Burton Heiss, CEO of Buddy’s Pizza, inside the new location in Troy on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)
Buddy’s Pizzeria will open its newest location in Troy later this month.
This new spot is the Detroit-born pizza chain’s 19th Michigan location and 16th full-service restaurant. Three locations are carry-out only. The restaurant will open October 26th at 987 Wilshire Drive in Troy near Crooks and West Big Beaver roads.
Like many other Buddy’s locations, the Troy restaurant pays homage to where Buddy’s got it start at 6 Mile and Conant in Detroit in 1946, though the nod to the original is slightly different and subtle, reflecting on the elements and automotive-inspired decor.
“We didn’t want it do be cookie cutter,” Buddy’s Pizza CEO Burton Heiss said. “With the mid-century modern look of the bar, the extra wood and little industrial look, we really tried to open it and I think we’ve built a beautiful Buddy’s the Troy community is going really enjoy.”
Inside the nearly 7,000-square-foot space, there’s seating for about 200 people under normal operations, including seating at its U-shaped bar and an outdoor patio on the Wilshire street side with 40 seats. When the location opens, it will be at 50% capacity, in accordance with current state guidelines during the pandemic. They will also have a separate area for carryout service.
The dining area has an open feel with a mix of booth and table seating. On one wall of the carryout area is a collage of the steel pans that pizzas are baked in. The seasoned pans are key to Buddy’s Detroit-style pizza and creating the pizza’s crispy, caramelized crust and edges it’s known for.
There are several Buddy’s firsts at this location. Heiss said they’ve built a more efficient kitchen and installed glass block between the dining room and the kitchen. Doing so allows guests a glimpse of movement in the kitchen and pizza making. The Troy location, according to a news release, will also be the first in the chain to sell Buddy’s clothing and Detroit-style pizza memorabilia.
Heiss has been at the helm of the pizza chain nearly a year now. His first store opening was the downtown Detroit location, steps from Grand Circus Park, the Fox Theatre, Comerica Park and Ford Field.
Operating during a pandemic, which has not been an easy task for most restaurant operators, has been somewhat good to the pizza industry.
“Pizza is a comfort food,” Heiss said. “It travels well. People are used to getting it delivered. Our dine-in sales have rebounded nicely and overall business has been good.”
Some of the inside dining areas inside the new Buddy’s Pizza that is opening later this month in Troy. (Photo: Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)
Pizza chains such as Ann Arbor-based Domino’s have reported record sales during the coronavirus pandemic. Domino’s reported a 17.5% increase in same-store 3rd quarter sales according to Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN). Though Domino’s increased, NRN reported, the increase was offset by pandemic-related expenses.
“A lot times, in time of crisis, meal time food can be comforting,” Heiss said. “It can really become the event you look forward too.”
Along with award-winning pizza, the restaurant’s menu includes gluten-free pizza, salads, burgers and Buddy’s signature craft brews, Buddy Brew and Boccee IPA.
Contact Susan Selasky: 313-378-6373 or [email protected] Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.
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