Spencer’s Kitchen & Bar, formerly known as State Side Deli, has announced it is changing its name yet again. The local restaurant will now be called State Side Deli and Pub.
The owner, Spencer Soka, said the first name change was the result of acquiring a liquor license last year. Due to customer confusion and the desire to establish a brand, the restaurant has now changed its name to the more recognizable State Side Deli and Pub, to join similarly named restaurants in Okemos and Howell, Mich.
“We want people to know we offer the same great service and food in each of our three locations,” Soka said. “Having a name people can recognize and identify with brings more customers in.”
With the name change there will be more items added to the menu, along with extended happy hours. State Side Deli and Pub will be giving out free samples of new menu items on 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. August
The City of East Lansing Planning Department doesn’t think that the restaurant's new name will affect the image of Grand River Avenue.
“There are probably over a hundred businesses on Grand River Avenue, some which already serve alcohol,” Director of Planning, Building, and Development Tim Dempsey said. “We don’t think the name change of one business would make any significant changes to the area.”
Others believe the new name will have a positive effect on the community. Spencer’s Kitchen and Bar employee Jeff Smith supports the decision and is excited to be a part of the growing business.
“I think it’s a great thing," Smith said. "The name identifies with the culture of Michigan State University. I can definitely see State Side Deli and Pub as a gathering place for many people.”