Berkley Common brings community feel to new restaurant

- It's all about community and connecting, and the new restaurant and bar in Berkley says it all in its name -- The Berkley Common.

"We use "common," meaning community, so that's kind of our theme," says co-owner Katie Kutscher. "Everything that we do, we want it to be part of the community. So, shared plates, street food that's often shared in theory. So, when you come in here and don't know what to eat you can pick five different things."

The menu features both burgers and small plates, including tacos made with Asian steamed buns. More than 30 taps will serve up drinks from both local and global brewers. The 5,000 square foot restuarant on 12 Mile Road, decorated in deep earthy tones, took months to renovate.

"When we took over place, it was packed and we knew we had to gut it. So, we held a garage sale in the fall," says co-owner Chris Gross. "We opened the place for a weekend, and, we didn't know what to expect, but everyone who loved the place came by and bought pieces they loved and shared stories with us. We met tons of people in the community and people who loved the old establishment."

People who loved the Berkley Front may notice a few of their favorite things still around.

"We were able to save the jukebox. Totally refurbished, but same CDs," says Gross. "People who were excited about it before can come back and have the same music. The lights over the bar we saved, and a couple other pieces."

Berkley Common is right in the heart of downtown Berkley, and the owners are happy to give back to the community.

"Having raised my kids in this area and gone through the Berkley school system, I knew I loved the people and the community. It's tight-knit. I've always believed that and now that we're opening a business here I see the way people are supporting us, and so, it's fun," Gross says.

"We don't take ourselves too seriously," Kutscher says. "We want you to have fun; we want you to have a great experience here and leave always wanting to come back."

Berkley Common's grand opening is the evening of Friday, August 18. 

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