Located at 215 S. Main Street, Mr. B’s Gastropub is an iconic dining and nightlife destination in the heart of Downtown Royal Oak. Open for lunch and dinner daily, Mr. B’s Gastropub offers a wide array of salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and shareables, with all menu items made “from scratch” daily, along with a wide selection of beer and craft cocktails. The restaurant offers flexible seating options for private events and has an outdoor patio, game room, and arcade.
“The diverse and wide range of entertainment that Mr. B’s Gastropub has to offer to our customers makes it unique,” says John Prepolic, the proprietor, who popularly goes by the moniker Chef Johnny. “Whether you’re coming in for lunch or dinner, a family with kids coming for Brunch, a business who wants space for Happy Hour, or a young adult looking for something to do on the weekend – we cater to all.” Mr. B’s certainly has a lot of activities to engage people throughout the week. “There’s always something to do at Mr. B’s,” Johnny emphasized. In fact, every day of the week has a scheduled activity designed to target a wide audience.
On Mondays, they are closed, but Tuesday is board game night, and Wednesday is free movie night. Event planners are frequently making use of the space for events such as Barrels and Bites, a casual culinary series that features new cuisine every time (heads up, August 24th is Tacos and Tequila). There is so much going on, that it’s hard to place Mr. B’s Gastropub into any one category. It’s still a packed club scene on Saturday nights. “We get upwards of 900 people through these doors on a Saturday night,” says Johnny. The variety of activities and themes makes for a diverse draw of customers from different places.
Johnny has also transformed the space inside Mr. B’s, adding an arcade with classic video games, and a basement speakeasy, but Johnny hasn’t stopped there. He has a grand vision for this corner of downtown. He wants to make it a renowned destination that projects an identity and personality.
Chef Johnny’s goal is to make Mr. B’s Gastropub a driver of what makes Royal Oak fun, newsworthy, and attractive. “Mr. B’s Gastropub is not just a burger joint and is a restaurant that prides itself in making its food from scratch.” Chef Johnny began his career as an engineer but changed course and went to culinary school. He later bought the Royal Oak Mr. B’s and immediately began working to freshen the brand. “To get over that perception has been a real challenge. We changed our name to Mr. B’s Gastropub, have done many cooking segments on TV, invited food bloggers to dine with us, and have tried to turn that image around.”
Mr. B’s Gastropub is going through a metamorphosis- evolving from a chain sports bar that has been a favorite for many across southeastern Michigan into a magnet for a new generation of experience-seekers. The longtime standard bar trope is taking on a new identity, rapidly changing its tune to attract a new audience in a town where only the innovative survive.
The Royal Oak community is fortunate to have such energetic, creative, and visionary entrepreneurs like Chef Johnny. The changes at Mr. B’s showcase the wave of changes happening throughout Downtown Royal Oak and we can’t wait to see what Johnny has planned next.