Nick Ritts
By Danny Raskin
By Danny Raskin

Back in 1985 when Tom Brandel opened his first Tom’s Oyster Bar in Grosse Pointe Park, it was to appease the many seafood-loving people who wanted a restaurant of this dining selection in their locale.

It later became so successful that Brandel opened another one in September 1994 in Royal Oak … And then came more … Today, that Royal Oak location is the only one left … owned by Nick Ritts, who had purchased it from Tom to become still another good restaurant under his Ritts Hospitality Group umbrella … Nick’s Terry’s Terrace and Ale Mary’s are also dining favorites.

When it recently turned 22 years old as the only remaining Tom’s Oyster Bar, it had maintained a reputation of high esteem in continuance of what has always been considered a widely respected small chain … So much so that it’s huge success at the time created need for expansion and so came the Royal Oak site on South Main, between East Third and East Fourth streets.

It is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. … Saturday and Sunday, noon to 1 a.m. … Seating in the dining room is for 65 … A large outdoor patio is also available when weather permits.

Nick Ritts
Nick Ritts

Best sellers among the bevy of selections at Tom’s Oyster Bar in Royal Oak include items like Tempura Fish N’ Chips, battered fresh cod, malt vinegar fries, gribiche, Brussels sprouts slaw, Lake Perch (lightly breaded and pan-fried) served with redskin potatoes, vegetable and coleslaw, etc.

In additions to its seafood lovelies, Tom’s Oyster Bar is also much noted for its Spanish coffee … Over the last 20 years, it is estimated that more than 100,000 orders have been served … Weekly fresh fish catches and daily features are of much note.

About the oysters, which Tom’s Oyster Bar orders with pride, much note is made on the large orders of more than 100 cases per month … And the shipment of fresh seafood six days a week is also an eye-opener.

Tom’s Oyster Bar has maintained a top stature of quality that gives much satisfaction and is still held in noted esteem … What Tom Brandel started has been in the very good hands of Nick Ritts in the carry-on of a fine tradition.

READER MINI REVIEW … From Susan Sherbow … “Mark and I were impressed by the breakfast, lunch and dinner items that are served at the O.W.L. restaurant, a 24-hour diner on Woodward in Royal Oak. The little restaurant is billed as a Mexican-American restaurant, but readers should not expect the usual Mexican fare.

“I tried the avocado toast, which was delicious — sesame bread covered with avocado spread and topped with thinly sliced carrots, radishes, sprinkled with cilantro and topped with a hardboiled egg. The combination made an unusual but delicious breakfast treat.  
    “Mark opted for chicken wings with macha, a spicy sauce. The wings were very meaty but not spicy enough for Mark. We also tried the grilled chicken sandwich with pickles, lettuce and tomato and a cheesy white sauce on the sandwich. This, too, was very good.”

MAIL DEPT.From Rachel Kapen … “After the closing of Jerusalem Pizza in the Jewish Community Center, West Bloomfield, many residents who adhere to the laws of kashrut didn’t have a kosher restaurant in West Bloomfield until the recently opened Soul Cafe as part of the Farber Center at the corner of Walnut and Drake.

“I checked out the place when my strictly observant granddaughter, Michaela Kapen, flew in from Virginia a couple of days before Rosh Hashanah; and I was glad to take her to a kosher place. We had dinner in mind, but Michaela found out that it serves only breakfast and lunch. We opted for lunch. She also found out the varied menu it serves, so we went there all prepared, and the place exceeded all expectations. It is very pleasing to the eye, the food is varied and delicious, no meat, the service is great, too, and, last, but not least, it employs many special needs young people.”

GOOD SERVER DEPT. … Lina Shabi … Very competent, fast, smiling and efficiency that highly satisfies customers who enjoy having her wait on them … Siegel’s Deli, West Maple, Commerce Township.

MAKING ROUNDS … To Hungarian Rhapsody, Northline, for Hungarian goulash … To Bistro 82, Royal Oak, for stuffed peppers … To Cafe Sushi, Troy, for Mongolian beef … To Antonio’s, Farmington Hills, for linguini with red clam sauce …To Sposita’s, West Bloomfield, for baby perch …To Big Rock Chophouse, Birmingham, for roasted salmon …To Franklin Grill, Franklin, for roasted Indiana duck

IF THEY HAD A Jewish Mother Dept. … To George Washington, “Next time I catch you throwing money across the Potomac, you can kiss your allowance goodbye!”

OLDIE BUT GOODIE DEPT. … An elderly Jewish man is bumped by a car while crossing the street. He is unhurt, but his wife persuades him to go to the doctor, just in case. He returns home and his wife asks, “What did the doctor say?”

“The doctor says I have a flucky.”

“Terrible! What do you do for a flucky?”

“I don’t know. He didn’t say.”

She tells her neighbors, “My husband was hit by a car and now he has a flucky!”

Neighbor No. 1 says, “In the old country, when someone has a flucky, we always applied cold. Cold is the best thing for a flucky.”

Neighbor No. 2 says, “What are you talking about? Cold is absolutely the worst thing you can do for a flucky! We always applied heat. That’s the only thing to do for a flucky.”

Cold, heat! Now thoroughly agitated the wife calls the doctor herself, “Doctor, please tell me what’s wrong with my husband?”

“I told him that nothing is wrong. He got off lucky.”

CONGRATS … To Robert Steinberg on his birthday … To Linda Gold on her birthday … To Dennis “Denny” Green on his birthday … To Irving and Marilyn Markel on their 57th anniversary. *


Danny’s email address is

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