Olde Tyme Pizza opened at the end of August in the space formerly occupied by Jet’s Pizza in the Parkside Plaza strip mall on W. Michigan (Jet’s moved up the street earlier this year to the Oaks shopping mall). Olde Tyme owner Clayton Semanske is a jack-of-all-trades. He started out as a licensed general contractor and still does contracting work on the side. He’s also a local organic soybean farmer, working forty acres that belong to his folks and more land that he leases from nearby farmers. He sells to Saline’s American Soy.
Semanske got into the pizza business almost eight years ago when he opened the original Olde Tyme Pizza in Clinton, Michigan. “Business slowed there,” explains Barbara Semanske, Clayton’s wife, so they closed the Clinton store and took the opportunity to open in Saline, closer to home.
Although Clayton is the owner, the business is really a family operation. Barbara helps out after she finishes her day job at the University of Michigan Health System. Son Kyle manages the store when his dad’s not around, and Clayton’s mother, Laura Semanske, does “a little bit of everything,” she says. “I help out with the books, make pizzas, whatever’s needed.”
The business name’s eighteenth-century spelling reflects their approach, Laura Semanske explains: “All the pizzas are handmade. We make our own dough, nothing is processed, so it made sense to use an old-time spelling.” The whole family is dedicated to using local products and–season permitting–fresh ones, too. During the summer, the Semanskes use homegrown onions from their garden. “Fresh is definitely better and makes a big difference in the local economy,” says Barbara. “When we need items on the fly we only use local grocers.”
Olde Tyme Pizza offers a wide variety of specialty pizzas including both hand-tossed thin-crust and deep-dish for takeout or delivery. Sub sandwiches are prepared using Saline’s own Benny’s Bakery rolls. Other options include hot wings, a variety of fresh salads, and the popular breadsticks–either the savory cheese variety or the sweet cinnamon breadsticks topped with icing.
Olde Tyme Pizza, 715 W. Michigan, 429-4800. Mon.-Thurs. 3-10 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 3-11 p.m., Sun. 4-9 p.m. Lunch hours coming soon.
“I was one of Saline’s best-kept secrets,” jokes Anita Monical about her store’s former location on N. Ann Arbor Street. Monical was just being modest–her store, The Bead Alley, built a loyal following during its seven years in business there. Even as Monical sat surrounded by bead trays yet to be unpacked, one diehard local beader weaved her way around boxes in search of the perfect seed beads.
Monical jumped at the chance to move her shop around the corner to W. Michigan Avenue because it gave her a lot more signage and a little more space–“I went from about 450 to 550 square feet,” she says. Seed beads are tiny spheres, some just a millimeter in diameter, so even a hundred additional square feet goes a long way. “The rent’s lower too,” Monical says.
During an October interview, Monical apologizes for not having all her beads displayed yet. “You should have seen this place,” she laughs. During the move some trays toppled off a table, and she spent two and a half days picking up thousands of tiny seed beads. There was no sign of the spill by the time we got there, and Monical had already found time to hang several framed works displaying her beading skills, including an elaborately woven necklace in the Celtic stitch style that resembles a lace collar.
Monical is using some of the extra space in the back of the new shop to sell her extensive collection of used books. The money from those sales, however, will go straight to her two favorite charities: disabled and paralyzed American veterans and animal rescue causes. “My dad was both a World War Two and Korean War veteran,” Monical explains. “He was hit four or five times and got a Purple Heart.”
Soon Monical will set up a table for customers to use for beading projects. That’s something she has always done. “Sundays,” said Monical, “is when the girls hang out, beading and kibitzing.”
The Bead Alley, 203 W. Michigan, suite 200A, 709-8435. Tue. & Wed. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thu. & Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. noon-3 p.m. Closed Mon.
Dominic’s Fine Wine and Liquor Store in the Country Creek Plaza on E. Michigan Avenue closed last month. The owners could not be reached for comment. Swisher Commercial Realty hopes the 2,400-square-foot space on the corner of the L-shaped strip mall will soon attract a new tenant.
The Gold Vault on W. Michigan Avenue closed at the end of the summer, with no further details available.