Buddy's Pizza to open downtown with new menu, pizza by the slice

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Detroit — The new Buddy's Pizza will officially open next week with a new menu, a new pizza by the slice service and the sweet sounds of Motown.

"It's very exciting to be back downtown and be part of the excitement, the growth, the development that's going on here," said Burton Heiss, the company's new CEO. "We're excited about the new restaurant as well."

Heiss made the comments Wednesday during a media preview of the restaurant, at 1565 Broadway near downtown Detroit's Grand Circus Park. The company plans to hold its grand opening next Wednesday.

Burton Heiss, the new CEO of Buddy's Pizza, talks about the long-time Metro Detroit restaurant chain opening it's first restaurant in downtown Detroit, in the historic Madison Building off Grand Circus Park.

He said the 7,000-square-foot restaurant's new menu updates its pasta dishes and sandwiches. "The one thing that hasn't changed is our original Detroit-style pizza," the CEO said.  "We've been making it the same way for 70 years and we'll continue to make it the same way."

It will also feature Buddy's by the Square, a new carry-out service, officials said. Patrons will be able to sit and dine or grab a square slice of pizza, sandwich or wrap and go.

For its grand opening Wednesday, the company plans to give away pizza through a scavenger hunt and via social media. It will hide 100 Buddy's Pizza-branded vinyl records at well-known Detroit landmarks. Those who find a record can bring it to the restaurant and get a free 4-square pizza.

And anyone who finds a record and posts a picture of it on Twitter or Instagram using the hash tag #BuddysDowntown has a chance to win one free pizza a month for an entire year.

This is the Rendezvous dinning area inside Buddy's Pizza's new downtown restaurant inside the Madison Building.

In addition, the company will donate sales from the restaurant's grand opening to the Motown Museum from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday. 

Paul Barker, the Motown Museum's director of development and community activation, said Buddy's is an important brand in Detroit, just like Motown is.

"We could not be more proud to be in partnership with Buddy's Pizza," Barker said. "Buddy's is in the community and they just love people. Connecting these very two important Detroit brands is very important to us and we look forward to sharing it with everyone."

Buddy's new restaurant is located at the former site of Angelina's Italian Bistro and will have a full bar and seating for about 200 inside and another 25 on an outdoor patio along Broadway.

"We had a lot to work with here in the Madison Building, the exposed brick and beams," Heiss said. "I think it turned out to be a beautiful restaurant and we're excited for the public to join us."

The new pizza parlor is Buddy's second Detroit location and 16th overall in Michigan.

Buddy's Pizza announced it was opening the downtown Detroit location in February. The building, which is owned by Dan Gilbert's Bedrock LLC real estate firm, housing the new restaurant also has retail, office and event space. Buddy's will share the building with the Ache Supply Co. coffee shop, Skidmore Studios and Detroit Venture Partners.

This is the Greektown pizza.

"Today represents a lot of firsts in this space," said Jennifer Skiba, vice president of leasing for Bedrock. "And this is a very special building for Bedrock as it was our first acquisition in 2011, so it holds a very special place in our hearts. We're happy Buddy's is at the base of this building."


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez