While some metro Detroit restaurants close due to the pandemic, others are expanding

Posted at 5:11 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 18:28:44-04

(WXYZ) — At a time when businesses are struggling to stay open, the owners of Andiamo and other restaurants are expanding. The group has taken over three restaurants, but eateries are still unable to open to full capacity.

“Anything and everything is on the table today,” said Restaurant Group Owner Joe Vicari. And he isn’t talking about food.

After adding three new restaurants, Joe Vicari now owns 25 locations, including some familiar names like Andiamo.

The restaurant group has taken over:
• The Hill Seafood & Chop House in Grosse Pointe Farms
• Triple Nickle in Birmingham (which will soon be named ‘The Birmingham Pub’)
• And Buc’eez Pub in Macomb (that name will be changing to ‘Barleycorn Public House’)

“I like the locations," Vicari said. "I think it’s an area that’s been good and going to stay good.”

The Hill is open for now, but the other two are being renovated. The news comes as another restaurant, The Staler Bistro in Detroit’s Grand Circus Park, will open up early 2021.

At a time when restaurants are permanently closing their doors, why expand during these uncertain times?

According to the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association, nearly 5,000 restaurants and hotels in our state are at risk of permanently closing. In fact, the Triple Nickle and Buc’eez never reopened after the shutdown.

“They probably had problems beforehand,” Vicari speculated.

The MRLA says 74% of restaurant owners do not expect sales to return to pre-pandemic levels within the next six months. But Joe believes their current restaurants are doing well, bringing back 85% of their staff.

At the three new locations, they are keeping the current staff and adding more jobs.

“We were cautiously optimistic that this was going to end sooner than later and that’s why we took the risk,” Vicari said.

The Hill is open until the end of year but will close in January for renovations. The other restaurants will reopen within the next couple of months.

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