New in town
|By Allan I. Ross|
Bonnie's Place & City Limits EastAfter months of speculation, at least one part of a local rumor is true: Lansing bar and grill Bonnie’s Place, 415 E. Saginaw St., will close on Saturday. Owner/operator Scott Feltenberger, who bought the restaurant from his mother, Bonnie Weiss, 12 years ago, confirmed on Monday that Saturday will be the last day Bonnie’s is open for business.
“We’re not planning anything special,” he said. “It’s going to be business as usual until then.”
The other part of the rumor — who’s purchasing the property — is still up in the air, according to the property’s real estate agent, Gino Baldino.
“There is a contract that has been signed, and now we’re going through the due diligence part, which takes some time,” Baldino said. “I want to remain truthful to my client and not mislead anyone, but we can’t make an announcement until it’s official. It’s not a done deal. In the world of real estate, you never know.”
Feltenberger said that he didn’t know who was buying it, but had “heard rumors” about what was going to happen to the property.
“Gossip is that the building is going to be torn down and they’re going to build a Dollar General here,” Feltenberger said. Baldino would neither confirm nor deny Feltenberger’s claim, saying it could jeopardize the deal. Dollar General is a Tennessee-based chain of variety stores with over 10,000 locations in 40 U.S. states, including three in Lansing.
Bonnie’s Place opened on March 19, 1990, when Feltenberger was a senior in high school. The original name was B&B Tap Room. It was located several blocks away, at 326 N. Cedar St. It moved in 1999 to Saginaw Street, the same year Feltenberger became a partner. He became the sole proprietor when his mother retired in 2001.
“But she still was around all the time, until about two years ago,” Feltenberger said. “She couldn’t handle retirement.”
He said that a tough local economy has made for declining business “the last few years,” prompting him to sell.
“I’ve done this for 23 years, and I just want out now,” Feltenberger said. “My wife is a high school teacher, and this just doesn’t fit our lifestyle anymore.”
He said that he’s been job searching, but has no firm idea of what he’ll do next. He has an accounting degree, but isn’t sure if he’ll use that in his next endeavor.
“I’ve loved the restaurant business, I loved working as a cook, and it was great for (this period) of my life, but I’m ready to start something new,” he said. “Nothing beats working for yourself. I want to thank Lansing very much for 23 years of support. It’s been great.”
Bowling right along
Last month, Marvelanes in East Lansing officially became City Limits East, with new upgrades ranging from the bowling lanes to the kitchen. Manager Matt McCormick said the building was “gutted” and rebuilt with a new sports bar inside. It also features an expansive new menu with a full line of American food, including burgers, steaks, pizzas and grinders. McCormick said the nine-person ownership team also runs City Limits in Mason, which the team bought and upgraded in 2004. He said the goal was to make both locations seen as “family entertainment centers” rather than traditional bowling alleys. Last summer, Spare Time Entertainment Center in East Lansing made a similar conversion.
City Limits East