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Oct 4, 2006 08:05 PM

Chuck Muer's and other seafood

Hi. I'm moving to Farmington Hills in about a week. A friend of mine who used to live there years ago told me about a restaurant called Chuck Muer's. Anyone heard of it? Also, where is a good place to purchase really good, fresh fish and seafood? Thanks in advance.

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  1. I lived in Farmington Hills five years ago. At that time there were several Muer restaurants around including one in Troy I believe. If it is a restaurant you are seeking they always had good fish. It may have been called Charlie's Crab. If you are looking for a fish market, friends have told me that the best market is a new one that opened in Ann Arbor...they claim better than anything in Detroit. You could no doubt get the name at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor..incredible bakery/deli/food shop. Enjoy...

    1. chuck muer was a legend in town as a restaurateur and a prominent citizen known for giving back to the community.

      sadly, about 13 years ago, he and his wife and another couple were lost at sea off the coast of florida (around jupiter, i think) while sailing on his 60 foot yacht. they were never found.

      as for his restaurants, his family was in the business. joe muer (a brother or maybe a cousin) owned a downtown icon, joe muer's oyster house, that was founded the day before the great depression. it survived the 1930's and thrived in the days of the three martini lunch and lavish customer dinners. the place was an enourmous old cigar factory that was a place to see and be seen. one of my favorite disshes of all time was his seared salmon with carmelized capers in a parsley butter sauce. as economic times got tough in the early 1990's and the auto companies started cracking down on customer entertaining and losses mounted, joe was forced to close.

      meanwhile, chuck was building a small empire. at its peak in the early 1990's, he had 20 something stores, many under the "charley's" moniker, in michigan, ohio, and florida. after he died the places kept going but for me, they were never quite the same. four years ago, they were acquired by the landry's group (landry's, joe's crab shack, rainforest cafe, etc).

      his places are still going to this day and they are still decent, middle of the pack, chainesque, but good.

      charley's crab - in the hilton in troy
      river crab (where i proposed to my wife) - in st. clair
      big fish - in the ring around fairlane mall
      big fish 2 - 14 mile in troy
      meriweather's - telegraph in southfield
      gandy dancer - ann arbor

      before he died, chuck muer partnered with a former employee, bill kruse, in a couple of local seafood restaurant ventures that are still going strong. my wife and i try to go often - very good quality, excellent service.

      "kruse & muer" has local stores in troy (crooks & big beaver), rochester (main street), rochester hills (village place). he also has the rochester chop house on main in rochester - a great steakhouse with a raw bar (kabin krusers) in the front of the house. highly recommended.

      as for fresh fish, i go to superior fish in royal oak (11 mile) and noble fish in berkley (14 mile). you can also find pretty good fish at the high end markets: nino salvaggio's (rochester road in troy), papa joe's (birmingham and rochester), or whole foods (closest store to me is in troy).

      3 Replies
      1. re: xman887

        Yeah, they sailed into one of the worst winter storms to ever hit the east coast. It stretched from Florida all the way up to Maine. We were out that day driving up Rte. 23 to Whitmore Lake and we were in the very edge of the storm and it was nasty. It was the 13th of March 1993.

        1. re: xman887

          By any chance do you know the name of the Muer restaurant that was located in Farmington, Michigan on Grand River and Nine Mile Road in the 1980's?

          1. re: jdanewman

            I used to work for Chuck at Bloomfield Charley's and the one in Farmington was Clam Diggers.

        2. We used to go to Charley's Crab in Troy a lot, years ago. Most of the time it was very good, but after a few bad experiences we took it off our list.

          A few of our favorite seafood restaurants in the area are Streetside Seafood in Birmingham, Mitchells in Birmingham, and Northern Lakes in Bloomfield.

          I agree with the earlier poster about purchasing fresh seafood from Papa Joe's (my personal favorite) and Noble Fish. Pomeroy's in West Bloomfied used to be a good source, though it's been years since I've bought from there.

          1. Streetside in Birmingham is very wonderful. Tom's Oyster Bar is not what it used to be, but you can still get a wonderful plate of oysters there. Both Grosse Pointe and Royal Oak locations.

            To buy fish, Superior Fish in Royal Oak (11 Mile and Main) is good. The fish counter at Holiday Market (Main Street just off 696) gets better and better but not cheaper. Make plans to go to Eastern Market on a Saturday morning, there are several very good fish places, plus the market is a destination spot on it's own. You can get fresh local produce, fish, freshly killed chickens, beef and flowers! Take a cart. Then go to Viviano's or Russel Street Deli (don't mind the wait and sit with strangers, best way to get to know the city.)

            1. Ferndale, MI: Howe's Bayou. Nine Mile & Woodward. Cajun/Creole cuisine done very, very well (the Crawfish Bisque served with homemade cornbread is memorable). The restaurant also serves the most wonderful Oyster Platters in the metro area. IMO. Nice little room too.