Upon walking in to Republica, Berkley’s newest restaurant, you almost feel like you are in your own home. From the Detroit themed art, Motown on the radio, and the “Triple Deke” menu nod to the Red Wings, it’s a restaurant that highlights everything Berkley stands for.
That feeling isn’t an accident. Owner Petro Drakopoulos has orchestrated the restaurant’s unique atmosphere and vibe, falling back on years of experience and a whole lot of help from his family.
Petro was born and raised in Chicago and first came to Michigan to help run Texas de Brazil in Downtown Detroit after a successful run in their Chicago location. After years running corporate restaurants, Petro and his wife, Alexis, wanted a more local, family run place.
Republica is definitely a family affair. Petro’s wife is the hostess, his Mother-In-Law, Georgiann, is the head chef, and he is a constant fixture. He can be seen in the kitchen, bar and greeting everyone that walks in.
You can taste the family love in every bite that leaves the kitchen.
For those living the gluten free, vegetarian, or vegan lifestyle (GF/V/VE), the Flower Roast is creative genius. It’s a giant head of cauliflower roasted and seasoned so well, it’s hard to believe you are eating a vegetable.
The Lobster Grits appetizer is a lesson in delectable gluttony. It’s rich, creamy and decadent without being overly heavy. Chef Georgiann chose grits as the vehicle of delight because it allows her to pile on the lobster without overwhelming the dish (or your wallet).
As delicious as the appetizers are, leave room for one of Republica’s signature entrées like the Revolution Burger. This burger is topped with candied bacon, an egg, a fried onion ring and srirachannaise (sriracha and mayonnaise). Hung-over? Sad it’s Monday? Got a parking ticket? One bite of this burger and all is right with the world again.
The food parade doesn’t stop with burgers; we tried the fish and chips next. Republica serves up large pieces of beer battered fish, fried to fluffy perfection. The homemade tartar sauce and blue cheese slaw are perfect compliments.
Although we didn’t try any of the vegetarian or vegan main courses, the folks next to us swore by the Urban Farm, a vegan eggplant sandwich that smelled heavenly.
The menu at Republica is deliberately diverse.
“Our goal is to be a true neighborhood destination. That means having items for everyone. Preferences, right and wrong, should not be dictated by what trends or magazines say you should like. If you want a gluten free/vegan dish or a 1,000 calorie burger, you should be able to go out and enjoy,” Petro emphasizes.
“We want people to feel like they are at home. We want to serve food that leaves you feeling full and content. If you don’t like it, we’ll get you something else,” he continues.
Hungry yet? Republica will be hosting a Grand Opening party on November 27th, the night before Thanksgiving, complete with regular favorites, plus a special bar appetizer menu. It’s the perfect time to celebrate Berkley’s newest gem.
Coinciding with the Grand Opening party, Petro will be debuting what he hopes to be a new tradition at his restaurant, The Salad Bowl. Patrons are invited to bring in a salad bowl they plan on using at Thanksgiving dinner and Republica will fill it to the brim with either Mitch’s Classic Greek Salad or the Republica Chopped Salad. Prices start at $22 and the salads feed 8 to 10 people. Smaller bowls can be accommodated as well, but why would anyone want to bring a small bowl?
Additionally, Republica will be offering a karmic discount in December. Customers can bring in a parking ticket issued up to 7 days prior to their visit and receive 10% off their food purchase.
Republica is located at 1999 Coolidge Hwy. in Berkley, Michigan.