Everything at John D is made from scratch, right down to the mayonnaise. "If I have four hours of prep time I’m not going to spend it opening cans," Adis states. He wanted to construct a menu that speaks to Ferndale but is "just forward enough" - there is no molecular gastronomy here, no fumes or hydrogen. Adis describes it as being "a year or two into the future, not 20," bringing a little L.A. flare to Ferndale but in a non-pretentious, home-cooked way.
If you're wondering why you've never heard the name Adis Celic before, he's relatively new to metro Detroit's dining scene. He's been cooking since 1996. His grandfather was a butcher and his father was a chef. He came to America as a Bosnian refugee in 1995 and "started working my butt off, and here I am." He attended Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles and graduated at the top of his class. "My mom was very proud of that!" he smiles.
After that he continued working in California, doing catering at the Langham Huntington hotel/spa in Pasadena, as the "omelette guy" for the UCLA football team, then as the Sous Chef at Aimee's Bistro in Redondo Beach. He then came to Detroit for his externship and worked with Eddie's father and brother at Alia's Catering. Considering the number of new restaurants scheduled to open in metro Detroit this year and how much in demand talented chefs are at the moment, Eddie is very much aware of how lucky he is to have snatched up Adis.
Eddie's whole family is a family of restaurateurs (his father owns Alia's Restaurant & Catering, his brother owns Apolonia Natural Dressings, and his cousins own Anita's Kitchen just on the other side of Woodward from John D), but when Eddie decided to open John D, he wanted to do something a little different. "I come from a restaurant family so the next logical step was to own my own restaurant," he explains. "I didn't want to do what my family has always done, the Lebanese. I wanted more of a loungey kind of place. I didn't know what direction to go with the menu until I got Adis."
“I love Ferndale because the people are laid back and they really know their food over here,” Farah said. “I’ve been hanging out in the city since 2001 and I just love it. When the building became available, it just felt like home. I feel so comfortable here.”
There have been a lot of new restaurants that have opened in Ferndale recently and several more to come. But Eddie isn't worried. He has found that the community spirit of Ferndale trumps all aspects of competition, and the businesses all work together towards a common goal. "We’re all going to bring different people into the city," he says. "We all want people to come into the city."
Eddie will also stay true to what made Club Bart, for all it's shabby chic-ness, such a popular place to begin with: a wide variety of high-caliber live entertainment. "I plan on everything from jazz to blues to rock to crooners to dancers," he says. "I'm not going to label the entertainment because I want to be able to bring everything." The mentality at John D, much like the rest of Ferndale (and maybe that's why it all works so well) is "Come one, come all, and come as you are."