Over the past 12 years, Kay Smulsky has followed the family from Detroit to West Bloomfield. She'll follow them again, as manager Mike Larco intends to open a new restaurant in Sylvan Lake, she said Saturday night, on the last night the restaurant was open.
"I go here all the time — after church," said Smulsky, of Northville, dining with friends. "I had my wedding shower at the Detroit location. It's a great place. I'm glad they're not moving far away this time."
Larco expected a busy dinner crowd full of regulars, but there were no special events planned to mark the closure of the Orchard Lake Road mainstay, which opened in 2000 after the closure of Larco's Inn in Detroit. He plans to bring as many of the 20-25 staff in number as possible, as well as the current menu, "with a twist."
The restaurant will be at 2440 Orchard Lake Road in Sylvan Lake.
At the site, a new multiuse complex with new trees and a clock tower, estimated at 24,000 square feet, is planned. An featuring a drive-thru area is expected as a tenant. Both the and Larco's will be demolished prior to construction, said Larco, whose family also owns Big Beaver Tavern of Troy.
"We had two years remaining on the lease and the landlord made us an offer," Larco explained. "We loved our time in West Bloomfield and we hope the customers follow us to Sylvan Lake. It'll be everything they knew to expect here."
For Betta Singer, Joanne Katz and Sharon Hevis, that means a new location for Tuesday and Friday happy hours — "the best" in town, said the three friends who also turned out Saturday night for drinks and goodbyes.
"It's a special place, the kind where everyone knows your name," Singer said. "It's so popular here, and that's great. I'm looking forward to the new place."