Former Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Novi to become animal hospital

Dogs and cats could be welcomed into the old Ruby Tuesday building in Novi early next year.

The restaurant which closed nearly a year ago is set to become the Shelter Bay Animal Hospital after Novi City Council unanimously agreed to allow the site to expand beyond a sit-down restaurant.

While part of the building will be converted for veterinary use, new owner Terry McCarthy plans to keep the Ruby Tuesday kitchen intact and incorporate a catering business into it.

“It’s a little too big for us right now,” McCarthy said. “We thought of cutting it in half and putting a vet clinic on the front half, to make it look fantastic. There’s a nice million dollar kitchen in the back of this building, we don’t have the heart to tear it down. We don’t need it, we don’t need the money. But we will try to see if anyone wants a catering kitchen.

McCarthy and his wife, a veterinarian, own Dandy Acres Veterinary Hospital in Lyon Township and Easthaven Veterinary Hospital in Ann Arbor.

Shelter Bay Animal Hospital will be an advanced general practice, specializing in imaging and dentistry, catering primarily to dogs and cats, but also other domestic animals. McCarthy notes that veterinary staff have dealt with birds and even a bearded dragon hit by a car.

The hospital will not operate as an after-hours emergency clinic and is expected to have mostly regular hours of operation. But McCarthy said they are “always there for trouble” and some emergencies can be attended to after hours.

McCarthy said he was excited about the veterinary practice’s new facility, which measures approximately 7,300 square feet on 3.15 acres on the south side of Twelve Mile Road, west of Haggerty Road.

Ruby Tuesday had previously reached an agreement with SMART to allow buses in the parking lot when not in use, but McCarthy intends to terminate that agreement.

He acknowledged that the large car park, which has 210 spaces, is more than the hospital needs and said he would consult his architectural firm to find out what to do with the excess pavement to avoid it does not become a horror.

The building has long been a sit-down restaurant under a 1991 agreement with adjacent gas station owners. Prior to 2005 and the Ruby Tuesday move in, the building operated as Cooker’s Bar & Grill.

Contact reporter Susan Bromley at [email protected] or 517-281-2412. Follow her on Twitter @SusanBromley10.

Benjamin M. Yerger