“I’d been wanting to open my own place for a while, and when I saw this space open, I jumped on it,” said owner/operator Scott Rolen, who licensed the Lou & Harry’s name from founder Harry Saites. Rolen had worked for Saites for 10 years at Lou & Harry’s Sports Bar on Chandler Road (more on that below) and said he was ready to work for himself.
Saites, who still operates the Frandor location, worked with Rolen to redesign the space. Rolen said his restaurant has some of the same items as the other Lou & Harry’s spots and continues the traditions that made the other locations successful.
“We make everything from scratch here — all the sauces, all the dressings, the burgers all cooked to order,” he said. “This is fast casual at its best.”
Down the block, Luke Slocum is a third generation “Jersey Gianter.” The sandwich chain was started by his grandfather in 1979, but the downtown location is his first solo effort.
“I’m surprised we didn’t already have a location downtown,” he said. “I love Lansing and I’ve had a blast getting to know the downtown crowd.”
Jersey Giant offers catering and delivery to downtown businesses. It is open late night on weekends to accommodate the bar traffic.
Meanwhile, back in East Lansing, the former location for Lou & Harry’s Sports Bar & Grill has had a massive interior overhaul and is under new ownership with a new name: The Chandler TapHouse, opening Thursday.
The business’ interior has undergone significant cosmetic changes, including the addition of a new banquet room, and the shift has gone from a high-energy sports bar to a family friendly restaurant with a full dinner menu, including steak, fish, chicken and pasta dishes. There are 50 beers in tap, most of which are dedicated to craft beer.
Lou & Harry’s (downtown Lansing) 119 S. Washington Square, Lansing 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 3 p.m.-8 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday (517), facebook.com/ louhaslansing
Jersey Giant (downtown Lansing) 220 S. Washington Square, Lansing 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; midnight-3 a.m. Friday & Saturday (517) 203-5348, facebook. com/jgsubs
Chandler Tap House 16800 Chandler Road, East Lansing 3-11 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday; 3 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday- Saturday (517) 332-4687, chandlertaphouse.com