Detroit Regional Chamber > Member News > Auburn Hills Welcomes Long-Time Restaurateur Patrick Elwell Back Downtown

Auburn Hills Welcomes Long-Time Restaurateur Patrick Elwell Back Downtown

February 18, 2013
New Elwell Grill the Latest Addition to Developing Cityscape

Auburn Hills, MI—February 15, 2013—The City of Auburn Hills, a dynamic community committed to innovation and growth, is welcoming iconic Auburn Hills restaurateur, Patrick Elwell, back Downtown with the opening of the new Elwell Grill at the Northeast corner of Auburn and Squirrel Court.

Patrick Elwell’s history with Auburn Hills goes back nearly 50 years. He first purchased the building where the current restaurant stands in 1964, operating Stewart’s Diner for two years before remodeling and opening the doors as Shalea Inn. The name evolved into Patrick’s Shalea Inn and, in 1987, to Patrick’s. When Elwell retired in 2000, he retained ownership of the building but leased it to Kip Bourdeaux, who ran Bistro Bourdeaux for several years until its closure in 2009. The building sat vacant for three years as the City sought a seasoned restaurant owner to take over the space. Ultimately, Patrick Elwell came out of retirement at age 75 to reignite his restaurant passion. The restaurant, which boasts a modern American menu in a cozy urban setting, had a soft opening in December and is now open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, serving only dinner on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

“I missed the people and I enjoy being back,” said Elwell. “I’ll work until I get tired of it and I don’t see that happening any time soon!”

Assistant City Manager Tom Tanghe, who is also executive director of the Auburn Hills Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA), says Elwell Grill is not only a part of Auburn Hills’ history, it’s an example of the TIFA and the business community working together to bring more people into Downtown Auburn Hills.

“The main entrance of Elwell Grill was originally slated for the rear of the building, rather than on the main road – Auburn. Recognizing that the restaurant would be a greater part of the Downtown scene with a front entrance, the TIFA used its grant program to assist in funding additional windows and doors for the front of the building,” explained Tanghe. “With Elwell Grill now having a welcoming front entrance at pedestrian level, it has increased the restaurant’s prominence Downtown.”

Elwell was appreciative of the collaboration.

“I have a good feeling about Auburn Hills. The City’s leaders through the years have done a nice job of planning for the future. They put their money where it matters most,” said Elwell.
Tanghe said the City is thrilled to have a new gathering spot for locals and visitors alike.

“We have the streetscape in place. When the new graduate housing building opens across the street later this year, the entire vibe of the area will change. It’s going to be a blend of students, young adults, families and business people; Elwell Grill is going to make an important contribution to the transformation that is gaining momentum in Downtown Auburn Hills.”

Elwell Grill was designed by Birmingham architect and renown restaurant designer, Ron Rea, along with accessorizing input from Patrick Elwell’s daughter, Kelly Talmers. Talmers co-manages the restaurant along with Maureen Hammond, a long-time Auburn Hills resident and Mayor Pro-Tem who also worked at Patrick’s as a teen.

Elwell Grill offers a tasty American menu ranging from green salads and fresh fruit to sandwiches, chicken, fish and steaks with a twist, serving only top quality choice beef. The restaurant is located at 3315 Auburn Road and the phone number is 248.289.1817. For a complete history of Elwell Grill, the new menu and hours of operation, visit

About Auburn Hills
Celebrating 30 years as a city in 2013, Auburn Hills is home to 21,000 residents and also serves as Michigan’s global business address, with 40 international corporations from 32 countries housed here, including Chrysler Group LLC and Borg Warner headquarters. Auburn Hills’ residents enjoy the amenities of city and suburban living with parks, a revitalized downtown district and a welcoming city complex with a library and community center. Additionally, the city has five colleges and universities, the award winning Palace of Auburn Hills entertainment complex and Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, one of the state’s largest destination shopping centers, providing a variety of cultural, social and educational opportunities to residents, workers and visitors. Learn more at