After several years of confiding his alcohol-serving ambitions in General Manager Allen Knash, the grand opening of Cranker’s Restaurant and Brewery is expected within a week.
“We’ve still got to get the licensing set on the microbrewery,” Knash said. “We figure we’ll be ready to go in the next two weeks. We’re going to bring in as many new people as we can. This is something new and different that we haven’t seen here before.”
Cranker’s, 1207 E. Pickard Road, is adding a microbrewery as part of many additions to the restaurant. Pending paperwork for Michigan’s licensing committee, Cranker’s is just a paint job away from its grand reopening.
The restaurant will feature several beers brewed at Cranks brewery in Big Rapids, including Big Rapids Bulldog Red, Knash’s favorite.
The beer from Cranker’s is among the best in the state, based on an MLive.com contest.
“We really go out of our way to make sure we brew a product that people are going to enjoy. We put a lot of effort into that, and we’re proud of it,” Knash said.
In addition to the beer, the grand opening will feature a new menu for customers. Some of the foods planned for the new menu include barbecue beef ribs, pizza, salmon and several seafood items, Knash said.
The brewery will be open until 1 a.m., but the restaurant and the menu options will be open 24 hours a day, along with free Wi-Fi.
“We’re really trying to get some college kids in here,” Knash said. “We’re looking to be a place where you come in and have a beer with your dinner.”
Cranker’s held a grand reopening dinner party for about 80 invited guests Monday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Mount Pleasant resident Jon Collin tried several items at the dinner party. He said everything was delicious.
“They couldn’t serve the beer yet because of the licensing issue, but the food was all very well cooked,” Collin said. “The group of people I was with thought their meals were wonderful.”
Mount Pleasant resident Jim Powell, who has eaten at Cranker’s twice per day for the last eight years, said the new atmosphere for the restaurant would add to the food.
“Cranker’s has always had good food and reasonable prices, but the new menu is nice,” Powell said. “I hope (the remodeling) goes good.”