Royal Oak has paved the way for Oakland Community College’s upcoming Culinary Studies Institute to be licensed as it trains students in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Oakland Community College is proceeding with its plan to close its culinary school in Farmington Hill and move it to the Royal Oak campus at 739 S. Washington.
More than two years ago, the city sold a 55-space parking lot on Main Street near Seventh Street to OCC for $650,000 so the college could expand the Royal Oak campus.
This week, city commissioners approved the college operations plan needed for a business or other entity to use a liquor license.
Royal Oak Police oversee liquor licensed operations reviews and found that the college meets the requirements to operate with the license.
Dawn Yelcho, OCC’s director of cuisine and hospitality, said alcohol will be served in its restaurant and banquet center after the new Culinary Campus opens in Royal Oak.
“The restaurant will be on the top floor and open one day a week on Mondays,” Yelcho said, adding that means it will be open 10 days per semester.
Most events at the banquet center are internal events, including many high school cooking competitions.
“Students are never left alone with alcohol,” Yelcho said.
Since the OCC announced plans for the culinary campus nearly four years ago, college officials have met with Royal Oak business and restaurant groups, who have said they are happy to have students trained in the city. to work in the restaurant industry.
“Having a talent store here will benefit everyone,” Mayor Michael Fournier said, adding officials have been thrilled since they were shown drawings of the new campus a few years ago.
Plans are to construct a new one-block building on Main Street. It will include a large kitchen, a dining room and a gallery with a maximum height of three floors with an open garden on the ground floor.
City manager Paul Brake said construction of the new culinary campus is expected to begin in the coming months and take anywhere from 18 months to two years.
“I think it’s great to have the culinary institute here,” City Commissioner Brandon Kolo said.
The OCC is spending about $85 million to expand the college campus, according to a police report by Lt. Karly Renaud.
The 2,650 square foot restaurant will be used to teach students Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It will be able to accommodate 110 customers and there will be live musical entertainment from the college. artistic program.
The banquet center, over 7,000 square feet, will be connected to the restaurant by an accordion glass wall and will never be used for concurrent events, Renaud said in his report.
OCC has been operating with a Class C liquor license for its culinary students since 2008.