Wanderer's Teahouse to be replaced by mac 'n' cheese restaurant
Wanderer’s Teahouse and Cafe is not returning, but a new restaurant offering 14 varieties of macaroni and cheese hopes to steal the hearts and stomachs of East Lansing residents in its stead.
Taking the former home of Wanderer’s Teahouse at 547 E. Grand River Ave. is Sweet Lorraine’s Fabulous Mac N’ Cheez, which will offer soup, sandwiches and varieties of macaroni and cheese, as well as options to add your own toppings. The business plans to open its doors Dec. 1.
The building is owned by Perry Investment Group, LLC. Loren Perry, who owns the building with his siblings, said after owner Michael Spano decided to close the business, they thought Sweet Lorraine’s would be a great fit.
“These people have been in the restaurant business for about 28 years in the Detroit area,” Perry said. “We think it’s going to be a really nice addition to the area.”
The restaurant first opened in 1984 in the Detroit area as a full-service restaurant called Sweet Lorraine’s Cafe and Bar.
In 2010, the restaurant opened its first Mac N’ Cheez location with a fast and casual concept with counter service in Auburn Hills’ Great Lakes Crossing Outlets and Somerset Collection mall in Troy, Mich.
Sweet Lorraine’s owner Gary Sussman said he and his wife, Lorraine Platman, have been trying to find a location in East Lansing for a year, and finally were able to do so two months ago.
“We’ll be bringing delivery to the students, as well as a place for lunch (and) dinner and we plan on staying open later for after-bar clientele,” Sussman said.
Food industry management senior Henry Ward said he was pleased a restaurant from his hometown is coming to town.
“I think it would bring some diversity to the restaurants in East Lansing and give students something new to try besides the usual restaurants we’re used to,” Ward said.
For two and a half years, Wanderer’s Teahouse was a unifying destination for tea drinkers in East Lansing. Although many hoped the business would reopen, Spano said the restaurant has closed its doors for good.
“When I decided to move to Texas, the landlord and I discussed one of my former employees taking over the Teahouse,” Spano said. “She had come forth and was going to keep Wanderer’s alive and well. However, the landlord decided to go with someone else.
“I wish them well, and what I would like to say as a final goodbye to the East Lansing community: drink tea and support local business,” he said.