NEW IN TOWN
|By ALLAN I. ROSS|
FIRESIDE GRILL / WHAT UP DAWG EXPRESS / RUM RUNNERSFor 17 years, Barley’s American Grill was a south Lansing staple for billiards, darts and bar food. Owner Ed Hall opened the 5,000-square-foot establishment after finding success in Kalamazoo with a much smaller pool hall. In April, he closed Barley’s so he could focus on his new endeavor: Fireside Grill, which opened this week in Dimondale.
The 12,000-square-foot building has been home to other restaurants: the Pour House, the Windsor Mountain Grille and the Coyote Creek Grille. The move has enabled Hall to expand his menu to include many fresh items.
“Our kitchen was very small, and we relied on a lot of frozen food,” he said. “Now we can have fresh greens, seafood and pasta. We’re really going to focus on healthy cooking.”
The menu will also feature daily specials, as well as soup made from scratch every day. Managing partner Melanie Baker said they plan to host live music, trivia and a possible stand-up comedy night.
Work is still being done on the space, but the bar area, the patio and a separate dining room are open for business. In time, Baker said Fireside Grill will feature two private rooms for parties or business meetings as well as a dining room with an atrium and a fireplace, hence the name.
“We didn’t own the (Barley’s) building, so our options were very limited,” Baker said. “But we bought this building, and now the sky’s the limit.”
Dawg days of summer
Earlier this month, East Lansing’s What Up Dawg? opened its satellite location, What Up Dawg Express, in downtown Lansing’s sprawling Michigan Avenue bar complex. The new location takes the place of the Dugout Pub, a 220-square-foot space adjacent to the Harem Urban Lounge. It neighbors The Tin Can, Taps 25, The Loft and Tacos 911.
“This is quite a bit smaller that our original location, but it’s designed to for quick grab-and-run type dining,” said general manager Bill Schramm. “We had a mobile dog cart that we moved around downtown Lansing and found the space (in front of Harem) to get the most business. When we were offered a permanent space here, it was a no-brainer. This is the busiest bar block in Ingham County.”
The original location opened in February 2011, with a hot dog-centric menu with beer. The new location doesn’t have deep fryers, so there won’t be French fries to round out your meal, but there are Michigan bottled beers (no taps, yet) and Michigan-made liquor.
“We’re trying to keep everything as local as possible,” Schramm said. “All of our hot dogs, chili and toppings are made in Michigan. Supporting the local economy is very important for us.”
A couple of weeks ago, we told you about the renovations going on at downtown Lansing’s Rum Runners. This weekend the two-story piano bar, 601 E. Michigan Ave., unveils its updated second floor with a rock ‘n’ roll piano show on Friday and Saturday and a tattoo party on Saturday. For more information, go to rumrunners.com.
6951 Lansing Road, Dimondale
10 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday
What Up Dog Express
414 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing
8 p.m.-3 a.m. Thursday-Saturday