Jackie and Scott Baumgart will host a grand opening celebration for the Stray Cat Lounge, a cigar-friendly martini bar with music, in Clinton Township.DAVID DALTON — THE MACOMB DAILY
Many Eastside hipsters were dismayed when Robusto’s Martini Lounge in Grosse Pointe Woods closed for good in 2012 after 12 years of slinging upscale drinks, food and music.
But now Jackie and Scott Baumgart — the husband-and-wife team who created Robusto’s — have taken the concept to the next level with a new relaxation spot,Stray Cat Lounge, a luxurious cigar-friendly martini bar in Clinton Township.
“We are here for the hip, upscale crowd who enjoy music, a fine cigar and a tremendous selection of high quality beer, bourbon and scotches in a lounge atmosphere,” Scott Baumgart said.
Stray Cat is one of fewer than 100 lounges in Michigan that is licensed to carry cigars, which are becoming increasingly popular with young women, the team said. Their target audience is hipsters and professionals in the 25-to-55 age group. They also have a carry-out beer and wine license.
In September, the Baumgarts took over the former 18th Street Rib House, tucked inside of a strip mall on Garfield at 18 Mile Road. They have been working since then on a total overhaul of the 5,000-square-foot property.
The result is a sleek, dark and inviting place that contains three seating areas, including a bar with high-top tables and two sections containing leather couches and African mahogany tables and chairs. The floor is a butterscotch-tone epoxy, and the walls contain a series of copper-colored texture panels and paintings.
There are nine high-definition TV monitors for sports viewing.
“We’ve had a number of private parties already and the reaction has been ‘Wow — this is very swanky and sexy,’” Jackie Baumgart said. “We’ve worked hard to make a nice place for couples out on a date or girlfriends getting together or the after-work crowd who want to enjoy themselves in a nice atmosphere.”
Chef John Fleming, a former U.S. Marine with 20 years of culinary experience, has crafted a menu of small plates in a flameless kitchen that uses induction heat for cooking.
The menu is heavy on gourmet appetizers such as blackened steak bites with honey Champagne mustard, bruschetta with black bean salsa, spinach dip with artichoke and baked brie, along with pizza, sandwiches, pasta and salads.
At the bar, there is a 20-tap beer selection with the majority being Michigan-made craft beverages, along with a wide selection of bourbon, scotch, signature martinis and 30 wine choices.
Stray Cat carries an extensive array of cigars and personal humidors available for rent. Don’t be afraid of the smoke — the place has a high-tech filtration and purification system that continually circulates fresh air.
As a nod to their past, the Baumgarts kept a pair of hand-painted “Parking for Robusto’s” signs on the back wall.
For music, expect some of the area’s best-known classic rock, funk and R&B acts. Their sound system allows the music to be toned down in sections beyond the dance floor to allow patrons to converse.
A grand opening celebration is planned for April 11-12.
Stray Cat Lounge is at 40813 Garfield Road, Clinton Township. Hours are 3:30 p.m.-midnight Monday-Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m.-midnight Sunday. For more information, visit TheStrayCatLounge.com or call 586-741-8544.
Oh man... I thought it was going to be my local lounge... This lounge here has been open and closed so many times. The "coming soon" sign has been on the window for months...
Oh well... I could always just go to this one in Michigan...