July 31 2013 12:00 AM

This weekend, Munchie’s, a local fried food chain, celebrates the grand opening of its new location at 4902 S. Waverly Road in Lansing.

“We’ve been around for 10 years, and this new location will allow us to really expand our customer base,” said co-owner/operator Dustin Craig. “We’ve actually been at this location for a little while, and the response has been great.”

Munchie’s previously sold its food inside the Marathon Gas Station at the corner of Pine and Saginaw streets in Lansing. Craig said the new location is a former McDonald’s restaurant, and will have 30 seats as well as a drive-thru window.

“Basically, we’re competing with the Popeye’s and the KFC (restaurants) of Lansing,” Craig said. “Plus we’re able to fill in a building that had been vacant for 10 years. I think we’re a fantastic success story despite this down economy.”

Munchies sells fried chicken and fish (jack salmon, catfish, pollock, tilapia and perch), dusted with its signature spicy or mild breading. The grand opening celebration will feature food specials Thursday through Sunday.

KFC ya later

In other fried chicken news, the KFC location on Lansing’s east side closed last month. According to a local real estate website, the 2,450-square-foot building at 1620 E. Michigan Ave. is available for lease for $3,200 per month, although Dave Ledebuhr, who represents the property at Musselman Realty, said he’ll “entertain all offers.”

“It’s turnkey, ready to go,” he said. “It’s got hoods, walk-in coolers, signage, a drive-thru — everything but a business.”

Ledebuhr said the location, which has a taxable value $180,100, would work for either another chain restaurant or a brand new start-up restaurant. He declined to say who the building owner was, but the city of Lansing lists John and Roseann Zumbrink as the owners; contact information for them couldn’t be found. Brandt Kearly is a representative for WMCR, the Alpena-based KFC franchise that just moved out. He said WMCR was looking to purchase the building, but the deal fell through.

“Our desire was to buy the property outright, take the building down and build a new store on site, but that didn’t work out,” Kearly said. “It’s too bad. That’s a great location for a restaurant.”

Do the jerk

Carl Watkis’ Caribbean BBQ mobile food truck opened over the 4th of July weekend on the southeast corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Mt. Hope Avenue. His wife, Debbie Watkis, said her husband uses his own jerk rub, a homemade blend of ginger, salt, thyme and several types of pepper.

“Jamaicans are the original creators of barbecue, and Carl’s food is authentic to that style,” Watkis said. “And he knows not all Americans like it spicy, so he makes it about half and half.”

The menu is limited to chicken, ribs, stir-fried veggies and baked beans, but Watkis said they’d like to add mac and cheese eventually. She said her husband is also eyeing to open at other locations around town during the week, including Lansing and Delta townships.

Munchie’s Restaurant

4902 S. Waverly Road, Lansing

Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday

(517) 882-7777


Caribbean BBQ

1901 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Lansing (parking lot of Short Stop Party Store)

11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. (or until food is gone) Friday-Sunday