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Ferndale’s Voyager Goes Tropical for One Night

By: Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers | January 29, 2018
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For some, winter is the time of year that we wishfully refresh the weather app on our phones, hoping to see sunshine and warm temperatures on the horizon. For others, this is the time of year to get away somewhere, anywhere where snow is never in the forecast.

But, why travel hundreds of miles, spending hundreds of dollars for a tropical getaway when the tropics can be found right here in Ferndale, Michigan?

Oyster bar and all-around seafood restaurant Voyager will be hosting a one-night-only event called “Shore Leave” on Tuesday, January 30 from 4-10 p.m. As one of many takeover events that have taken place at the Ferndale eatery since it opened in March of 2017, “Shore Leave” promises Tiki style beverages and Chinese-American cuisine; think Mai Tais and dry-chili chicken or Ti’ Punch and walnut shrimp.

But, why hold a tropical-themed event in the dead of winter?

For us, it makes more sense to do it in January than to do it in the spring,” said Voyager proprietor Eli Boyer. “What we try to do here is transport people, even on any kind of normal night. It’s our responsibility, once they’re in our four walls, for us to kind of help our guests forget whatever else is going on outside and forget that they’re in this random corner of Ferndale across from the train tracks, and provide an experience that’s kind of unique and unexpected.”

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Cocktail being prepared at Voyager in Ferndale, Mich. Photo credit: Jenna Belevender Photography.

In short, Voyager wanted to provide their would-be guests with an escape from, as Boyer put it, “those winter doldrums.”

“We were sitting around in a meeting and one of our bartenders came up with the idea of, ‘It’s shore leave. You got one night off,’” said Boyer. “It’s like one night in the tropics, you know, escape from winter for one night.”

While Voyager is typically known as an oyster bar and seafood destination, for “Shore Leave,” patrons can expect Chinese-American-Sichuan dishes from chefs Jennifer Jackson and Justin Tootla. Those that know Jackson and Tootla’s past work will know about Thank You, a Chinese-American takeout counter and delivery concept in Chicago.

“They always have a working Chinese-American-Sichuan menu in their head,” Boyer said. “So, this is kind of their chance to get it down on paper and play around with some ideas they’ve had for a long time and play around with some things they’ve done before that they haven’t done in a while.”

As for what to wear to this tropical getaway, Boyer hopes this event will serve as the perfect excuse for guests to don their favorite Hawaiian shirts and other, similar fashion faux pas.

“I’ve got this thing that my grandpa gave to me that’s like, a real, vintage style, polyester Hawaiian shirt with an entire beach scene on it. I never get a chance to wear that,” Boyer said. “So, finally, for the first time in like years, I’m wearing that shirt for this event. That’ll be a lot of fun. People are definitely encouraged to dress up.”

The one-night a la carte menu will consist of 10-15 dishes from the kitchen and 6-8 beverages prepared by Voyager’s bar staff. Making a reservation is highly recommended as Boyer says spots have already started to fill up.

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