Eateries in the spotlight
Wahlburgers plays to make It’s not often that little old Taylor plays host to a movie star (and likely his extended family), but that is expected be the case later this year (2017), when Mark Wahlberg opens up his second Wahlburgers' location in Michigan. And Mayor Rick Sollars wants to put the “grand” in grand opening.
Taylor 'Hollywood 48180'
The mayor is predicting that 3,000 or so people will turn out for the opening. (The City’s website will announce the specific date and time of the opening when they are announced.) The restaurant will take the place of a longtime Big Boy Restaurant, and will stand across from the new Menards’ development.
Mark Wahlberg, who holds co-ownership of the new location (on 21200 Penn Street near Eureka Road), is expected to visit Michigan for an extended period of time. After all, Mark is a busy man these days, from his new movie “Transformers: The Last Knight” to a blooming partnership with Meijer involving his dietary supplement line, Performance Inspired Nutrition.
“The deal with Meijer was one of the reasons that Wahlburgers had to push back the grand opening,” Mayor Sollars said. “Mark made a commitment to spend a lot of time in Michigan. When he was buying the property, he really did his homework – he knows a lot about Taylor, the Downriver area and Detroit. He relates well to this type of community. And I think people around here will relate well to him.”
The history behind Wahlburgers involves several parts eatery and a few parts reality TV. The restaurant originated in Hingham, a town just outside Boston. It is owned by Paul Wahlberg in partnership with two of his more famous brothers, actors Mark and Donnie. It has expanded from there.
The first Michigan location for Wahlburgers was in Detroit’s Greektown, where its reasonably price food, atmosphere and service have earned rave reviews. And, for a “burger joint,” it offers a ton of Gluten-free options.
Wahlburgers turned into an American reality series in January 2014, premiering on A&E. The behind-the-scenes look at this chain of restaurants had a fun appearance, with Mark, Donnie and Paul surrounded on a regular basis by a cast that included Alma McPeck Wahlberg Conroy, their mother; Bob, another brother; Brandon, a nephew; managers Kari Burke and John Young; wives Jenny McCarthy (Donnie) and Rhea Durham (Mark), both of whom are actresses; and Walhberg childhood friends like “Taco” Laun, “Drama” Alves and Billy Leonard.
The Hollywood Reporter wrote in a review of the series: “Much of the Wahlbergs' appeal is related to their rags-to-riches story, and A&E was right to want to produce a series that focused on the source of this down-home Beantown interest … Donnie and Mark agree that while their upbringing was often difficult -- and "one of us was usually locked up or running away" -- dinner time was always a positive experience, and that's something they hope to bring to the restaurant.”
Meanwhile, Performance Inspired Nutrition finds Mark Wahlberg partnered with former Michigan State University and current Golden State Warrior Draymond Green, retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and renowned talent manager and businessman Scooter Braun (Justin Bieber, Tori Kelly and Ariana Grande). The company offers nutritional aids, accessories and apparel. Learn more at pi-nutrition.com.
Direct from New York, it's ...
Grimaldi's Pizzeria held it's grand opening today (Thursday, April 27) in the Southland Center. Officials and staff from the City of Taylor and the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber were on hand.
The restaurant is very well done. It sits on the Eureka Road side of the center, near Cinemark, Forever 21 and Primanti Bros. The building's decor is a splendid combination of brick, corrugated metal and glass, with a outdoor covered patio. A unique feature is the hanging glass chandeliers -- made of wine bottles.
Known for its award-winning, coal-fired, brick oven pizza and calzones, Grimaldi’s also announces its seasonal menu, Summer Selections, featuring fresh fares and classics with a twist. The bold menu will be available until July 31 at locations nationwide. Developed by Grimaldi’s own Executive Chef, Cory Lattuca, the tempting menu includes a new Strawberry Spinach Salad complete with baby spinach, feta cheese, red onions, toasted almonds, and sliced strawberries all tossed in a strawberry vinaigrette; Barbecue Chicken Pizza, a spin on a classic with Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbeque Sauce, tender chicken, smoky bacon, and red onion, garnished with fresh cilantro; a refreshing berry Summertime Sangria; as well as rich, seasonal Strawberry and Blueberry cheesecake offerings, both house-made with seasonal fresh berries.
The upscale eatery is also debuting Frizzante Frescos, refreshing non-alcoholic beverages on its drink menu. Guests can sip on Italian Sodas fused with Monin® blueberry or strawberry puree and garnished with fresh berries; or a Berry Lemonade complete with Monin® blueberry or strawberry puree, a splash of fresh lemon juice and garnished with fresh berries.
Grimaldi’s Stoking Social Hour continues throughout each month held every weekday, Monday through Friday, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. (times may vary by location). Enjoy $2 off draft beers, $2 off glasses of wine (house wines excluded), and $2 off the Grimaldi’s Bruschetta Trio and Antipasto Platters. For $30, the Stoking Social Hour menu features the popular Coalition pairing complete with choice of Bruschetta Trio or small Antipasto platter and a bottle of wine. Starting May 1, guests have a choice between two Coalition wines - Rocca Delle Macìe “Moonlight,” or Rocca Delle Macìe “Rubizzo.” Additional fan favorites including Chef Selection pizzas, mouth-watering calzones, and a variety of fresh salads will be available throughout the duration of the Summer Selections menu promotion.
A Steeltown original locates in Taylor!
Nationally famous Primanti Bros restaurant opened in the Southland Center mall with a fundraising party dedicated to Sparky Anderson's CATCH foundation in August, 2016, marking its first Michigan location and welcoming more than 100 fans hoping to score a year's worth of free sandwiches offered during the initial roll out.
"It is always beneficial for a non-profit like ours to be involved in local events like the Primanti Bros opening, not only from a fund-raising standpoint, but to provide us with an opportunity to increase awareness of what CATCH does to help sick and needy children,” said Jim Hughes, executive director for CATCH. “We were thrilled to be chosen by Primanti Bros and to be featured at the Taylor opening. We think Primanti Bros is a quality operation and we were very impressed with the great good, friendly service and the fact that they extended a hand to include a local children's charity."
The Pittsburgh-based chain has been making its famous sandwiches since 1933. Its start came as a simple restaurant dedicated to truckers who needed a “meal” that they could eat with one hand. Therefore, the staff created huge, homemade sandwiches that included everything in a single offering – even fries, slaw and eggs – stacked high.
The grand opening celebration in Taylor kicked off with a tailgate party, and the first 100 people were granted early entry to the restaurant and bar to receive coupon booklets good for one free sandwich per week for a year. Former Red Wing Darren McCarty later signed autographs.
"We decided to invest and grow Primanti Bros. to Detroit because they have similar values of Pittsburgh," said David Head, CEO of Primanti Bros, told The Detroit Free Press. "We like the Rust Belt and the sports towns like Detroit and Indianapolis."
The theme of the 5,000-square-foot restaurant is sports, with sports memorabilia from every sport. A giant mural on one wall features local sports figures and celebrities, from both Pittsburgh and Detroit. A unique glassed-in patio area lends character to what used to house a Ruby Tuesday’s location.
The location employs about 100 people with a mix of full- and part-timers. Call (734) 287-0656 for more information.