in November. They're serving burgers, grinders, sandwich wraps, salads, and soups for lunch-and planned to add breakfast in the future.
"We're doing very well, considering we opened at a slower time of year," Judy says. "Adding hot breakfast should be a good niche since there's no other sit-down breakfast spot [on] this side of town."
Ellie's-named for chef Mike Radant's three-year-old daughter-offers seating for twenty-two as well as carryout and delivery. All burger meat is ground fresh, and grinder rolls are baked daily. Judy says every effort is made to use fresh local ingredients. She says Mike keeps the menu interesting by introducing new items weekly-dishes like spicy turkey chili and sausage gumbo.
Son Steve, Ellie's business manager, also works in the computer industry. The two brothers previously teamed up when Mike ran a mobile auto paint shop for several years. After losing half their clients in the economic downturn, they were looking for a new business opportunity together and found it in their mother's food background. Judy's a former culinary arts teacher at Saline High School, teaches culinary classes part-time at Washtenaw Community College, and is a board member of Chelsea Community Kitchen.