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Closed for almost two years, Art’s Bar was a Lansing mainstay that first opened in 1940. Weathering a world war, burning down to the ground and generations of third shifters, Art’s famous pizza and 32 oz ‘Shooper’ are being served once more.
Its new owners, brothers Greg and Nick Sinicropi, Donn Thomas and Sedric Audas seek to keep the old school charm while bringing it up to 21st century standards.
Taking over Art’s was personal, said Greg Sinicropi. “We grew up with the owners that had it before us,” Sinicropi said, referring to Rick and Nancy Yager, who closed it in August 2016. “My dad and Rick were friends.”
“The pizza was so distinct. It was so memorable than anything else and it stuck out. To me it was Art’s Bar and DeLuca’s those were the two gold standards that I never found in any of the cities I lived in or went to.”
Renovations began in 2017. “We inherited it already gutted,” said Sinicropi. “The bar was gone. The ceiling was half ripped out. We just overhauled the whole place; ripped everything out.”
Focusing on a modern industrial look with the remodel, Sinicropi said “There are a lot of wood floors and refinished cement floors. Instead of low ceilings, we’ve got high exposed ones we’ve painted black. We have a garage door now that opens up to a patio that has a downtown feel.”
Aside from the iconic pizza, the menu will be focused toward brunch as well.
“My brother’s diner mentality is any food any time,” said Sinicropi. “If someone wants breakfast at 10 p.m., they can. If they want a pepperoni pizza at 8 a.m., they can.”
“We want people to know that it’s an all three meal service. We don’t feel like there is a lot of good brunch spots around. We want to be that too.”
This business model is unique, said Sinicropi. “We are trying really hard to be broadly catering to a market that doesn’t get looked at very often: There are very few places that specialize in early morning food and alcohol.”
Sinicropi said his business partners want Art’s to be a gathering place for before and after big games. “We also want the third-shift people to come in and treat it like their 5 a.m. spot,” said Sinicropi. “There’s got to be more choices for those people out there and we want to be one of those places.”
Patrons can expect 12 draught lines with three local, four stable and the rest rotated.
“Our locals now will be Ozone, Ellison and Lansing’s own Amber Cream,” said Sinicropi, the last brewed by the Lansing Brewing Co.
The grand opening hopes to fill the void felt since Art’s Bar closed, Sinicropi said. “People were really disappointed when it went away, and it went away tragically. We want to be able to bring it back to everybody and be part of the revitalization of this area,” said Sinocropi.
Art’s was rumored to be in recievership when it closed, with back taxes due to the city of Lansing.
“We employ between 40-50 employees that did not have jobs in the city of Lansing. To do the long hours we want to do, we need a lot of staff. That benefits the community as well,” Sinicropi added.
“It will be a challenge at the beginning because it’s been gone for a while and everybody is starved for it. We expect to be overwhelmed and won’t be able to take takeout orders until the buzz of the grand opening simmers down.”
Sinicropi said he is most looking forward to seeing people happy at Art’s again.
“We want to be here. We are reviving it and there was a good chance that if we didn’t do it, it would become another cookie cutter location. We want to keep it Art’s.”
Art’s Pub 809 E. Kalamazoo St., Lansing 7 a.m. to midnight Sunday- Thursday; 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. (517) 977-1033 www.artspublansing.com