The popular Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee, known for its fried chicken and spaghetti, will open its first restaurant in Michigan in Sterling Heights.
The restaurant is expected to open this summer in the former Denny’s space along Hall Road in front of Lakeside Mall, Gabe Schuchman, the managing director of Alrig USA, the Bingham Farms-based developer and owner of the project, said in an email.
Schuchman said construction on the $4 million restaurant, to be located at 44945 Woodridge Dr., will start in January. Jollibee will employ about 75 people.
The restaurant’s plans were first announced by Luke Bonner, a senior economic development adviser for the city of Sterling Heights, at a city council meeting in August as part of a presentation of new economic developments coming to the city over the next two years, and the plans were reported by the Sterling Heights Sentry and later Crain’s Detroit Business.
“This will have fans coming from all over the place to eat here,” Bonner said at the meeting. “I’m guessing that the line will be significantly long when that finally opens.”
Jollibee was founded in 1978 in the Philippines, and now operates in 33 countries and has more 5,800 restaurants. About 50 of those are in the U.S.
The company is in the midst of a rapid expansion across the country, with restaurants opening in Florida, Maryland and California in recent months. But the Sterling Heights restaurant marks the company’s first location in Michigan.
Jollibee is known for its take on fried chicken, spaghetti with a sweet sauce and slices of ham and hot dog, and its peach mango pie.
Bonner likened Jollibee’s popularity to that of the Chicago-style hot dog chain Portillo’s, which opened nearby in the busy Hall Road/M-59 area in March.
The 2,500-square-foot Jollibee will be built at the site of the former Denny’s restaurant (which will be torn down), and will feature a drive-thru with dual lanes and outdoor patio seating, according to Sterling Heights’ planning commission documents obtained by Crain’s.
A spokesperson for Jollibee didn’t return an email seeking comment.
Contact Adrienne Roberts: [email protected]