An old VFW hall in downtown Ferndale is on its way to becoming home to a catering biz, event space and storefront and cafe centered around Michigan made goods, from to-go growlers of craft beer to food and drink from dozens of cities around the state.
M-Brew, the brainchild of Dean Bach, owner of Ferndale icon Dino’s Lounge, will likely open in early July inside the renovated hall that is part bungalow-style house with a building added to the back.
It’s located at 177 Vester Street, next door to nightlife designation and award-winning spirit maker Valentine Distilling. Valentine was started by a like-minded entrepreneur who left New York for a return to Michigan with the dream of building a craft business that could lift up the local economy.
Bach bought the VFW hall two years ago and in that time has come up with a multifaceted business plan that he hopes will fill the Michigan-influenced renovated house.
The building behind the house is a 2,000-square-foot kitchen and home base to Bach’s Dino’s Catering and Mindful Catering. The latter offers healthy foods to school lunch programs.
The basement of the house will be known simply as The Basement, Bach says, and it’s where parties and special events can be held. Dart boards, paneling and all-around basement decor that came with the house will be the party backdrop.
The house is where much of the woodwork and craftsmanship is on display. It will be a “little Michigan market,” Bach says. Michigan-made coffee will be brewed and 30 Michigan craft beers will be on draught for takeaway in growlers. There will also be locally- and Michigan-made products — salsa, chips, pickles, etc. — for sale, and cold and hot prepared foods will be made in the kitchen or purchased from Michigan entrepreneurs for takeaway or eat-in.
The house was gutted and replaced with pine walls and ceilings, wood floors, a new fireplace and repurposed Douglas fir countertops and tabletops, says Bach.
“The concept is geared around craft beer carryout,” Bach says.
However, a large wraparound porch that’s been added to the front of the house and gives off a Mackinac Island vibe is the “perfect place to stay and enjoy a pint or a cup of coffee.”
Bach expects opening day to come around the Fourth of July. A Ferndale Downtown Development Authority event is planned for June 19.
Bach’s head is churning with ideas and things to come at M-Brew, even before opening day. A big one, he says, is former Red Wing Darren McCarty’s private-label root beer that will be released at an event.
“This is such an exciting time,” Bach says. “It’s tiring and so much work, but it’s so exciting for me and and my wife.”
Source: Dean Bach, owner, Dino’s Lounge and M-Brew
Writer: Kim North Shine