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Imperial tacos is one of the areas premier destinations, it is the perfect mix of California and Detroit. The space is wide open and filled with beautiful wooden booths and tables, a large photo of Johnny Cash flipping the bird is located in the middle of the bar. Imperial serves up L.A. style tacos, cold beer, and strong drinks. They have a great menu with delicious daily specials. Imperial’s owner Jeff King is the kind of guy that you want to have a beer with, a hard worker who has opened two of the coolest restaurants in Ferndale ( he also owns Public House). Check out what he has to say and make sure to stop in the next time you are in the area.
Here's a tiny tease of some of Imperial's best concoctions:
InkAddict- When did Imperial open it’s doors and what was the original idea behind the restaurant?
Jeff King-May 23rd 2011, it was to bring a different dining and drinking experience to the midwest. Combining a little bit of cali street culture with the working class attitude of Detroiters.
InkAddict- Why did choose to open your restaurant in Ferndale, Michigan.
Jeff King-Ferndale was our first choice - being very familiar with the area, liking the community and the neighborhood.
InkAddict- Who came up with the menu? Who comes up with all the taco specials?
Jeff King-The Menu was created by the owners using street foods from Los Angeles as our inspiration. Chef Brennan Calnin creates all of our special tacos.
InkAddict- Why do they bring out some of the beers in paper bags?
Jeff King-The hillbilly cooler was a concept to ensure the 32oz beers stayed cold.
InkAddict- What is your drink of choice?
Jeff King-The ring of fire.
InkAddict- Imperial has a rock and roll feel and a lot of the staff is covered in tattoos, did you do this on purpose?
Jeff King-No, our hiring policies are based on an attitude that we are trying to deliver. Though most are tattooed it is not a prerequisite.
InkAddict- I have always admired all the artwork in Imperial. From Johnny flicking off everyone at the bar to the skateboarding shots, who choose these pieces and where did they come from?
Jeff King-The Johnny portrait was an idea that Perry Lavoinse had and local artist Mark Dancey delivered. The photos are supplied by various photographers we are in contact with.
InkAddict- What do tattoos mean to you?
Jeff King-A certain freedom of expression.
InkAddict- How old were you when you got your first tattoo and what was it?
Jeff King-I was 18, and I don’t want to talk about it as it is covered up now. (we all make mistakes when we are young)
InkAddict- When did you get your last tattoo and what was it?
Jeff King-1995, It was the finish of my nautical theme - i.e. anchor, mermaid, boat wheel (sleeve)
InkAddict- Do you have a go to tattoo person in the Metro Detroit area? If so who is it and why are they your go to person?
Jeff King-I have not been tattooed in Michigan but have several friends that I would go to if I thought I was adding. In particular, Jeff Shea has been a friend for many years.
InkAddict- What does the phrase "tattoo lifestyle" mean to you?
Jeff King-It means making your own rules.
Imperial is located at 22828 Woodward Ave, Ferndale, Michigan 48220. They are open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
Follow Imperial on Facebook HERE
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