The entrance of Cheezy D’s Deli and Dogs located on the corner of Marsh and Lake Lansing. Credit: Brea Crawford
Cheezy D’s Deli and Dogs in Haslett, Michigan was robbed just months after their grand opening on June 15, a few months later than originally planned. Owners Denny and Michelle Emmer tried to make the best out of the situation.
“I knew who did it, that’s why I didn’t press charges,” said Denny. “No matter what their issue was, they needed help. We tried to make a positive out of it. The window can be replaced, and no one was hurt.”
The robbery influenced Denny to take his business to the next level and help the community.
“I’d say expectations kind of go out the window when you have the pandemic, and it changes everything,” said Jake Hawley, who opened a restaurant one week before an order by the governor shut them down. “It’s been a roller coaster, to say the least.”
Courtesy of Zahra Saad of The Custard HutHot Waffle Sandwiches sold by The Custard Hut of Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Zahra Saad was startled by the reactions when she announced the opening of her business, the Custard Hut. “When we opened on April 10, I received multiple death threats, multiple threats on my business and actually had people calling the cops to try to shut me down, but we were allowed to be open,” said Saad. For many people, ice cream is the go-to staple of the summer. But during a global pandemic that limits face-to-face interaction and differing opinions by the public and business owners alike about when the appropriate time is to open a store, the sweet treat has undergone a lot of changes these past few months. Several Detroit ice cream stores were forced to close down because of the shelter in place order that was effective March 24.
America, land of the free to eat what you want, home of the gluttonous. Eating healthy is something most Americans strive to do. It is also considered a feat that is easier said than done here in the United States where fast food options are prevalent and easily accessible. If Americans struggle to eat healthy, how would someone from the other side of the planet fare in finding healthy food options like the ones they are accustomed to in their homeland? That is exactly what Nataree Leelapatree, an international student from Thailand who attends Michigan State, had to do five years ago when she first came to the United States.
The Old Chicago restaurant chain has been around since 1976 and has catered to families in Michigan from its three different locations: Southgate, Trenton, Portage and Okemos. “The Okemos location has been here since 2004,” said service manager Cassie Sanderson, “I’ve been working here for 12 years and the environment and everything, it feels just like a family.”
Old Chicago features specialty pizzas such as the spaghetti pie. The pizza has spaghetti tossed in Alfredo sauce and baked with Romano and Provolone cheeses then topped with Alfredo sauce. “The Spaghetti Pie is my favorite thing on the menu,” said Sanderson. “It sounds gross
because it’s hard to explain but it’s so good.”
With a welcoming atmosphere the restaurant has a small arcade area, as well as a large bar which allows it to cater to just about everyone in the family.
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.
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.
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.