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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Rugby Grille

4.5
571 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Perfect For:
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Romantic
Voted by OpenTable diners as one of the Best Overall Contemporary American Cuisine in Detroit in 2016, you’re come to the right place!

The Rugby Grille, located inside Birmingham’s Townsend Hotel offers a memorable-dining experience. It features beautiful art, intimate tables and a private bar, world-class service and the culinary expertise of Executive Chef Eric Avila and his talented team. The menu changes seasonally and features the very best in USDA prime beef, seafood, poultry and salads. The Rugby Grille features monthly events including wine dinners.

The Rugby Grille has been recognized with the following awards: the coveted AAA Four Diamond award, the Forbes Travel Guide "Recommended" rating as well as the very exclusive Wine Spectator Two Glass Best of Award of Excellence for 2016 & 2017.
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Private dining
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, American, Steak
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Hours of operation
Breakfast: 6:30am - 11:00am; Brunch: Saturday and Sunday: 6:300am - 3:00pm; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Happy Hour: Monday - Friday: 3:00pm to 6:00pm; Light Menu: Saturday - Sunday: 3:00pm - 5:00pm and Daily 10:00pm-close; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
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Phone number
(248) 642-5999
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Eric Avila
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Catering
The Townsend Hotel provides a wide variety of venues to accommodate your needs. Our brand new Clancy Room can accommodate up to 30 for a Rugby Grille private dinner. Please call for specific details.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Pierce & Merrill
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Parking details
Valet parking is available at restaurant entrance (100 Townsend Street) or two hour complimentary parking at the Pierce Street Garage is located right next door.
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Special events & promotions
The Rugby Grille can celebrate all special occasions i.e. birthdays, engagements, small dinner parties, or a special night out. Just let us know how we can creat and enhance your celebration!
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Private Dining

The Rugby Grille is the perfect place to host a variety of events such as corporate business dinners, birthday celebrations, wedding showers, and engagement celebrations.

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Specials

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Mon 1:30PM - 2:45PM 5:00PM - 6:45PM 8:30PM - 11:00PM
Tue - Wed 1:30PM - 2:45PM
Thu 1:30PM - 2:45PM 5:00PM - 6:45PM 8:30PM - 11:00PM

What 571 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Great Food ! and Service ! Nice and quite atmosphere to enjoy our breakfast.

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

Food was superb. Presentation and taste excellent. Our server was professional and very friendly.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Wonderful everything and the food was fantastic. We have gone here for years-since it opened and we had not been back the last few years. Lovely birthday lunch for our friend.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Wonderful, and very quiet. Love this place!!

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Another wonderful dinner at Rugby Grille. The food and service were outstanding!

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Always great. Been going there for years.

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2018

One of the few classy restaurants left in metro Detroit.. service is great... I love this place

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4.0Dined on April 7, 2018

We came here for our wedding anniversary. It was easy to make the reservation on open table, and putting a note about our anniversary on the reservation was great because we had rose petals and a darling chocolate mousse cake for dessert, on the house!

Dining: We shared the cheese platter, which was okay - both the cows milk hard cheeses tasted very similar, while the chèvre was less pungent than I would like. The accompanying almonds and jam and honey were very good. The amuse bouche was hummus with a cheese crisp, and this was delicious. My entree was the table side prepared Dover sole, which was alright, but the beurre blanc was overpowering. The accompanying beans and almonds were excellent. My husband's shrimp and mushroom entree with pasta (one of the specials) was very good, and the mushrooms added a robust meaty flavor to the sauce. We ended the meal with cappuccinos (strong!) and the aforementioned chocolate mousse cake.

Ambience and service: Excellent! Attentive as always. The desk, coatcheck, maitre'd and servers were all fabulous. The other diners were of varying ages, but a bit on the older side (we were the youngest couple there).

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5.0Dined on April 3, 2018

Great for business as the tables are not stacked on top of one another and you can meet in private.

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5.0Dined on March 25, 2018

The Townsend never disappoints - always top drawer service and wonderful food - great place for a business lunch!

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2.0Dined on March 25, 2018

Very disappointed. Service was poor. We got engaged at this restaurant 20 years ago and have been back many times. It's always good. This was a disappointing experience. For the price, we would expect much better service and attention to detail. Having to ask twice for an ice water refill is unacceptable. The waiter didn't mention there was bacon in a special and then was angry when we sent it back. He then double charged us for an app.

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5.0Dined on March 5, 2018

A spectacular evening! The service was impeccable and every part of the meal was outstanding.

