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Wednesday, July 18,2012

New in town

Biggby, Mikho's

by ALLAN I. ROSS

Biggby Goes Up 

Next week, we’ll reveal the plans for a popular local business that’s about to branch out and become a mini-chain. But for now, let’s focus on one of Lansing’s other big success stories: Biggby Coffee, which is taking over a 2,200-square-foot location in the Stadium District in October. The new Biggby fills the void left by Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee, which left the prime corner of Cedar Street and Michigan Avenue a couple months ago. Jason Kildea, director of commercial real estate for The Gillespie Group, which owns the building, says that it’s been a pretty seamless transition and that some renovations are expected to give the location “a more Biggby-store feel.” 

When Great Lakes Chocolate & Coffee closed, the owners issued a release blaming sluggish sales on a lack of adjacent retailers in the Stadium District, which prompted their decision to leave after four years. It will be interesting to see how Biggby deals with this challenge. Until then, a huge “Coming Soon” sign will be teasing the Caramel Marvel and Mocha Mellow junkies that crave their caffeine fixes. 

Looking ahead, Kildea says the Stadium District is in discussions with an operator who is looking to open a “restaurant-type establishment” across from The Nuthouse, on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Larch Street. But details are being kept under wraps for now. 

“It’s a very large project, very exciting project, but I can’t say more right now,” Kildea said. 


Hookah hoo-hah

Mikho’s Hookah Lounge and Middle Eastern Cuisine opened last month at 3824 S. Cedar St. in Lansing. The location was formerly the home of Van Houten Produce, famous for its impressive outdoor flower and plant display; the business closed in the wake of owner Jeff Van Houten’s death in 2005. Mikho’s doesn’t feature much in the way of fresh fruit and veggies, but it does have, um, a couple of pool tables. And some couches. And big-screen TVs. It looks like you can probably eat there, too, but it’s hard to say. I was given the owner’s cell phone number last week by an employee at one of his other businesses, but when I called him he reproached me for bothering him, even after I had identified myself. He gruffly told me he’d “talk to his partners” and get back with me about whether he’d participate in this story, but he never did. When I went in last weekend to try to talk to him (or anyone, really), I stood around while people who obviously worked there utterly ignored me, even after repeated queries. Whatever. So, just so you know: new hookah/Indian food joint in Lansing. 


Mikho┤s Hookah Lounge And Middle Eastern Cuisine

3824 S. Cedar St., Lansing

(517) 721-1181  

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