The new restaurant and bar is pegged for Berkley in the former space of Sila Italian Dining & Pizza, which closed at the end of 2017. Green Lantern will open in the 5,200-square-foot space off 12 Mile Road by early October, hopefully, but "definitely by the end of the year," said co-owner John Spreitzer.
Spreitzer and his siblings/business partners bought the building for $750,000 after the previous Italian restaurant closed. Spreitzer said they are investing an additional $1.4 million to build out the space. Oakland Township-based Black Diamond Construction is the general contractor, and Detroit-based Rossetti is the architect.
"We're trying to build a good, solid base in metro Detroit," Spreitzer said.
After opening its newest location, owners will shift focus to franchising the company's carry-out model. Berkley will be its third sit-down location. The others are carry-out, and that's where Spreitzer sees growth.
"I know it's funny. Detroit is such a huge pizza market," he said. "I feel Detroit still has a market for upper echelon sort of pizza."
Metro Detroit certainly is not starved of pizza options. Besides big chains, such as Detroit-based Little Caesars and Ann Arbor-based Domino's Pizza, and medium-size chains, such as Detroit-based staples Buddy's Pizza and PizzaPapalis, there are new shops popping up regularly, serving styles from floppy dough to specialty-fermented pies.
Still, Spreitzer thinks there's plenty more appetite for quick, gourmet pizza. He said he thinks the fast expansion and recent national focus of Buddy's Pizza will leave opportunity in the local market.
Spreitzer said he is working to draft a franchise agreement document but doesn't expect the company's first franchise location to open for at least a couple of years. He said once that happens, he would like to see two locations open per year, and then three or four and so forth.
The company's overall revenue in 2018 was around $13.5 million, representing 5-10 percent annual growth for the past few years. Owners expect to tack on another $3 million to $4 million in sales once the Berkley restaurant opens.