Mai Tiki ‘speakeasy’-style bar opens in former office space in Ferndale’s Tigerlily restaurant

The tiki-themed bar serves up Rum Runners, Zombies, Painkillers, and other classics starting Wednesday

click to enlarge Mai Tiki has has island-themed decorations, including gold skulls. - Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo
Mai Tiki has has island-themed decorations, including gold skulls.

The owners of the recently opened Tigerlily restaurant in Ferndale have converted a former office space in the building into a new tiki-themed “speakeasy”-style bar called Mai Tiki.

The narrow, 900-square-foot room, which opens Wednesday, is accessible via a “semi-concealed” door on the side of Tigerlily’s dining room, which the restaurant describes as “a portal to an island getaway” with a wraparound mural, thatch canopy, and “island relics,” including gold skulls. Mai Tiki is also accessible via a rear door on the Troy Street side of the building.

In addition to tiki bar staples like Rum Runners, Zombies, Painkillers, and more, the spot has a food menu with small plates like crab rangoon, robata-grilled pineapple, pork belly bao, and fish tacos. The menu was developed by Tigerlily chef Chris Vasquez, a metro Detroit native who has worked at Maru Sushi and Nippon Sushi Bar who returned to Michigan following a stint as head sushi chef at Chicago’s acclaimed Momotaro.

The 4,000-square-foot Tigerlily restaurant was previously Antihero, a short-lived Japanese izakaya-inspired concept formerly owned by Working Class Outlaws, the restaurant group that owns Ferndale taco spot Imperial. It was acquired last year by Hometown Restaurant Group, which also owns and operates Ferndale’s Public House, One-Eyed Betty’s, Pop’s For Italian, and the former Rosie O’ Grady’s, which is slated to reopen as a seafood and a Tex-Mex barbecue concept on the first floor and apartments on the second floor. An opening date has not yet been set.

Tigerlily is located at 231 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale. More information is available at

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Lee DeVito

Leyland “Lee” DeVito is the editor in chief of Detroit Metro Times since 2016. His writing has also been published in CREEM, VICE, In These Times, and New City. He once asked porn star Stormy Daniels to spank him with an issue of Metro Times. She obliged.

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