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New owner takes over Beverly Hills Grill

By Lisa Brody

Beverly Hills Grill, which first opened in 1988 as a contemporary California dining experience by noted local restaurateur Bill Roberts, has been sold to Raphael Michael.

Michael, a graduate of Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Township and a West Bloomfield native, previously had a Happy's pizzeria in Kalamazoo for over a decade, and worked briefly under chef Anthony Lombardo at SheWolf in Detroit. “I did a crash course with chef Anthony,” Michael said.

Beverly Hills Grill, 31471 Southfield Road in Beverly Hills, has long been known for its classic but innovative cuisine focusing on fresh fish, salads, steaks and vegetables, and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, had been open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. The restaurant was a destination for its Saturday and Sunday brunches. Since reopening following pandemic closures, Beverly Hills Grill has only served dinners, and is still closed on Sundays.

Roberts, of Roberts Restaurant Group, also owns Streetside Seafood in downtown Birmingham, ML Cafe and Roadside B&G in Bloomfield Township, and Bill's in Bloomfield Hills. None of those establishments were included in the sale. Another restaurant, Town Tavern, in Royal Oak, closed in April 2020. He previously also owned 220 Merrill in Birmingham.

Roberts did not respond to requests for comment on the sale of the Beverly Hills Grill which has been removed from the Roberts Restaurant Group website.

Michael said he only wanted this restaurant right now “to carry on the legacy.”

“I want the employees to keep me,” he said when asked if staff, many of whom have been with the restaurant for decades, will remain. When asked, several servers said they intend to stay with the new owner.

Chef Ryan Zagor, who has been at the helm of the kitchen at Beverly Hills Grill for the last 11 years, is a definite keeper, Michael said. “I told him he can fly.”

Michael said he wants to add new and special steaks to the menu, more fish, and allow Zagor to experiment. “I want to keep the old and build on the new for adventurous eaters,” he said, as well as focus on cocktails at the popular bar area.

As for bringing back that popular brunch, Michael said it's definitely a goal. “I used to come to brunch with my wife after we got married,” he said.


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