LIVONIA, Mich. — On Monday evening, The Livonia City Council unanimously approved a petition to demolish the former Champps Restaurant and construct a west coast favorite called BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse.
What’s next? A representative from BJ’s will have to address the Livonia Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The next ZBA meeting will be on June 13, 2017.
“They will have to go through permitting with our inspection department as well as engineering department,” said Mark Taormina, Livonia’s planning and economic development director. “That could take a month or two. I’m not sure what their construction timeline is. I would anticipate that they would be in the ground late summer or early fall.”
The site plan includes 7,567 sq.-ft. of dining space with an outdoor patio. That would increase the seating count from the current 249 patrons to 295 customers. In addition, BJ’s is looking to obtain a Class C liquor license. The restaurant hopes to sell Michigan-made beers, however it will not brew them at this location.
“We’re a family, full-service restaurant,” said Joan Legay, BJ’s director of property development. “We have a full menu including generously proportioned salads and appetizers and a full line of entrees including steak and salmon and mahi mahi and pork chops. We also have a deep dish pizza that we’re very well known for and a Pizookie dessert which is a large cookie in a variety of flavors that’s served with ice cream on top.”
The restaurant is known for its special promotions like a free Pizookie dessert on Pi Day, March 14 and it’s free pint glass for dads on Father’s Day. We’ll have to wait until next year to take advantage of those special promotions.
“I think we’re pretty happy. We’re pretty excited,” Taormina added. “It’s always fun to have a new place to dine. We’ve heard a lot of good things about the restaurant. There’s a lot of great reviews online. I have never personally been to one. I just hope that someday they bring the brewery operation to Livonia.”
Legay says the average guest check at BJ’s is around $14 per person. In addition, there is a frequent dining program called BJ’s Premiere Rewards.
“We’ll have many taps–12 of them will be BJ’s own,” Legay explained. “We’ll also showcase local brewers as well. We like to do that when we come into a community to highlight some of the local favorites and give them some of the attention as well.”
BJ’s hopes to open its doors in Livonia by the end of 2017 or the turn of the new year. Other BJ’s restaurants are planned at Southland Mall in Taylor and on Lakeside Circle in Sterling Heights.
For more information about BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, visit www.bjsrestaurants.com