- people on the move
Detroit pizza chain entering West Michigan market
The former site of an Italian restaurant in a Grand Rapids suburb will see new life as a pizzeria this spring.
Farmington Hills-based Buddy’s will open its 13th location and first in West Michigan at 4061 28th St. SE in Kentwood, in the former Carrabba’s Italian Grill that closed in February 2017.
A spokesperson said Buddy’s has seen demand for a Grand Rapids location “for a long time.” So far, its restaurants have all been clustered in southeast Michigan.
“So many metro Detroiters have chosen Grand Rapids as a place to live, because it shares so much of Detroit’s history and values,” said Wes Pikula, chief brand officer, Buddy’s.
“We’ve fielded many requests over the years to take Buddy’s there, and we’re glad to finally be joining the community.”
The restaurant is about 6,620 square feet and can seat 210 guests, including 20 seats on an outdoor patio.
The interior design will incorporate a garage door over the bar, mosaic floors and reclaimed beams from factories in Detroit. The new restaurant will “blend Buddy’s tradition with modern industrial elements,” just like its original Detroit location.
In addition to serving Buddy’s signature “Detroit-style pizzas,” the restaurant will feature gluten-free pizza, salads, burgers and more.
The newest location will also offer a selection of Grand Rapids craft brews, as well as Buddy’s signature craft beers, Buddy Brew and Bocce IPA.
Founded in 1946 in Detroit, Buddy’s serves “Detroit-style” rectangular deep-dish pizzas, with thick and crispy crusts and toppings such as mushrooms and pepperoni, originally inspired by Sicilian recipes.
Buddy’s has received the Michigan Restaurant Neighbor Award for the past seven years.