June 20 2013 12:00 AM

Emil’s owner insists longtime Eastside restaurant will stay open

Sam Inglot/City Pulse

Thursday, June 20 — Despite a new batch of rumors that Emil’s Italian Restaurant on Lansing’s Eastside is closing, owner Paul Grescowle firmly denies them all. 

“We’re not going anywhere,” he said, chuckling. “I have no idea where these rumors are coming from, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The buildings on both sides of me were sold, but we’re definitely not closing.”

Last month, a cryptic message on the restaurant’s website incited a flurry of assumptions, but when contacted at the time, Grescowle also denied the restaurant was closing. He said the message, which was taken down shortly afterward, was in reference to the front of the restaurant getting a new paint job.

“It’s not done yet, and it kind of looks like shit, but when we’re done it’ll look great,” he said.

Last year, City Pulse wrote about a local real estate website that listed the 4,300-square-foot building at 2012 E. Michigan Ave. as being for sale. The listing price said $450,000. The website identified Musselman Realty Co. as the company representing the sale. A spokesman for Musselman, who asked that his name be withheld, said at the time that the real estate firm was conducting a “discreet marketing program.”

He said that his firm was “targeting specific buyers” and was concerned that the City Pulse story could “negatively impact business,” adding that “this is a very sensitive matter.” Grewscowle also asked the story be held for fear of raising customer anxiety. The building is still listed on the website, and the price has dropped to $395,000.

Grescowle is the grandson of the original owners of Emil’s and runs the day-to-day business. Emil’s was founded in 1921, and is Lansing’s oldest restaurant still in operation.