It’s been many years since I spent any time in Fabulous Ferndale. At one point, we lived in Pleasant Ridge on the west side of Woodward Avenue right on Ferndale’s northern border. Although technically not that far away from where we are now, when you are on “that” side of town – meaning west of Woodward – you tend to stick with that side. For those of you not in the loop, Woodward Avenue is also the M-1, a Michigan highway with four lanes in each direction. With the speed limit set at 45, casual passersby tend to miss the small businesses, and it’s quite frankly a nuisance to cross.
Ferndale started out small and sleepy and ended up with the moniker “Fashionable Ferndale” when the rents skyrocketed in Royal Oak. Trendy businesses packed up and moved south. Ferndale then gained the “hipster” designation and a new hub developed for the 20-30 somethings.
This week I thought I would revisit Ferndale, having been absent for six years. What I found was a bustling main street on Nine Mile Road west of Woodward. Trendy shops, more restaurants than I remembered, and a definite laid-back feel the farther you travel from Woodward. The old standbys were there as well: Como’s, Howe’s Bayou and the Magic Bag, not one but two sushi places (Sakana and Inyo), and a French restaurant. There are definite West Coast rumblings in places like the Emory and the Fly Trap, both featuring traditional comfort foods on steroids.
I can see why young people flock to Ferndale. There are plenty of appealing restaurants, nightclubs, comedy clubs and trendy bars.
Parking is always a challenge, and Ferndale, like many cities in this area, has raised the rates of parking tickets. Lucky me, I drive a hybrid and Ferndale rewards hybrid drivers with free parking.
My opinion? I’m glad I ventured out of my Royal Oak neighborhood. I’ve got to visit Fabulous Ferndale more often!
For more information on Downtown Ferndale, please click here.