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1.0Dined on March 5, 2018

Beautiful hotel setting ! However, the service was not up to the standards of the Townsend Hotel.( We expected Quality Superb Service!!!) The lunch menu was very limited! Our waiter was very stand off and delayed with being attentive to our needs. *We were the only African Americans in the restaurant. smh...

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2.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Not for us. The waiter, while dressed nicely, just wasn't good enough. They have 4 taps of beer and he didn't know what they were. When asked what beers they carry he hesitated and said 'pretty much all of them'.... Well... in that small 4 foot bar..I don't think so ;).

And when I inquired about the two champagne drinks he replied they were about the same except one had peach. Note: the peach one was made with Prosecco and the other one was made with Chandon Brut. These are not the same.

These are important details as this place is trying to fit into a fancy Birmingham notable hotel.

It didn't stack up. We won't be back.

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

Great meal, great service, nice atmosphere. My Dover sole was amazing. We will be back!

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3.0Dined on February 25, 2018

I perceive that the Rugby is an old standard trying to hang on to its relevance. While the food was truly delicious, the service was a Xerox copy of a copy of what it once was and the prices were outrageous for the value received. I hosted three friends for a get together on a Sunday night. We each had a cocktail, shared the Cheese board (which was the highlight of the meal in my opinion), had mains, desert, and coffee. This amounted to just under $450. As a parting shot, the doorman let the weighty entrance door fall on my mother as we exited....the door literally hit her in the arss on the way out! (as if another sign was needed.)

This place once had so much character and was the it place to see all of the movers and shakers in town. Knowing that I'll never see Bill Bonds holding court in the bar as the Smashing Pumpkins or the LA Lakers walk through the hotel door, I think I'll plan my get togethers somewhere else going forward. There just isn't enough to make me return to this once grand institution.

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5.0Dined on February 18, 2018

The service was fantastic. Thanks so much!!

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1.0Dined on February 18, 2018

Extremely disappointed and would not recommend. Pricey, hostess and restaurant manager disrespectful but the wait staff were wonderful. Evening clientele were surprising for a respectful town. Definately do not eat dinner there but great for after dinner drink. There are better restaurants for dinner in the area.

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2.0Dined on February 14, 2018

I had dinner at The Rugby Grille and I must say I was disappointed with my experience. Food was mediocre for most things. Dishes came out cold. Foie gras was too frozen and essentially impossible to spread. Desert pastry was impossible to eat with a fork, we almost wished we had a knife for desert. Mushroom bisque was delicious though. Service was terrible. Our waiter initially hovered pressuring us to order faster. When asked to tell us about dishes on the menu, a reasonable request at any restaurant but especially at this price point, he read back few words from that same menu we we're looking at. He then followed it up with comments such as "this is self explanatory" and "well do you know what these words mean", which were unhelpful and insulting. After we ordered he essentially disappeared and was rarely seen.
This was the first time in my life I paid $350 for dinner and didn't enjoy my experience. Won't be recommending this place to anyone, and I will not be returning myself.

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2.0Dined on February 13, 2018

Hostess wasn't at the stand, we waited awkwardly ~3min. before she showed up. She did not apologize for making us wait and seemed annoyed to be doing her job.

Waiter was fairly new. He was friendly, but didn't know the menu, kept forgetting what we had ordered, didn't bring things out that we had ordered, couldn't figure out how to use an OpenTable rewards voucher, and never came to pick up the check (I had to bring a credit card to the bar to pay).

Food was good, but wouldn't call it great. My wife had French onion soup (good, $10) and the foie gras burger (very good, but $50+). I had seafood crudo (bland and a little mushy, ~$30) and lasagna (really heavy, $38).

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5.0Dined on February 13, 2018

The Rugby Grille in the Townsend Hotel is my "go-to" place for breakfast/lunch meetings, happy hour after work and special occasions with my family.

The service is always on point and the food always hits the mark.

I highly recommend it to all of my friends and clients and look forward to many more meals there in the future.

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4.0Dined on February 5, 2018

Montgomery was AWESOME!! Really enjoyed the service & his recommendations. Had the venison, which was fabulous. Hubby had the swordfish-so,so.

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2.0Dined on February 3, 2018

poorly salted icy side walk
no valet or doorman in sight
lamb chop appetizer poor quality - poor preparation - I expect more from a place of this stature
Your wealthy clientele are not that stupid

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5.0Dined on February 3, 2018

10/10 would good back her for dinner and any other meal. The chefs were especially perfect. Chef Paul, and Eric both catered to my diet and made a dish that was extravagant and our server Montgomery was extraordinary.

