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New restaurant's opening hindered by ordinance

March 09, 2011 - A new restaurateur has decided to contribute to the ever expanding downtown area, but his plans are running into a few snags.

Ferdinand Deda, of Troy, purchased the lot where his new Broadway Grill eatery will stand, between McDonalds and TCF Bank on S. Broadway, a little over a year ago and he said he's looking forward to impressing the people of Lake Orion.

"I heard from a couple of friends in the area that this was a good place to run a business, so I came down and liked the area, so I would like to stay here for a while," said Deda. "I decided to put very, very good food at the restaurant, and I just hope people in this area like what they try. I'm going to try the best I can."

Deda expects to open the restaurant, located at 453 S. Broadway (aside McDonalds) in two to three months, where he expects to serve a blend of Italian, Greek, and American cuisine.

However, due to an area fire code, Deda has found himself somewhat delayed. The fire code specifies a building of a certain size with over 100 seats requires the installation of a fire suppression system, and this system requires water main access. Getting that access has proved difficult for Deda.

"We did all the paperwork, and had the permit approved, but the manager at McDonalds screwed it up," said Deda. "The work we need to do goes maybe 10 feet onto his property, and he wanted $50,000 to work on his property.

"We tried to work with him, and work with the company, even saying we would start at night and finish by morning so it doesn't interrupt business, but there is no way to work with them."

The Review previously reported on Deda's business in May 2010, when the restaurant owner sought to obtain a liquor license. Lake Orion Village Council awarded Deda, in a 6-1 vote, the class C liquor license that once belonged to the Wagon Wheel, at 102 S. Broadway. His prediction on the construction's finish was the same then - two to three months.

Because of the disagreement with McDonalds, Deda has been attempting to get a permit to access the water main on the opposite side of M24. Orion Township Building Official Tom Berger said either way, Deda is "in a wrinkle."

"He's responsible for hiring the engineer, and a contractor to get all the labor and materials, and he pays dearly for the permit too," said Berger. "To get to the water main he has to bore under the road, and if he tries to go the other way, he has to pay easement fees from the private property owners, and they really have no reason to give him access."

Berger said there were alternative methods, including a water storage tank that would be filled and pumped to the building with a fire pump. He also added this style of system would end up costing more in the long run due to maintenance on the equipment.

"With the water main, all he needs to do is tap in and the pressure does the rest," said Berger. "Since there is electronic equipment involved, and other machinery in the water storage tank, he would even have to have a backup generator in case power goes out and the fire pump needs it.

"The water main is the best method, and ends up costing less long term."

Deda said his engineer is currently working with Michigan Department of Transportation to draw up a new permit to gain access to the water main on the west side of M24. MDOT was contacted concerning current permit costs, but would not comment.

Despite the upset, Deda remains confident with his original grand opening time estimate, maintaining two to three months. Deda previously owned two different eateries, with one remaining in Troy.

"I've always worked very hard, and I love to work in the kitchen," he said . "I used to work in restaurants for 17 years doing cooking, management, kind of everything, but I love to make good food."

Deda said he plans on starting the business as a general family style restaurant, but he has plans to expand after he sees initial success. He hopes to include an area for people interested in dancing.

"There will be no dancing for the beginning because it was a little hard when considering space limits, but it's something I want to try," said Deda. "After a while I am looking to add more entertainment like dancing, and getting some seating outside for the summer, but for the opening I just want to create something for any kind of age."

Deda left his native Albania over 20 years ago. He landing in Michigan when he soon found work in the restaurant business.

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