The Green Lantern, one of metro Detroit's favorite old-school pizzerias, has opened its first Macomb County location in a former sports bar in Clinton Township.
The 150-seat Green Lantern Lounge at 15505 Fifteen Mile, between Hayes and Utica, opened Jan. 1 with no advertising, but word spread quickly. The wait for a table at dinnertime can be an hour or more. The public's reception has been "absolutely unbelievable," co-owner T.J. Spreitzer said this week.
Located in the former City Pub Grill, the restaurant features a dark green exterior and a deep, brick-red dining room decorated with grand chandeliers, ornate mirrors and black-and-white photos of the founding Vettriano family from decades ago. One especially striking photo is a portrait of Thomas Vettriano that hangs behind the bar.
He and his wife, Irene Vettriano, opened the original Green Lantern in Madison Heights almost 60 years ago. It's still family-run -- owned by their daughter, Marlene Spreitzer, and her children, T.J., John and Nicole Spreitzer. John owns the Green Lantern carryout in Royal Oak and is a co-owner with T.J. in the new Clinton Township restaurant. Nicole focuses on the business end of the family's operations.
The menu in Clinton Township is the same as the one in Madison Heights, except the larger kitchen allows the new location to offer more appetizers and sandwiches, along with square deep-dish pizzas.
For now, the brothers are still working out the expected kinks of a new restaurant -- and dealing with far more customers than they expected at this point, T.J. Spreitzer says. Soon, they hope to add happy hours, Trivial Pursuit nights and pizza delivery. They're also planning special events, including an official grand opening in February and a major St. Patrick's Day party. This spring, they'll open the doors to a 50-seat patio.
Hours are 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m.- 2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday, and noon-midnight Sunday. The kitchen closes a half-hour before closing time. (586-859-0500 andwww.greenlanternlounge.com)