GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Lansing diner is coming to the former Jonny B’z and Royals location in Grand Rapids.
Good Truckin’ Diner is expanding to the spot at 701 Wealthy St. SE near Eastern Avenue. Owner Nicholas Sinicropi described it as an “eclectic-style diner.”
“We got some pretty quirky food,” he said. “(You) can’t really put us in a box. … We try to think outside of the box.”
The menu offers lots of vegan and gluten-free options. All of the diner’s waffles are gluten-free, while the pancakes are all vegan. Sinicropi said the restaurant has also switched all the sauces to vegan recipes and “no one even noticed” a difference or complained.
Sinicropi said the diner’s rotating list of tacos are popular. The list includes Nashville-style tacos, Jamaican jerk tacos, jackfruit tacos and ‘hillbilly’ tacos with barbecue sauce, pulled pork and coleslaw. There are also breakfast sandwiches “that area little off the wall,” Southern-style biscuit donuts that are very popular, omelet specials and themed specials, he said.
One specialty item is the Hangover — biscuits with smoked pork, cheddar cheese, sausage gravy and fried eggs — and its variations.
“We just try to switch it up and do some different things,” Sinicropi said, adding he often takes suggestions from regulars and other customers. “It’s just fun. We try to have fun.”
Sinicropi said he’s hoping to get a liquor license for the Grand Rapids location. The diner will specialize in brunch drinks, he said, with offerings like different style mimosas and bloody marys.
Good Truckin’ Diner’s owner has worked in restaurants his entire working life, doing everything from working as the dishwasher to serving as the executive chef at a fine dining spot. In 2011, he started his own food truck.
“I wanted to venture out and try on my own,” he said. “So I scrapped every penny I had and I got that food truck and it worked out well.”
He opened Good Truckin’ Diner in Lansing’s REO Town neighborhood, located on South Washington Avenue near Elm Street, in 2014.
He was eyeing a new location in Grand Rapids or Detroit for a few years when the Wealthy Street spot opened up. The building, which formally housed Jonny B’z, has a bumpy history. Royals took up residence during the pandemic as a brunch spot but then closed in 2022. It reopened that August as Royals Pizza, then closed again in November.
“I know it’s had its difficulties, that space,” Sinicropi said. “But it just looked like a Good Truckin’, the vibe and everything. So I got real excited.”
Sinicropi credited his success with Good Truckin’ Diner to his employees and the people around him.
“I see the way people look at me when I tell them I’m opening another restaurant, they look at me like I’m insane,” he joked. “If you can figure out how to manage people and how to be a decent person and treat people right … if I have good help, how hard is my job?”
“I have lots of good people around me, and I never stop building connections with people everywhere I go,” he later added.
There’s too many variables to set an open date yet, but Sinicropi said he’s hoping to open around June.
“The building is really ready and being a second location, the menu and all that stuff … everything’s already ready,” he said. “It makes it just really easy.”
The Grand Rapids location will offer more space than the Lansing location and will eventually offer longer hours.
“Grand Rapids is, it’s growing so fast,” Sinicropi said. “It’s growing in a really good way.”