history as one of America’s most important manufacturing companies also translates to a pretty cool dining experience. I’m excited to be bringing more of the Ford’s Garage experience to the Detroit area.”
Founded in 2012 near Henry Ford’s winter home in Fort Myers, Florida, Ford’s Garage is an official licensee of the Ford Motor Company, enabling them to use the company’s iconic blue-oval logo and other brand imagery.
Each restaurant is sculpted to look like a 1920s service station and is filled to the brim with Ford memorabilia, including vintage vehicles, fixtures, and gas pumps, as well as a Model T or Model A car suspended above the center bar. The restaurants are decidedly vintage, mixing prohibition-style elements like brick, richly colored woods, and a copper bar top that’s hammered by hand.
Aside from all the nostalgia, Ford’s Garage is a good old-fashioned burger and beer joint, too.
Burgers are the main draw, black angus beef (and a vegetarian option) coupled with all-natural aged cheeses, fresh toppings, and sauces on artisan buns branded with the Ford’s Garage logo. The restaurants also specialize in popular American comfort food options like homemade meatloaf, chicken wings and tenders, onion rings, and macaroni and cheese. Lighter fare such as fresh salads, grilled chicken, and various seafood options are also available.
The bars highlight over 100 types of beer including more than 30 drafts on tap, with an emphasis on local microbreweries. The restaurants also serve wine, cocktails and nonalcoholic options.
“Ford’s Garage has proven itself a turnkey operation that will be a popular dining out choice in any neighborhood,” says Ford’s Garage Vice President of Business Development & Franchise Relations Scott Estes. “We’re thankful for franchise partners like Billy, and look forward to further growing our loyal customer base in the Detroit area.”
The announced expansion is part of a broader growth initiative that expects to see Ford’s Garage open 8-10 restaurants nationwide by the end of next year. The company already has additional development deals in place for new restaurants in Florida, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky.
Today, there are 20 Ford’s Garage restaurants – all of which are owned and operated by franchisees – open and operating across Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.