GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A popular restaurant on the east side of Michigan is opening its first location in West Michigan this fall.
“We’re bringing our concept Bobcat Bonnie’s to the west side,” said Matt Buskard, owner of Bobcat Bonnie’s.
The new location at Breton Village in Grand Rapids will be the first in West Michigan for Bobcat Bonnie’s.
Currently, there are three locations in metro Detroit, another is slated to open in Toledo, Ohio this summer and the location at Bretton Village will open this fall.
“We were very, very lucky during COVID to be able to be so flexible in what we do,” Buskard said.
Buskard said he and his team did like what others in the industry had to do during the pandemic — anything and everything to stay open.
“We worked extremely hard during COVID to build our customer base, build loyalty and trust with them and to support our communities. That paid off in spades for us,” said Buskard. “Now as landlords are looking at what’s next now that COVID is seemingly ending, where do we go? And these places that closed, what are the concepts that are surviving and thriving? We’ve been very lucky to survive and thrive during this.”
Something that has help the restaurant thrive is their menu, which Buskard said has something on it for everyone — from the pickiest of eaters to the foodie in your friend group.
Buskard also credits their wildly popular brunch for keeping them going.
“Brunch is kind of our thing that we love, I love it personally myself. We have an amazing brunch. It’s very high energy, the music is loud, the cocktails are flowing and the brunch food is very fun and approachable,” said Buskard.
Another hurdle though is staffing. As restaurants have reopened in the state, many operators are finding it difficult to get enough staff to stay open.
Buskard says he’s not too worried about that.
“Our concept is really based off of focusing on our employee relations. For example, when people are talking, hey, you got to pay $15 plus an hour — we’re already doing that. Hey, you have to have benefits, healthcare, paid time off — we’re already doing that,” Buskard said.
An official opening date has not yet been announced.