Check out these 6 new restaurants in Greater Lansing

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It's difficult to track just how many restaurants have closed since spring 2020 statewide, said Emily Daunt, vice president of communications and operations for the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association.

"We estimate around 3,000 Michigan restaurants permanently closed as a result of the pandemic," she said.

New restaurants in greater Lansing clockwise from top left: Sonia's Soul Food, PappaRoti, Mr. Corned Beef, Lefty's Cheesesteaks, Aloha Cookin' and Sidecar Slider Bar.
New restaurants in greater Lansing clockwise from top left: Sonia's Soul Food, PappaRoti, Mr. Corned Beef, Lefty's Cheesesteaks, Aloha Cookin' and Sidecar Slider Bar.

But Daunt didn't have numbers on how many eateries have opened since the start of the pandemic.

Despite supply chain issues and staffing struggles, Greater Lansing welcomed several new restaurants in the past six months and more are expected to open by the spring of 2022.

"I don't think there's ever a good time to start a business," said Tarek Chawich, a graduate student at Michigan State University. "I think you really just have to jump, hope it works and trust the process."

Chawich, 24, plans to open Château Coffee Co. in a 1,800-square-foot space, previously home to a Biggby Coffee shop, on South Waverly Road sometime next month. The specialty coffee spot will serve drinks made with 517 Coffee Co. beans, along with Arabic and Turkish coffees, and bakery items.

Detroit Wing Co. will expand to the Lansing area next year. With a dozen locations now, owner Gus Malliaras hopes to open at least three locations in the area within the next year.

He'll start with opening one on South Cedar Street. The carry-out eatery that specializes in 20 different types of chicken wings will open within six months, he said. An East Lansing location is also in the works.

"With the right concept and a carry-out model, people are always eating out," Malliaras said.

In the meantime, here's a look at six area restaurants — offering everything from homestyle Hawaiian cuisine to soul food — that have opened in the last six months to consider trying this holiday season.

Aloha Cookin' in East Lansing

Chris Hong was born and raised in Hawaii, the son of two parents in the restaurant industry.

Huli huli chicken at Aloha Cookin' in East Lansing.
Huli huli chicken at Aloha Cookin' in East Lansing.

He opened Aloha Cookin', at 350 Albert St., in early October. It's a family operation. Hong's parents, Duck Ki and Hyun Ok Hong, who immigrated to Hawaii from Korea in the 1980s, are the chefs.

The 10-table eatery offers Hawaiian dishes including poke bowls and Kalua pig — smoked pulled pork and cabbage seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt and herbs. Many dishes are served with rice or macaroni salad.

"The thing about Hawaiian food is it's a mix of all these different cuisines from all over the world," Hong said. "It's such a hugely diverse place so I think the charm of Hawaiian food is it's like a melting pot of all these different cultures."

Expect to find Korean dishes on the menu, too. Find them on Facebook at "Aloha Cookin'" and online at www.alohacookin.square.site .

Lefty’s Cheesesteaks in Lansing

Lefty's Cheesesteaks has more than 40 locations nationwide. Its first Lansing location opened on Nov. 15 at 3201 E. Grand River Ave.

"Cheesesteaks are at the heart and soul of the businesses," company spokesperson Carlos Guzman said.

Lefty's Cheesesteaks on East Grand River Avenue on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Lansing.
Lefty's Cheesesteaks on East Grand River Avenue on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Lansing.

The sandwiches are made with ribeye steak, grilled onions and cheese. The eatery also offers hoagies, corned beef sandwiches and burgers.

The 2,400-square-foot East Grand River Avenue location offers seating for 16 people and a drive-through window.

Find the menu at www.eatleftys.com .

Mr. Corned Beef in Lansing

The corned beef sandwiches at Mr. Corned Beef, which opened a Lansing location in June, come in different sizes.

There's a junior size and an extra-large, showcasing an impressive amount of shaved corned beef piled high.

Mr. Corned Beef on North Clippert Street photographed on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Lansing.
Mr. Corned Beef on North Clippert Street photographed on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Lansing.

It's a carry-out model that also offers Reuben, turkey and pastrami sandwiches along with coleslaw, potato salad, banana pudding and peach cobbler.

The company has six Detroit-area locations. The Lansing location, at 401 N. Clippert St., has been busy since summer, said Makaila Smith, a cashier there.

"It's been crazy busy," she said. "We get new customers every day."

Find the menu at www.mrcornedbeef.com .

PappaRoti in East in Lansing

If you decide to visit PappaRoti, a cafe that serves baked goods, coffee and other eats, at 1000 Trowbridge Road it would be wise to try the signature coffee bun.

PappaRoti on Trowbridge Road photographed on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in East Lansing.
PappaRoti on Trowbridge Road photographed on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in East Lansing.

A slice of salted butter at the center of the dough makes the finished bun "soft and fluffy from the inside," said Moe Ateyyat, the location's co-owner.

"We put coffee caramel topping on top before we cook it," he said. Sometimes it's served with ice cream.

The company has locations in several countries. The East Lansing location opened in late October.

The menu includes specialty coffees and tea. Ateyyat plans to add sandwiches and salads, hummus and falafel to the menu in the next year.

Find the menu at www.papparoti.us .

Sidecar Slider Bar in Lansing

Customers will find two dozen beers on tap and a menu that centers around 15 to 20 sliders filled with everything from pulled pork to tuna at Sidecar Slider Bar.

The bar's first location opened about five years ago in Birmingham. Two others have since opened in Commerce Township and Farmington.

Sidecar Slider Bar at 500 E. Michigan Ave. serves sliders and craft beer.
Sidecar Slider Bar at 500 E. Michigan Ave. serves sliders and craft beer.

Efforts to bring a location to downtown Lansing started in early 2020, co-owner Steve Simon told the State Journal in April.

The new location at 500 E. Michigan Ave. opened this month. The space, near Jackson Field, home of the Lansing Lugnuts, was previously home to Beer Grotto.

"It's an amazing spot," Simon said. "We’re very excited to be in Lansing."

Find the menu at www.sidecarsliderbar.com .

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Sonia's Soul Food in Lansing

So many of the moments Sonia Davis remembers growing up were made in the kitchen.

"My family's kind of built on food," she said. "We always stayed in the kitchen, having conversation as we cooked. That's just what we do for fun and entertaining family, getting together, cooking a good meal, everybody having a good old conversation and good old time."

Sonia's Soul Food on S. Waverly Road photographed on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Lansing.
Sonia's Soul Food on S. Waverly Road photographed on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Lansing.

Sonia's Soul Food, the restaurant she opened in September at 3530 S. Waverly Road, is an extension of that.

It's a family-run business that serves soul food — fried chicken and pork chops, catfish, baked macaroni and cheese, yams, greens, potato salad and cabbage among them.

"It's cooking from the heart," Davis, 48, said. "I love soul food because soul food is cooked with love. It wakes up your taste buds."

At her eatery, which offers seating for 16 and carry-out, everything is made fresh daily, Davis said.

Find the menu on the restaurant's Facebook page, Sonia's Soul Food.

Contact Rachel Greco at rgreco@lsj.com. Follow her on Twitter @GrecoatLSJ .

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Check out these 6 new restaurants in Greater Lansing

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