Thursday, February 29, 2024

Spartan hotspots at MSU and in East Lansing

October 19, 2017
People order food on Oct. 16, 2017 at Conrad's Grill on Grand River. Conrad's Grill moved farther east down Grand River Ave.
People order food on Oct. 16, 2017 at Conrad's Grill on Grand River. Conrad's Grill moved farther east down Grand River Ave. —
Photo by Anntaninna Biondo | The State News

Over the past year, some changes have altered MSU and East Lansing. The State News has compiled a list of these hotspots – and the changes to them – as a refresher to those returning for MSU’s Homecoming Week and its imminent festivities. 

Conrad’s Grill Closure

This self-described “no-frills” eatery boasts three locations around East Lansing, but their main location – located on the corner of Grand River and Abbot Road – was closed down in January of this year. It closed due to a leasing disagreement between the property’s landlords and the owners of Conrad’s. A Noodles and Company restaurant has since replaced Conrad’s Grill, over the span of this past summer.

Conrad’s restaurants – which serve food such as burgers, wraps, and fried sides – may no longer have their main location along Grand River Avenue, but that doesn’t mean Spartans have to forgo getting a taste of Conrad’s food. Three other Conrad’s Grill locations can be found in East Lansing: one in Frandor Shopping Center, one at 1219 East Grand River Ave., and one at 311 West Grand River Ave. 

Demolition of Park District near Abbot Road

October saw a major bout of construction in East Lansing as abandoned buildings in Park District were demolished. The buildings, which had long since been vacated, were torn down in what was initially part of a $154 million project to update the downtown area. As of September, that deal was shuttered, but the removal of the lone buildings went through. 

Cosi Restaurant Closure

The shell of Cosi Restaurant, which can be found on the corner of Grand River Avenue and M.A.C, was shut down on short notice in 2016. The Boston-based chain underwent a period of bankruptcy, leading to the closure of several of its locations, with the East Lansing location being a casualty. Signage for the restaurant and the Cosi's logo still grace the storefront of the building, though the restaurant has had its doors closed for over a year.

1855 Place Opening

Fall 2017 saw the opening of MSU's newest apartment complex, named 1855 Place, to reflect the year that the university was established. The complex offers modern single, double and four-bedroom units for students looking for a little more housing independence. The building also features a brand-new Starbucks coffee shop and a Sparty's Marketplace, with the latter offering a supermarket-like selection of fresh food to students.  

New location of Noodles and Company 

Noodles and Company was originally located several hundred feet east of where it is now, but currently it occupies the old location of Conrad’s Grill on the corner of Abbot Road and Grand River Avenue. 

The restaurant moved locations in order to make way for the Center City project, a $132 million plan that would see a portion of downtown East Lansing’s buildings be replaced by two 12-story buildings. Construction of this new project between Verizon Wireless Premium Retailer and the old Pancheros Building. As Noodles and Company was originally located within this area from Grand River to Albert Avenues, it would have had to move anyway if the project were to go through. 

Breslin Center and Spartan Stadium updates

In September of 2016, it was announced that the Breslin Student Events Center would be receiving updates to its infrastructure. Those updates are set to come in the form of a modern glass structure that can be utilized as an entrance to the Tom Izzo Basketball Hall of History. Summer 2017 also saw updates to Spartan Stadium, which came in the form of field lighting improvement and renovations of the stadium’s concessions and gate areas. 

These updates will give MSU athletic facilities a more modern feeling. For those who are preparing for MSU Basketball’s 2017-2018 season, the Breslin Center’s updates are scheduled to be finished in late October.

MSU Dairy Store

A plethora of choices for sweet treats like malts, milkshakes and ice cream can be found at the MSU Dairy Store. Boasting two locations on campus – one in the MSU Union, the other in Anthony Hall – the Dairy Store offers multiple frozen desserts to customers.

Single scoops of ice cream are $3.00, double scoops are $3.75 and triple scoops cost $4.75. For those hoping to visit through Homecoming Week, the Dairy Store in Anthony Hall operates Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The store in the Union operates from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday. 

New eateries on Grand River 

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The businesses lining Grand River Avenue have seen the addition of several restaurants to their stretch of space.

Panda Express

Panda Express moved into downtown East Lansing in 2016, after new tenants secured the office space under The State News building as their new location. The restaurant offers Asian cuisine in a setting that’s reminiscent of fast-food eateries. 

Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza opened in March of 2017, and it’s currently located near Panda Express and Huntington Bank. The pizza place offers fast-fired thin-crust pizzas with a person’s choice of sauces and toppings. Blaze Pizza’s method of cooking the pizza dough results in a short wait for one’s food – in fact, their pizza cooks in just three minutes. 

Unicha Tea And Ice Cream

Hot off the trail of a trend sweeping social media, Unicha Tea and Ice Cream rolled into East Lansing in Sept. 2017. The ice cream and tea shop features “rolled” ice cream that numerous toppings can be added to, along with a variety of fruit teas and even cheesy teas. A cup of hand-rolled ice cream costs $6.27 and teas cost anywhere from $3.75 to $5.25. 

Harper's Restaurant & Brew Pub 

This multi-level venue offers on-site craft-brewed beers and food made from scratch in a setting reminiscent of both a nightclub and a restaurant.


$4.75 call drinks

$4.25 well drinks

$4.75 shots

$4.75 pints of house-brewed craft beers

Rick's American Café

A bar for students that features live music, DJs, and an atmosphere where college students can hang out.


$4 half-pound boneless wings

FieldHouse Sports Bar and Restaurant

A craft sports bar that serves pizza, liquor and variety of items from a Spartan-themed menu.

$4 16 oz. cans of Bud Light

$2 late-night shots 

The Riv 

A bar featuring an atmosphere characterized by drink specials and games, with the sound turned up on televisions for Spartan game days.


$3.50 Budweiser and Bud Light Bottles
$4 Crown Apple and Crown Vanilla
$5 Long Island and Bombs


A place for folks to gather and sing karaoke while eating burgers and pizza and choosing from 27 different handles of craft beer.


$2 Mugs of Miller Lite

$35 dollars for three buckets: Pick a bucket of beer and two buckets of sides.

Lou and Harry's Bar/Grill 

A bar and grill offering sandwiches, burgers and wraps that features food and drink specials seven days a week. 


$6 mixed drink mini pitchers

$3 Washington Apple and Siberian Husky shots

Dublin Square

Dublin Square Irish Pub & Restaurant doesn’t have any specials going on for Saturday’s home game, but they offer a variety of burgers, wraps and salads for those who like pub fare. 

Tin Can Bar 

The Tin Can Bar has over 80 different types of can beers to choose from, as well as a full liquor bar. They also offer food such as nachos, wings and even fried pickles.


At the time of publication, the Tin Can Bar had not determined what specials they would have for the Homecoming football game, but they confirmed that they would indeed be having specials for those who are planning on visiting them.

P.T. O'Malley's A bar that serves up beer and mixed drinks and features a place for college students to hang out and d


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