The Eastside’s iconic Fish & Chips restaurant passes its building and signature sign on to Lee Lee’s Coney & Grill, a Detroit style coney island serving gyros, coney dogs, greek salads and breakfast all day.
Lee Lee’s expects to be open late for the bar crowd after testing the waters with its Sept. 22 grand opening.
“I grew up in the restaurant industry — worked in the grocery store industry, and wanted a change of pace,” owner Robert Lajcaj said. “It’s a challenge with long hours and hard work, but it can be really rewarding.”
Teaming up with his wife Jessica, the couple are opening up the diner as a family business for their 9-month-old daughter Dorothy “Lee” Lajcaj — the namesake of the restaurant.
Lajcaj said he hopes to see her taking orders behind the counter once she’s old enough.
“I love the building and the location,” Lajcaj said. “I’m a big fan of Michigan Avenue, because it is something coming back as a great area with great people. A family diner is something needed here.”
After 48 years in business, Fish & Chips closed in April. But renovating this historic location was no easy task for Lajcaj.
“It’s been a whole overhaul. We had to put a brand-new parking lot and brand-new roof on the building. We replaced the entire ceiling, as well as all new walls, light fixtures, hood vents and exhaust fans.”
Lee Lee’s changed out the Fish & Chips logo on the sign as well.
It is not as fragile as it looks, he said.
“The spinning sign is a staple of this area and will carry on with our logo in it.”
The building will be small for a diner, but this adds to its charm, Lajcaj said.
“It gives it a family feel. We want this to be a place where people get to know their servers, chefs and waitstaff.”
There will be vegetarian options, including a green and white grilled cheese with mozzarella and pesto, Lajcaj said. “We are working on vegetarian burgers and veggie hot dogs for coneys. We are also looking for a supplier for chili with a vegetarian option.”
Quality diner coffee will not be skimped on, Lajacaj said. It will be supplied from D & M Coffee, Inc. out of Wixom, Michigan.
“They roast their own beans, and we’ll get their coney island blend in regular and decaf. As always, customers will be able to get endless refills.”
Delivery will be available for orders above $25.
“It’s nothing too special or too fancy, but it will be a great place to get Detroit style coney food.”
Lee Lee’s Coney & Grill
Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. 2418 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing www.facebook.com/ LeeLeesConey (517) 485-9779