Saline Marketplace Changes
Caffe Dolce eyes bigger digs
by BIllie Ochberg
For eight years, Caffe Dolce has been tucked into the back corner of the Country Creek Plaza. This fall, it's finally expanding. Owners Alex and Michelle Petrut need the room. On a recent day at lunch, their little 800-square-foot space was packed with diners eating everything from freshly baked pecan sticky buns and almond roca cookies to chicken salad with apples, cranberries, and celery on grilled pita. Both the outdoor bistro tables were taken, and more customers stood in line waiting for a sandwich to go.
In their new location about 100 yards west, the Petruts will have three times the space, a drive-through window, a fireplace, plenty of comfortable chairs, free Wi-Fi, wraparound windows, and expanded hours. Alex, who does the baking, is anxious to expand his offerings. "I plan to start making our own bagels, New York style with a good chew and plenty of flavor," he says. He will also start baking his own bread and add more soups, sandwiches, and pastas to the menu.
Alex started out as a machine mechanic at Interstate Bakeries Corporation. Michelle studied elementary education. But their honeymoon changed everything for them. Wandering in and out of Parisian cafes, the newlyweds decided that someday they would run their own. Now they do.
Caffe Dolce, 7025 East Michigan, suite N (Country Creek Plaza), Saline; starting late September, 6961 East Michigan, Saline. 944-5305. Mon.-Fri. 6 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Expected hours at new address: Mon.-Fri. 5 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m. www.caffedolcecoffeehouse.com
Even before his family came to the United States, Sam Ayoub knew he wanted to work in the restaurant business. At age fifteen, he met a friend and future business partner, Haider Bazzi, who was ten, on the plane coming here. "My family was from Lebanon, and Haider's was from Greece, heading to America, the land of opportunity," chuckles Ayoub. That was more than thirty years ago. This September they plan
to open their sixth Leo's Coney Island franchise in State Street Crossings.
Leo's serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a wide variety of Coney specials, gyros, moussaka, kabobs, and lots more Greek fare, as well as burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches, and daily specials. The new place will seat 130 with room for an additional fifteen to twenty diners outdoors.
Leo's Coney Island will offer 10 percent teacher and student discounts and a 15 percent discount for seniors. Ayoub is eager to work with local schools on fund-raising. "We are a family restaurant," he emphasizes. He hopes to move with his wife and two young children from Dearborn Heights to the Saline area.
Leo's Coney Island, 6889 State Road, suite P (State Street Crossings), Saline, 944-7100. Mon.-Sat. 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Opening planned for late September.
Morrow Steiner Designs is closing its retail space at 106 North Ann Arbor Street. But owner Sharron Morrow Steiner and her manager, Helen Martin, don't plan to slow down. They are concentrating on what they love most: interior design. "We decided to expand our design business and work from home rather than have to manage retail," explains Martin.
Morrow Steiner Designs, Saline, 429-2400. By appointment only.
[Originally published in October, 2008.]