April 15, 2019
A long-time Michigan restaurant owner will make Brighton home by moving his family’s smokehouse barbecue eatery, as well as his family, to town.
Restaurateur Peter Ginopolis is gearing up to open a new restaurant at 201 W. Main St. in the heart of downtown.
Ginopolis said he will likely call it Ginopolis Smoke n’ Pit Bar-B-Q.
The eatery will be located at the former site of Downtown Main Martini Bar & Grille, which closed in August.
“It’s going to be a rib place, a smokehouse,” Ginopolis said. “We’re going to put a smoker in it, do freshly-cooked ribs, chicken and brisket.”
Ginopolis has long history in restaurants
The Ginopolis family has been operating restaurants in the metro Detroit area for decades, including a restaurant in Farmington Hills. They also have operated eateries in Greektown in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Plymouth, which have since closed.
Peter and his brother Johnny Ginopolis currently own and operate Ginopolis’ Bar-B-Q Smokehouse in Farmington Hills on the corner of Middlebelt and 12 Mile roads.
They plan to close the Farmington Hills location.
“We’re in the process of selling that location to a retirement home … and I’m going to carry on the Ginopolis name in Brighton,” Peter Ginopolis said.
Vero Beach, Fla.-based Harbor Chase Communities has proposed a senior housing and assisted-living facility for the site, according to city of Farmington Hills records. If the facility comes to fruition, the restaurant building will be demolished.
“I plan to move out there to Brighton with my family,” Ginopolis, a 73-year old West Bloomfield resident, said. “I’m a hands-on guy there working it, so I know my customers.”
He said he, his wife Melissa Ginopolis and son Nicholas Ginopolis will work at the new Brighton restaurant.
“I like Brighton and the surroundings and accessibility to stores,” he said. “I love the location. I know there are a lot of restaurants, but we’ll be working it.”
Planning details of Brighton location
Ginopolis said he signed a lease with building owner BMH Realty, one of the Corrigan Oil group of companies, which include gas and fuel oil delivery, towing, real estate and construction, among other ventures.
He is still working out some details, including hours of operation and whether the restaurant will feature live music on an existing outdoor patio.
He said he is in the process of applying for a Class C liquor license from the state that would allow him to serve beer, wine, and liquor.
His goal is to open the new eatery this year, as soon as possible, and hire an undetermined number of employees.
It all started in 1967 when Peter and Johnny Ginopolis and their father George Ginopolis purchased Capraro’s restaurant in Redford Township. The brothers established their Farmington Hills restaurant in 1978 and expanded the building in 1982.
The restaurant will fill a void left when popular Downtown Main Martini Bar & Grille closed after 11 years.
Former owners Lindsay and Nick Palizzi put that business up for sale, hoping to find a buyer who would keep it a martini bar and grill, but those deals fell through and the couple closed the restaurant.
Greater Brighton Area Chamber President Pam McConeghy said she has dined at the Ginopolis’ Farmington Hills restaurant and loved the food.
“They are a well-established company and restaurant and we know that they will be a great addition to the downtown, and it will be a major attraction and their food quality is excellent,” McConeghy said. “They have an outstanding reputation and they’ve had it for years.”
Contact Livingston Daily reporter Jennifer Timar at 517-548-7148 or at [email protected]. Follow her on Facebook @Jennifer.Timar99 and Twitter @JenTimar99.