Davison Index

McAlister’s Deli proposes new restaurant in Grand Blanc

GRAND BLANC — The Grand Blanc Planning Commission has approved a special land use permit for an upscale deli proposed to be built on the site of a longstanding downtown business.

McAlister’s Deli is slated to be built on two parcels comprising about an acre of land where Laurie’s and Timothy’s now stands.

Timothy Beers, the children’s clothing store owner, said there is a pending purchase agreement on the property.

“We’re in operation; we’re still open,” Beers said. “There are ongoing discussions between the developer and the city.”

At this time, the store is neither closing nor moving “because it’s only a purchase agreement,” Beers said.

If and/or when the sale is finalized, the store will revert to its original name, Laurie’s Children’s Wear, and relocate.

“There will still be a Laurie’s,” Beers said. “I don’t know if it will be in Grand Blanc. But, if not Grand Blanc, then in the surrounding area.”

The special land use permit now goes to the Grand Blanc City Council for consideration and possible final approval. Council is expected to take up the matter in January.

The developers are proposing to raze the current building and build from the ground up. The 3,000-square-foot eatery will feature brown brick with brown siding on top. It will be situated close to the road with parking in the back and will have a pickup window for purchases ordered via phone or online.

“This is a great opportunity to be able to repurpose this and get it looking nice,” said City Manager Wendy Jean-Buhrer. “The community has said they want more restaurants and diversification, so this is a great addition. It’s just what we needed.”

If all goes as planned, construction could begin this spring.

McAlister’s Deli began in an abandoned movie set diner in Oxford, Mississippi, in 1989. The company has grown to include more than 400 restaurants in 28 states, according to information posted on the McAlister’s Deli website. McAlister’s currently has five locations in Michigan, including one in Flint Township.

Beers’ parents, Laurie and George Beers, founded Laurie’s Children’s Wear, opening their doors at the current location on Nov. 15, 1964.

The name changed to Laurie’s and Timothy’s in the early 1980s due to the volume of young men’s clothing being sold there.