The Bennigan’s on South State that suddenly closed in January will reopen May 17 as a Red Robin. Like the burger chain’s first local location, on Carpenter Road, it’s owned by the Ansara Restaurant Group of Farmington Hills. Red Robin, a chain of about 400, is friendly to children, with a kids’ menu and periodical promotional items like packs of crayons, and friendly to the circumstances that produce the next generation of kids–a large bar and happy hour specials at all hours that aren’t mealtimes.

Red Robin burgers were rated number one by Zagat’s in their 2009 full-service chain category. That’s nothing, says manager Michael Lexcen–“at least 150 of our restaurants have gotten their local best-burger awards.”

Red Robin gutted Bennigan’s kitchen and started from scratch. “It’s just the way we build a restaurant,” says Lexcen. “We wanted everything new and working well. One of the things we use is a Nieco broiler. It can cook a well-done burger in six minutes.”

Red Robin, 575 Briarwood Circle. 997-9550. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun. 11-a.m.-10 p.m.

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