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5.0Dined on February 2, 2018

Wonderful food and terrific service. I recommend this restaurant and for quiet conversation and a refined atmosphere. Rugby Grille is not stuffy or formal, just a lovely restaurant with a sophisticated ambience.

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4.0Dined on January 30, 2018

First impression was the hostess, ‘Bria,’ who warmly and professionally led us to our table. I requested via ‘Open Table’ a ‘romantic’ spot for my wife’s birthday; Bria had adorned our table with lovely rose petals and candles, seating us in the small private nook area. Perfect! ‘Bria’ gets 5 Stars!

We ordered a bottle of Rosé champagne, and a Hendrick’s for myself. Both were presented quickly although I wouldn’t rave about the Rugby’s pours - rather meager. The server came to the table and was very ‘enthusiastic’ about what we ‘should’ order, immediately referring us to the most expensive ‘starters’ and main courses on the menu. He kept pushing the Dover Sole for my wife despite her stating she prefers meat to fish. Didn’t matter to him, he just kept insisting she get the Sole. While I appreciate he may have his ‘fave’ selections, it would be preferable were he to temper his enthusiasm with a more ‘listening.’ He ultimately came across as pushy uninterested in anything but getting the order and moving on.

My wife ordered the Onion Soup, noting the cheese was was marvelous, but the soup tasted as though it had liquid smoke – a bit much for her. I tasted it and found it to be divine. Each to their own. I took our server’s suggestion for the Tuna Starter which was very good. The filet was flavorful and excellently grilled and the Brick Chicken was amazing! Perfectly seasoned and faultlessly cooked!

Overall, the primary dinner service side was spotty and inattentive. I’d give the head server a ‘3 Star’ for coming across as insistent & uninterested in attending to my wife. The server who brought our water and breadbasket was excellent! I mustn’t omit the ‘Bread’ service! Rolls and thin breadsticks were warm, and butter stunning!!

Overall, a fine night! The Rugby cost will take your breath away; $10 for valet, $140 for Champagne and $350 - after the 20% tip - is quite the hammer on the senses. Birmingham is expensive, but the Rugby pushes the limit.

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5.0Dined on January 30, 2018

Great food, service and decor. I would highly recommend it. It can be pricey however.

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3.0Dined on January 30, 2018

Service was very slow and entree was lukewarm.

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2018

the best Dover sole anywhere, ever!

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5.0Dined on January 23, 2018

Perfect for that power breakfast with great food and service.

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5.0Dined on January 21, 2018

Warm atmosphere, friendly professional service in a lovely setting

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5.0Dined on January 13, 2018

My wife and I had the pleasure of dining here recently. Our waiter was extremely friendly and knowledgeable. We shared a wedge salad, dover sole and braised short ribs. Yum! The chocolate cake was a very pleasant end to a wonderful meal.
We will definitely eat here again!

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5.0Dined on January 13, 2018

Awesome service provided by Montgomery! He ruled!!! Food was great, not cheap, but you get what you pay for, quality!!!!
Rib was to die for, scallops yummy!
We will be back!!!

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5.0Dined on January 11, 2018

Outstanding as always. Went for lunch. Superior service and food. The best restaurant in the Birmingham area in my opinion. Highly recommend!

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5.0Dined on January 6, 2018

Wonderful night out with my husband! Delicious martinis, great wine, amazing food...and we could talk! No music blasting so loud you can’t have a conversation. The wait staff is lovely and the room is cozy. Just a fabulous date. All around!! Their brunch is also lovely!

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3.0Dined on January 6, 2018

First time ever disappointed with Rugby. Hair in our food, waiter no where to be found and didn’t compensate for either.

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5.0Dined on January 5, 2018

Impeccable service with excellent food options. Love the ambience. Not your typical restaurant. It's above all others.

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5.0Dined on January 3, 2018

We went on a Wednesday evening so I was afraid food would be compromised, however, it was not the case. My steak was cooked perfectly and service was wonderful.

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5.0Dined on December 30, 2017

Wonderful evening. Our only criticism was the recommendation of wine was very expensive and that might have been mentioned with the recommendation.

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4.0Dined on December 28, 2017

Let’s get this straight....open table has this mis-marked as $30 and under. Most of the entrees run $45+ for dinner. That said, food was good and service exceptional. The old fashion cocktail I had could be better. Have and will repeat.

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