Marty Miller always dreamed of opening at sandwich shop. After years in the restaurant industry and a short stint outside of it, he and his wife Nicole decided it was time for him to follow his dream.
In August 2013, Coco Fairfield’s, a breakfast and lunch joint, opened on 12 Mile Road in Berkley. Why the name Coco Fairfield’s? Well, Coco was Nicole’s first pet and Fairfield was the street she grew up on. If that’s not a great way to come up with a name for a restaurant, we don’t know what is.
The mission at Coco Fairfield’s is simple: Serve a mix of indulgent comfort foods and health-conscious items in a comfortable setting. You can find everything from decadent apple cinnamon French toast stuffed with cream cheese for breakfast to a lentil quinoa salad for lunch. Items range from vegan to decidedly non-vegan (bacon, anyone?).
Miller is very conscious of gluten-free customers, creating a loyal following of folks who dine at the restaurant because of their dietary restrictions. To prevent cross-contamination, separate preparation areas and cooking tops are used.
All soups are gluten-free and all items can be made gluten-free upon request. Coco Fairfield’s is nut-free, too, although Miller points out that the only nuts in the restaurant are his employees.
Coco Fairfield’s is proud to serve Michigan-made products like maple syrup from Doodles Sugarbush in Blanchard, rye and sourdough bread from G&A Baking Company in Taylor, and apple cinnamon bread from Russo Bakery in Clinton Township. Zingerman’s coffee is served as well.
The variety of indulgent foods, health-conscious items, and dietary accommodations have made Coco Fairfield’s a destination not just for residents of Berkley, but Royal Oak, Birmingham, and beyond.
During our visit, we enjoyed the Breakfast Club Sandwich, a sizeable portion of egg, turkey, bacon, tomato, avocado, and chipotle mayonnaise on toasted sourdough. From the lunch menu, we devoured the Chipotle Bacon Sliders. We appreciate the variety of options and love that’s put into everything they serve.
When it comes to atmosphere, Coco Fairfield’s is small, helping create a diner-like vibe. During our visit, we likened our experience to being on the classic television show Cheers; everyone seemed to know each other and conversation was abundant.
“We have a lot of regulars. Everybody knows everybody,” says Miller.
The comfortable, family-like atmosphere doesn’t mean Coco Fairfield’s doesn’t have its quirks.
An array of clocks line the wall extending across the entire restaurant. The collection currently stands at 31, but it’s growing quickly. People have even dropped off clocks at the back door of the restaurant during off-hours to add to the collection. Quirky signs, many of which revolve around bacon, and other artwork round-out the funky décor.
Bathrooms are seldom talked about in our restaurant spotlights, but the men’s room at Coco Fairfield’s deserves mention. A KISS theme runs throughout and is worth checking out.
When asked about plans to expand, Miller said they’re content where they’re at.
“Berkley and Huntington Woods are great, supportive communities and we have no plans to leave.”
We asked Marty and Nicole about five of their favorite Michigan things. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Favorite vacation spot: The Upper Peninsula. Before opening Coco Fairfield’s, the Millers took a trip across the UP.
2. Favorite flavor of Faygo: Rock & Rye
3. Lafayette or American Coney Island: Lafayette
4. Favorite lake: Lake Superior
5. Favorite music venue: Fillmore Detroit