Week of 3.27.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

Erin Go Bra(gh)

Kathy Broock Ballard’s annual St. Patrick’s Day charity event is a play on words – the Gaelic for “Ireland forever.” But her girlfriends, 70 came this year, know that the new underwear they bring will be cherished by the women-in-need clients of Grace Centers of Hope and CARE House of Oakland County. The happy hour party at the Village Club is emerald accented (see photo gallery) and noted for Ballard’s generous hospitality. The venue is special to the hostess because ”...my grandmother was one of the founders of this club.” The news maker at the party was Cheryl Hall-Lindsay. She arrived with a foot cast to go with her arm cast. Both injuries were sustained during her fitness run through the neighborhood, but the foot cast was brand new. “This morning I was hit by a car...and the driver ran over my foot,” she explained. Keeping fit can be dangerous.
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This weeks social light photos…

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oakland confidential

April 2017

BIGOTRY 101: Who could have imagined that in 2017 anti-semitism would once again be rearing its ugly head. Sadly, some local Republicans confirm the toxic malady hit the state’s Republican convention in February, when party administrative vice-chair David Wolkinson of Birmingham ran for re-election to the party position. "There were a bunch of people who also wanted to be vice-chair who ...more»
business matters birmingham/bloomfield

Street food arrives

In a unique move, St. James Episcopal Church in Birmingham has partnered with Souri and Christophe Gaillard, permitting the Gaillards' to operate Khao San Birmingham, a Thai street food carry out restaurant which is run out of the church's kitchen. "This is an offshoot of my family business in Portland, Oregon," Souri said. "I love cooking, and I wanted to bring Laos and Thai street food to Birmingham." She said she heard that St. James church had a professional kitchen and professional license that were going unused, "and I have my catering license, so we worked out a deal. It's a really cool joint venture." Khao San brings the real flavors of southeastern Thailand and Laos, of which Souri is from, in a seasonal menu that offers family recipes and popular dishes, including many that are vegetarian or have gluten free options. "I looked through family cookbooks to see which recipes people in Birmingham would like," she said. "I have a changing seasonal menu. A lot of the recipes come from street vendors in Thailand. My cousin and his wife spent about six months in Thailand, taking classes and doing research. Then they adapted them to Portland's eating habits, and I adapted them to Birmingham." She said she tries to cook without MSG, and her soy sauce has no wheat gluten. She chooses the best ingredients by reading all the labels. "It's made me a better cook in the process. What I cook is what I feed my family." The restaurant is carryout only, open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, with a secret door buzzer on the Chester side of the building "because there's a preschool at the church," she said. "Local businesses call us the 'secret lunch place.' People are intrigued."...more>

Stretch it

Cheryl Maher has opened up The Pilates Method at 966 E. Maple Road in Birmingham, focusing on stretching, strength and control. Maher said The Pilates Method focuses on the "Classical"...more>

Helping young musicians

A seven-month long music drive to help disadvantaged students acquire musical instruments is being spearheaded by Birmingham's Axis Music Academy, 283 Hamilton Row. Participating with Seven Mile Music program, a student-run organization that provides free weekly music and art lessons to K-12 students in the city of Detroit, and requesting instruments. Axis Music is running a drive to acquire and provide these students with instruments. Donations can be done at Axis Music's Birmingham or West Bloomfield studios, or they will arrange for a pick up. Donny Klemmer of Axis Music said their instructors will fine tune the instruments before turning them over to Seven Mile Music. The program will run through the end of 2017....more>

Ski shop moves

Skier's Peak, a ski shop that had been located at 6565 Telegraph Road at Maple in Bloomfield Township, relocated to Keego Harbor, at 2867 Orchard Lake Road, a month ago. Hans Enri, hard goods buyer for the store, said, "The big thing was economics. The lease was just too high (in Bloomfield). We're just a small single store. We went someplace we could survive." Skier's Peak specializes in ski equipment and snowboarding equipment and winter fashion clothing, "everything to keep people warm," Enri said. In the new location, he said they will also be focusing on water sports, like standup paddle boards, board shorts, flip flops, and are going to be working with local sailing schools. "We're not going to be carrying sailboats, but we will carry all the accessories and clothing," he said....more>

Hairdresser changes

Farrell Reis, who owned a hair salon of the same name at 544 N. Old Woodward in Birmingham for 38 years, said he sold the salon to Shawn Savaya of Savaya Spa Salon, which has reopened in that location. Reis has taken his scissors and brushes to a chair at Antoine's Salon in Troy at Coolidge and Maple, right by the current Whole Foods. "It was time to sell and have less responsibility," Reis said, after managing 13 other stylists for years at his own salon. "Now I just handle my own clientele." Savaya, who is remodeling the salon, was swamped and too busy to comment on the new salon....more>

Forward moves

Real estate brokerage business, Forward Commercial Group, 6785 Telegraph in Bloomfield Township, has recently opened its new office after relocating from its former location at 1025 E. Maple in Birmingham. Broker Emil Cherkasov, who established Forward Commercial in late 2015, said rapid growth during the business's first year prompted the move from the Birmingham location. The new location will allow the firm to add staff while providing a more centrally located office to the clients they serve, he said. Cherkasov started Forward Commercial after more than 15 years of experience in southeast Michigan. The business offers commercial real estate services, including sales, leasing, consulting and negotiating....more>

Stitching it up

Tailor Nasser Dabaja has taken his expertise and 20 years owning NSEW inc. in West Dearborn and Flint, and opened Perfect Fit Tailors in downtown Birmingham. Located at 261 E. Maple, on the second floor above Jos. A. Banks Men's Clothes, specializes in alteration on clothing for ladies and men, as well as leather repairs. "I do anything to do with sewing," said Dabaja, who said he used to be a handbag maker in the 1990s in Beirut, Lebanon, where he is from. He no longer crafts handbags and purses, he said, "because you need different equipment," but he does do embroidery, company logos, and monograms, notably on men's shirts. "I decided to come to Birmingham because I was in the area and I really liked it," he said. "I love the downtown scene and people walking around on the streets. I decided I wanted to locate here." His other company, NSEW inc., continues to operate, providing contract services for clothing stores....more>

Hotel honors

The Townsend Hotel and Rugby Grille, 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, were recently recognized by Forbes Travel Guide. The hotel received a Four-Star Rating for the fifth consecutive year, while the restaurant received a Recommended rating from Forbes, which has been considered the leading travel guide in the hospitality industry since 1958. The Townsend is one of only two hotels in Michigan to receive the Four-Star Rating, and Rugby Grille is one of only two in the state to receive its rating. Opened in 1988, the Townsend Hotel has earned a reputation for exceptional services and amenities. "Providing gracious, thoughtful and personalized customer service is the daily goal of our team members at The Townsend Hotel and Rugby Grille," said Steven Kalczynski, the hotel's managing director. "Recognition from the travel and hospitality industry's most respected authorities, like Forbes Travel Guide, serves to validate our efforts, and is always an honor to receive it."...more>

Out of coffee

The Biggby Coffee, located at 1952 S. Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Township, has closed its doors. ...more>
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