A tough year for mom and pop: The pandemic's impact on Lansing businesses in 2020

New in Town Year in Review


You probably don’t need to be reminded that it was a hard year for local business, but it’s an impossible fact to avoid when recapping 2020. As soon as the coronavirus pandemic took full effect in March and the first wave of “Stay Home, Stay Safe” orders were in place, the world of brick and mortar took a vicious throttling.

Cafés that had been open for several decades and were a familiar part of life in Greater Lansing were forced to close their doors.

Despite a massive wave of closures, 2020 still saw a fair share of new businesses open their doors and, so far, they’ve managed to keep the lights on.

Zynda BBQ upgraded from a food truck to its first permanent space in the former location of Red Cedar Grill in Williamston. Zynda is just one of many food trucks that upgraded to brick and mortar, joining Detroit Frankie’s Wood-Fired Brick Oven and the Smoke ‘N Pig BBQ. Local favorites El Oasis opened up another food truck in East Lansing.

The Stadium District got its new favorite breakfast joint with Goodfellas Bagel Deli, providing Michigan Avenue with another spot to grab a bite to eat — something it definitely needed. Downtown Lansing gained a shake shop with Soul Nutrition and a cute, quirky café called the Social Sloth Café & Bakery.

Perhaps the most visible and hyped up new business of the year was Meijer’s Capital City Market. Though many hoped for a Trader Joe’s, if you take the time to check out the market you’ll see the market can hold its own with any hipster-friendly grocery store out there.

Range 517, a shooting range, opened up near the Lansing Mall. Buddy’s Pizza, a nationally renowned pizzeria chain from Detroit, also set up shop on Saginaw Highway.

Many longstanding development projects finally reached completion. Provident Place apartments in Lansing’s east side neighborhood opened its doors, while Capitol View apartments closed the book on the long saga of the renovation of Oliver Towers. Metro Place apartments also cut its ribbons, offering a high-end option for downtown Lansing. Over in East Lansing, the massive Center City District project received some new tenants, Barrio Tacos and Jolly Pumpkin Café and Brewery.

As recreational marijuana received the green light in Lansing, the city saw numerous provisioning centers crop up — including Skymint, Bazonzoes, Gage Cannabis Co., The Botanical Co. and Pleasantrees. Not even a global pandemic can curb Lansing’s appetite for weed.

If the wave of closures has taught us anything, it’s that our favorite small businesses truly need our help to survive. If you’re able to, spending a few extra bucks with the little guys instead of Wal-Mart or McDonald’s can go a long way.

Businesses that closed in 2020:

Permanently Closed or Closing:

Los Tres Amigos - Lansing

Frandor Deli - Lansing

Taps 25 - Downtown Lansing

The Brunch House - Lansing

Mijo’s Diner - Lansing

Good Slice Pizza Co. - Lansing

Cops Cafe & Bakery - Lansing

Finley’s Grill and Smokehouse - Lansing

Reno’s Sports Bar & Grill West - Lansing

Studio 109 - Lansing

Center for Social Dance - Okemos

Espresso Royale - East Lansing

Fireside Grill – Dimondale

Destination Maternity - Eastwood Towne Center

Justice - Eastwood Towne Center

Claddagh Irish Pub - Eastwood Towne Center

Forever 21 - Eastwood Towne Center

Motherhood - Eastwood Towne Center

Pier 1 Imports - Eastwood Towne Center

Cantina Eastwood - Eastwood Towne Center

At Least Temporarily Closed

Strange Matter Coffee - Downtown Lansing

For Crepe Sake - Lansing

YMCA Parkwood Branch - Lansing

R1A Basketball Range - Lansing

Launch Trampoline Park - Lansing

Batter Up Bistro - Lansing

Grand Traverse Pie Co. - Lansing

La Fille Gallery - Lansing

Edmund’s - Lansing

Troppo - Lansing

Jalapeno’s Mexican Restaurant - Lansing

Nail’d It Beauty Bar - Lansing

The Loft - Lansing

Henry’s Place - Okemos

2nd Time Around - Okemos

Jos. A. Bank - Eastwood Towne Center

Yankee Candles - Eastwood Towne Center

Sleep Number - Eastwood Towne Center


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