The Happy’s Pizza moving into the old Grand Traverse Pie Company Building is scheduled to open by the end of the month.
The building, located at 1218 S. Mission St., had to be completely gutted to accommodate the new occupants.
Christina Rice, vice president of franchise development, said many of the changes being made are to give the inside the standard appearance of the Happy’s Pizza chain, including ceramic tile floors and Venetian plaster.
Rice said the company is excited to be able to serve the community, especially the college campus.
“We have found success on several college campuses,” Rice said. “We have locations near Western (Michigan University), University of Michigan, Eastern (Michigan University), Ohio State and a variety of other college campuses. The company thought this was an excellent opportunity to expand and serve CMU, as well.”
Manager Bau Bashi, of Detroit, said this Happy’s location is the first of its kind for the chain.
Mount Pleasant’s location will be its first bar and restaurant, Bashi said.
“This is a prototype,” he said. “We figured Mount Pleasant would be a good place to try it out in.”
The restaurant is looking to hire about 30 employees before opening later this month.
Happy’s Pizza, headquartered in Farmington Hills, has 91 locations throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Nevada and California.
The first Happy’s Pizza opened in 1996 in Detroit, but the chain’s popularity and expansion has taken off in the last seven years.
With more than 200 menu items, including ribs, seafood, wings and sandwiches, Rice said the restaurant is not an average pizza restaurant.
One job fair has already been held at the location, and another will be held at the restaurant from noon to 5 p.m. on Wednesday for other interested applicants.
“We’ve been looking at Mount Pleasant for about three years,” Bashi said. “… We’re just excited to come here and try this new concept of ours out.”