Chicken tenders. Burgers. Milkshakes.
What do all of these have in common? They all could've been found at a Burger King at 32704 Grand River in Farmington before it closed at the end of 2018. But soon, hungry diners will be able to order those foods again at the location, albeit at a completely different restaurant concept.
Enter Detroit Eatz, a brand-new dining concept that brings plenty of comfort food to the building that formerly housed Burger King and expands on the concept by becoming an innovative place for food.
In addition to the above fare, owners Lisa and Scott Bruso of Walled Lake will operate what they're calling a "dreli:" a drive-through deli, fully stocked with Dearborn brand meats and cheeses.
"We're more than just offering burgers and fries through the drive-through," said Lisa Bruso, who grew up in Bloomfield Hills before moving out of state and returning to open the restaurant. "You can come in on a snowy day and you can get through the drive through a half-spiral ham if you've got a party coming in."
Want a half pound of turkey? You can get it without leaving your car? Need a quarter pound of muenster cheese for those lunches you'll make throughout the week? You can pick it up at Detroit Eatz.
The decision to open a restaurant came last year for the family, when the Burger King closed its doors at the end of 2018. The family decided it was time to try their hand in the restaurant business, and since her father, William Schonsheck, owned the property, decided Farmington was the place to start.
"This building has been in my family for 30 years," she said. "We've owned it since 1982 and we did buy the land and the building and my dad ran it from 1982 to 2013."
While the building is still reminiscent of a Burger King, the inside has been completely remodeled with brand-new dining furniture, ordering counter and plenty of new kitchen equipment for the new concept. While some of the fryers from Burger King were kept, everything else was new in the kitchen, including a sandwich prep area, deli prep area and new fryers just dedicated to creating fresh, hand-cut French fries on a daily basis.
In addition to the drive-through deli concept, the couple is unveiling a new system designed to empower customers with knowing how long they'll wait for food. Called the "TLC," it employs traffic light colors to let customers know what's available immediately. Food with a green dot next to is ready to be served immediately, a yellow dot will be a short wait and a red dot will be a longer wait, depending on what's being prepared inside.
"Each item is going to be labeled with a green, yellow or red dot to let you know what's available now," Lisa Bruso said. "That way, you don't have to say, 'Oh, well how long do I have to wait for this item?' You're going to know as soon as you drive up to the menu."
Food for every day
The menu consists of plenty of approachable food, adding some pizzazz such as a "coney bologna," which is essentially a coney dog with the traditional toppings and shaped like a hamburger. They will also serve Impossible burgers, patty melts on marble rye bread and have other options for vegetarians as well.
The menu was kept simple enough to keep people customers back on a regular basis, as opposed to only coming in on rare occasions.
"We want regular food that people could come to multiple times a week," Scott Bruso said. "We didn't want all this extreme stuff where we're a destination where we only see you once a month or once every couple of months. We want to be a part of the community's every day life. So we developed the menu to really fit that."
Follow the restaurant on Instagram @detroit_eatz.
Contact David Veselenak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-678-6728. Follow him on Twitter @davidveselenak.