It's back to the basics for Tom's Oyster Bar menu


  • Tom's Oyster Bar/Facebook
A return to more classic fare is planned for Tom's Oyster Bar, thanks to the new chef Zach Borowski. 

Borowski replaced Norm Fenton, who after just a few months at the Royal Oak eatery, jumped ship last month to pursue his culinary aspirations at The Avery in Chicago (an upscale bar that's a part of the acclaimed Alinea Group).

The small plates concept introduced last fall when Fenton took charge has gone away. In its place is what you might expect under the old Tom's watch: seafood pasta Aurora, Yacht Club Mac n' Cheese, and Baja fish tacos.

Fenton, who prior to his short stint at Tom's was second-in-command at Bistro 82, tried to introduce a more modern, chef-inspired take on the longtime spot's menu. He canned the clam chowder and replaced it with his own, made with corn, purple potato, chives, and thick crumbles of bacon. He also reworked the menu's layout, emphasizing smaller, separated hot and cold appetizers, and only a handful of larger entrĂ©es. The changes were met with frustration among some regulars, more accustomed to heartier traditional courses.

Tom's is open from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. everyday (kitchen closes at 10 most weeknights, later on weekends) and is located at 318 S. Main St. in Royal Oak.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.