NOVI, Mich.- Sustaining a business for nearly 30 years in one of the continually fastest growing cities in the state of Michigan could be seen as a challenge. For Diamond Jim Brady’s Bistro Bar owner Mary Brady, it couldn’t be seen as anything other than positive.
“I would have to say that it’s all been a very positive experience,” said Brady. “It’s been an incredible journey as far the amount of industry and businesses that have come into the city and also the population has just exploded. It all makes it a wonderful place to do business.”
Originally opening in Detroit in 1954, Diamond Jim Brady’s initially opened a second restaurant in Southfield in 1980, a year after Brady was first hired by her eventual husband Tom Brady.
Opening the third restaurant, described by Brady as being her and her husband’s “baby,” in Novi in 1991, Brady and her employees have worked to create a unique dining experience that stands out in a town predominantly made up of chain brand stores and restaurants.
“We’re very accommodating,” said bartender Lori Horton, who has worked at Diamond Jim Brady’s for almost 24 years. “You as a customer can mix up anything you want. If we can put it together we’ll do it for you.”
It’s this accommodating style that has led to Diamond Jim Brady’s accumulating a very loyal base of customers over the years, and has fueled Diamond Jim Brady’s successful near 30-year run in Novi.
“I think the vibe is great,” said server Karen Kowalski, who has also worked at Diamond Jim Brady’s for over 20 years. “You don’t find family owned restaurants like this in Novi. It’s mostly just chains.”
“We’re definitely unique,” said Brady. “We’re very food, service and price-point driven. We know 80 to 90 percent of the people who walk in the door. We know their names. They’re more friends than customers.”
Despite the loyal base, however, being in a town with many options to choose from would seem to present its own challenges. For Brady, though, she decided a long time ago that it’s a concept she should embrace.
“When Tom and I moved to Novi 27 years ago, we had to make a decision if we we’re going to be worried about who’s coming in and all of the restaurants that are here,” Brady said.
“We figured out we had to embrace it and have the attitude of more the merrier and bring it on because all that does is bring more people in and give us the ability to win more people over.”
It’s this simple approach to business, great food and a great environment, that has kept Diamond Jim Brady’s going for this long.
“In 1954, when my husband’s father opened the first Brady’s on Seven Mile and Greenville in Detroit, it was 65 seats, and at that time it was the highest grossing bar in Detroit,” said Brady.
“More than just the new part of it, was the food, and it was very simple, but it was very good. We still have some of those items on the menu, and even now all these years later there are still people who live on Seven Mile that are still coming in.”