Ferndale’s Tigerlily opens in former Antihero space

‘This is a new kind of sushi that Detroit hasn’t seen,’ executive chef Chris Vasquez says

click to enlarge Ferndale spot Tigerlily opens in the former Antihero space in downtown Ferndale on Aug. 10. - Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
Ferndale spot Tigerlily opens in the former Antihero space in downtown Ferndale on Aug. 10.

A restaurant called Tigerlily is set to open in the former Antihero space in downtown Ferndale after a major overhaul under new owners Hometown Restaurant Group.

The restaurant, located at 231 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, opens on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Tigerlily maintains the Asian influence of the izakaya-themed Antihero, with a menu featuring sushi and small plates shareables. It also has kept the murals painted by Detroit-area pop artist Glenn Barr.

But the new restaurant also touts an authentic Japanese robatayaki or robata grill, a cooking style similar to barbecue that uses white oak, binchotan charcoal. The sushi menu is also unique, says executive chef Chris Vasquez.

“This is a new kind of sushi that Detroit hasn’t seen,” Vasquez says in a statement. “We are taking an Edomae style of sushi and bringing in different contemporary flavors and techniques. We are creating a new style — not like New York sushi, but fusing it with different cultures while still being authentic to what sushi is. It’s really an expression of a fun new concept that’s a bit more sophisticated and unique.”

A metro Detroit native who has worked at local spots like Maru Sushi and Nippon Sushi Bar, Vasquez returns to Michigan following a stint working as head sushi chef at Chicago’s acclaimed Momotaro restaurant.

The 4,000-square-foot Tigerlily space was redesigned by Birmingham architects Ron & Roman, including a marble sushi bar and a bamboo countertop. The new restaurant also includes a private “omakase” room where guests can dine on a multi-course meal designed by the chef.

An attached tiki bar called Mai Tiki is also planned to open in the near future, but an opening date has not been set.

Formerly owned by Working Class Outlaws, the restaurant group that owns Ferndale taco spot Imperial, Antihero has been closed since 2020. The restaurant was acquired by Hometown Restaurant Group in 2021, which also owns and operates Ferndale’s Public House, One-Eyed Betty’s, Pop’s For Italian, and the former Rosie O’ Grady’s.

Tigerlily will be open 4-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday, and 3-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

More information is available at tigerlilyferndale.com.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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