Lansing mirrors steady growth seen in national restaurant scene

By Eve Kucharski
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

To some, Lansing’s restaurant scene might not seem like it is doing well. Others view it as an area that has been holding steady. But the truth of the matter is, according to Nielsen, in 2011 Lansing’s Restaurant Growth Index (RGI), was up six points above the national average, and far higher than Michigan’s overall average. And according to an associate professor at the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, Jeffery Elsworth, restaurant growth in the nation is up in general. Elsworth said that the number of restaurants in the United States number close to one million, and in a matter of years will reach that landmark.

Holt looking to define downtown identity through 'Realize Cedar' study

By Austin Short
Holt Journal Staff Reporter

Delhi Charter Township has started an initiative called Realize Cedar and they are looking towards its residents for new ideas on how to improve Holt’s downtown area, specifically the triangle of Cedar Street, Holt Road and Aurelius Road. The study has three ways people can give input; offer a big idea, prioritize goals, and answer poll questions. The former allows people to write the township. Prioritize goals lets residents of the area tell the township what is most important to them. Finally ,the poll lets citizens vote and see the results of important considerations such as retail, bike paths, larger sidewalks and restaurants.

Permits approved for Okemos Chick-fil-A, but company mum about specific opening plans

By Ally Hamzey
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Mid-Michiganders still await their first taste of the Southern-based fast-food restaurant chain, Chick-fil-A, on their home front. The company’s plans to open a location on Grand River Avenue in front of Meijer in Okemos were confirmed in November and residents today are anticipating further information on the opening of the store. Meridian Township Director of Community Planning and Development Mark Kieselbach confirms that the special use permits necessary for the addition of the restaurant have been approved by the Planning Commission of Meridian Township. “As soon as they announced they were coming to the township, we had a lot of interest. A lot of people follow them, [have tried] Chick-fil-A in other states and like them,” Kieselbach said.

In the battle between chain restaurants versus mom-and-pops, who wins?

By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

In Meridian Township, there are two types of restaurants—local and national chains. Both of these have different advantages and disadvantages, but the chain restaurants have the upper hand when it comes to funding and advertising. This is the ultimate reason why there are more of those in the area. Restaurant Report stated that according to an exerpt from Lebhar-Friedman Chain Store Guide, only 12 percent of restaurants are independent. The biggest advantages the chain restaurants have are their marketing ability and the funds to advertise and promote their business.

Nearing one year in town, restaurant is a family affair

By Shane Jones
The Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter

DEWITT — Family Tree Cafe is a restaurant located in the heart of DeWitt. The inside is set up like an old-fashioned restaurant from the fifties. Greeting and starting and a conversation is owner Tim Russell. Working his way around the room carrying out conversations and running the restaurant, he evens find time to play a game of peek-a-boo with a young infant child. “Well, I used to do automotive design work until I lost my job in 2008.

Lansing Center having a big impact on city, culture

By Isaac Constans
Listen Up, Lansing Staff Reporter

So often at the center of attention is the Lansing Convention Center. The Lansing Convention Center, also known as the Lansing Center, hosts many of the biggest events to come to Lansing and provides a constant source of entertainment to the residents, as well as a large tourism and economy boost. Opened in 1987, the Lansing Center occupies the final block of Michigan Avenue heading west before the Grand River. It is an ideal location for people to visit. “When I go to [Lansing Community College], I can just walk from there to here, so yeah it’s a good spot,” Maricella Bonilla, a staff employee of the Lansing Center for approximately 18 months, said about the Lansing Center.

Old Town adding some ethnic flavor

By Cynthia Lee
Old Town Lansing Times staff reporter

McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s are common restuarants that can be found in most cities across the country. If it is not a corporate restaurant, it’s usually an American mom-and-pop restaurant with the usual burgers, hot dogs, and fries in most areas in Lansing. Until now, with people like entrepreneur Sam Short adding a new flavor to the food scene in Old Town. Short is the owner of the new upscale restaurant and bar, The Creole at 1218 Turner St. in Old Town.