The restaurant business is a very, very tough business. There have been a series of high-profile openings, and some successes in Metro Detroit’s nascent fine dining scene, but it’s still challenging to run a restaurant.
News comes from an email that Ferndale’s Torino, the Detroit Free Press’s restaurant of the year in 2014, Hour Detroit’s restaurant of the year in 2015 as well as Eater National’s Hot 38 (the only Detroit area entry) is suddenly closing after service on Saturday. Torino has been a hot ticket, with the creations by Chef Garrett Lipar driving the desire for one of the more sought-after reservations in town. No reservations, by the way, are available for Saturday night’s final service.
Although having a very high rating of 4.8 on Open Table and 4.5 stars on Yelp, as well as numerous fans and press accolades, it turns out it was the the health inspector that precipitated their closing. It is (or, soon to be was) the feather in Ferndale’s very interesting dining scene cap, which has continued to do well even though so much of the buzz around dining action is focusing on the city of Detroit as of late.
The kitchen of Torino, opened in 2013 and located just a short distance west of Woodward on Nine Mile, was notoriously small as the place was a former coffeeshop. It measured about the size of a bedroom – 9 feet by 12.
Here’s what they shared on social media:[quote_box_center]
This week we were visited by the Health Department and together we have determined that it is no longer possible to continue serving a menu of our caliber due to the current size of our facility. The overwhelming response to our concept and team has been beyond anything we could have imagined and we sincerely apologize to anyone who has been waiting to dine with us or unable to get a reservation. We look forward to the future and continuing to share our passion for food and drink with all of you.
We want to thank everyone for all of the encouragement and support during the last two years. It has been a wonderful journey with our amazing team and each of our loyal guests. We have contributed to a reinvention of the dining experience in this region, and we know the best is yet to come![/quote_box_center]
Whatever Garrett Lipar, owner Noah Dorfman and beverage manager Ian Redmond decide to do next, it’s a sure thing that it’ll be hotly anticipated.