Mayor Dave Coulter is ready to take on 2017. In an exclusive interview with Patch, the mayor shared what he’s excited to see in Ferndale in the New Year along with his own personal New Year’s resolution.
As far as what’s at the forefront of Ferndale’s agenda for 2017? Breaking ground on a downtown parking deck. Coulter told Patch “Maintaining our economic prosperity is always important and a huge project to help us do that is going to be our new parking deck downtown. We have had a parking shortage for a number of years and the city and the Downtown Development Authority are working together to finally break ground this year on a development project. It’s taken us a while to get to this point and it’s going to happen this year.”
As for when the shovels will hit the ground? Coulter says “Our time frame right now is late spring. It’s more important to do it right than to do it fast. We’ll do our best to stick to the schedule.”
Another key Ferndale initiative for 2017? Continuing to build trust between the people and police of Ferndale. Coulter explains “A challenge that is not unique to Ferndale but communities across the country are facing is the relationship between our residents and our police departments. It has changed over the years and we’ve seen examples in other cities where that relationship has broken down. One of our focuses this year will be on our brand new community policing model which we kicked off last year but will continue to make great strides this year. A community policing model is a fancy way of saying we want to strengthen the relationship between our residents and visitors and our police officers. That’s the ultimate goal to increase the trust.”
Sgt. Barron Brown of the Ferndale Police Department will play an integral part in boosting trust. Coulter says “Sgt. Barron Brown was the first major part of our community police initiative. He will spearhead more initiatives designed to increase the trust between the city and our police.”
As for Coulter’s personal resolution for 2017? A very necessary work-life balance. Coulter shares “My personal goal will be to try to have a better work-life balance so that I remember to include things like exercising, and taking some personal time to recharge the batteries. I have a tendency to be a workaholic and I’m going to work on that balance this year.”
He is a certifiable workaholic. In addition to serving as the mayor of Ferndale, Coulter also has a full-time job at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, where he helps give away money to programs that help sick kids. Coulter says, “A lot of people don’t realize that I have a full-time day job. There’s an expectation as mayor that you’re available 24 hours a day to respond to people. I try to be as responsive as I can. I don’t work in city hall during the day. Fortunately, we have a great city manager, April Lynch, who handles that. I really enjoy my job during the day and at night as mayor. It’s a very rewarding thing I get to do.”
Rust Belt Market to Host RockSugar Wedding Show
Are you a metro Detroit couple in search of great indie wedding vendors? Look no further than the RockSugar Wedding Show March 12 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Rust Belt Market, 22801 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale. Get inspired and meet vendors at this alternative wedding event founded in 2013. It’s a unique experience designed to help engaged couples connect with local vendors that can help bring their bespoke wedding to life by way of original, handmade wedding products, artisanal food, unique services or handmade supplies. Participating vendors have a chance to talk directly with couples that are looking for something a little different, more unique or handmade. RockSugar’s mission is to elevate single independent owners and DIY weddings as an alternative to a big-box event, and to support and encourage small craft business by providing a place for them to reach brides who are looking for it. For more information, visit RockSugar online or the Rust Belt Market online.
New Downtown Ferndale Bar, Restaurant and Music Venue Worth the Wait
Melody Baetens of the Detroit News wrote about Otus Supply in Ferndale when it first opened in December 2016. Named after a genus of owl, she said the restaurant has an incredibly interesting design that conjures comparisons to the world of Harry Potter, with some steampunk touches. Although brand new, different areas of the dining room — separated by walls with circular doorways that are a nod to an owl’s nest — look lived-in and inviting.
Chicago-based designer Alex Morales has created a space that gives diners a reason to look up from their menus and cell phones and enjoy the surrounding view. One wall is made of reclaimed wooden pallets, which leads into a room with walls like leather patchwork. That leads into a library-like space with silver, gold and black damask wallpaper. Another wall has bits of assorted wood and legs of wooden tables and chairs tacked to it and painted over one grayish-white color.
Art is everywhere at Otus Supply, which has a bar inside the 150-seat dining area, and another inside an adjacent live music room.
Metro Detroit artist Malt designed a mural of colorful birds for the lobby, and Kobie Solomon (he did the lion mural at Russel Industrial Center that is visible from Interstate 75) has two pieces inside the restaurant, including a 50-foot mural in the front of the dining area where garage doors can roll up to allow open-air dining in appropriate weather.
Bloom says chef Myles McVay is preparing to debut a farm-to-table menu that is inspired by the bounty of the Great Lakes region and uses no GMOs or corn syrups. Much of the food served — including the shrubs and tonic used in the craft cocktails — is made in-house from scratch. The menu includes some small plates, handmade pasta, pizza and other items prepared in a wood-fired oven.
McVay, who has worked at D’Matos and Opus One to name a few places, is also a rock musician in the Detroit band Dirtwolf. This is just one of many components of Otus Supply that connects it to the local music scene.
Bloom and his partner at Otus Supply, Scott Myrick, have known each other since the early 1990s when they were in the local concert business. So it’s no wonder they carved out a special place at their new venue for live music.
The live music area is called the Parliament room. It’s named after the term for group of owls (and also because “we don’t hate George Clinton,” Bloom says). The room has its own bar and room for 200-300 people, depending on the setup.
Music industry veteran Scott Guy and Detroit-based promoter and talent buyer Joe Choma will work on booking acts. Upcoming shows include The Rebirth Brass Band on Jan. 16 and Fruition on Jan. 21.
Otus Supply is at 345 E. Nine Mile in Ferndale. Visit http://otussupply.com for more information.