The Milford Times had a big headline in the paper this week announcing that two of our family-oriented restaurants closed recently – Klancy’s and The Villa. Klancy’s was a typical. American family diner that featured comfort food and The Villa was a classic Greek Coney Island. Of course there was the immediate reaction by some that “there are too many restaurants in Milford.” I’m not sure that I buy that excuse. I just don’t think those two places offered what enough people want these days.
There was certainly more, direct competition within the Coney Island genre for The Villa. Demetries Coney Island has been a Milford fixture in the Prospect Hill Mall for decades and the new Americus Coney & Grill was literally just across the street from The Villa. Both have strong followings. As Mr. “T” might have said – “I pity the fool, who open another Coney in Milford.”
While there is no direct counterpart to Klancy’s in the Village, there are certainly a number of restaurants north of its location that feature American comfort food – Hector and Jimmy’s in the Village and places like Dukes, MVP Bar & Grill, The Comeback Inn and others on Milford Road in Highland – plus they have liquor licenses. If you just wanted breakfast there’s also D’s Café, which is famous locally for breakfast.
The point is that it was more likely good, honest competition for the loyalty of local diners, which Klancy’s and The Villa lost; rather than just “too many restaurants.” Neither place offered the food, service or surroundings necessary to be successful in today’s economy. We also had four new eateries open this year – Le Rendez Vous, The Blue Grill, Tavern 131 and Palate. I suspect that at least 2, maybe 3, of them will do fine.
So, how many restaurants can Milford and this immediate area sustain? More than just the local population and demographics might suggest. Several of our best local eateries are destination restaurants, drawing people from Commerce, White Lake, Highland, Brighton, South Lyon and even West Bloomfield into Milford for diner. The draw is great food, good service, reasonable prices and the quaintest little Village setting in the area.
Restaurants will continue to come and go in Milford. It’s not cause for panic or concern. Some just don’t get it right and they lose. The ones that do the best jobs will survive and prosper. It’s like the jungle law – survival of the fittest. So, come on out to Milford next weekend and sample our best. They’re still here and still serving up great meals. Now, if we could just get a German restaurant to open here…