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Inside Look at the Como’s Renovation

Inside Look at the Como’s Renovation

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 20, 2018)

Ferndale, MI – When Peas & Carrots Hospitality purchased Como’s Restaurant at the corner of 9 Mile and Woodward Avenue in Downtown Ferndale, they knew some work had to be done.

Como’s had been a Ferndale staple for over 50 years before poor health inspections and repeated closures brought the family-run business to an end.  Peas & Carrots purchased the 8,000 square foot building and the business for over $3 million, and has since been in the process of gutting it and starting fresh.

In June 2018 they announced that Como’s would be keeping the name, and the neon sign that beckons hungry patrons to the “old school New York style Italian eatery.”  Project Manager Ramza Saruna has been overseeing the renovation work and tending to the details that will make the new Como’s unique.

“You can see we completely gutted it,” Saruna said while giving Oakland County Times a tour of the work in progress. “New walls, new bars, new ceilings, all new kitchen.”

Saruna said the little details are going to give patrons plenty to look at while they visit. The old window art has been saved and will be repurposed into an art piece, and the walls and floors will have artistic details.  The patio already has a new awning around the outside edge, and the sturdy tall tables will be redone with new tops.  As the layers of the interior have been pulled away pieces of Como’s past have been exposed, including old wallpaper, artistic details on the walls, and a section of terracotta floor that may end up as a feature of the new design.

“Zack has a vision here, but details change as he finds new things that inspire him,” Saruna said.  “So we don’t know what the final restaurant will look like.  Zack is very creative, and he keeps coming up with new ideas.”

The awning and facade has come down, and windows have temporarily been replaced with plywood. Vintage-looking brick will cover the old exterior which is currently exposed.  “We want you to feel like you’re in Brooklyn or the Bronx,” she said.  “It will have this good, old neighborhood feel.”

The food will match that vibe.  “You will still be able to sit on the patio and have a slice of pizza,” Saruna said.  Owner and Chef Zach Sklar has been working on deep dish pizza recipes that Saruna said will combine traditional sourdough with gourmet toppings for pizza that will be unique and memorable.  There will be other Italian dishes as well. And, of course, drinks.

One section of Como’s will serve as a speakeasy featuring Traverse City Whiskey.  “This will have it’s own unique space.  People can come in through Como’s and it will have it’s own entrance, and it’s own feel.”

Some on social media have been critical of the decision to keep the Como’s name, but Saruna said the name is an asset.  “Como’s was an icon in the community for over 50 years. It has this history to it, and all these memories for people. I think, for the most part, people want to see what we do with it. The community has been so welcoming. They want us to succeed,” Saruna said.

She said that in 2014 Sklar did something similar by purchasing a longtime staple of the community – Beau Jack’s in Bloomfield Township –  and turning it into Beau’s.  “Even now people come in and talk about the good ole days of Beau Jacks.  Keeping a similar name helps keep the tradition alive.”

Peas & Carrots also owns several restaurants including MEX in Bloomfield Township and Social Kitchen in Birmingham. Their plan is move their corporate offices to the renovated space upstairs in Como’s.

“We love Ferndale, and look forward to being here,” she said.  Como’s is expected to open in Spring 2019.


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