A grand re-opening: A fixture returns to Downtown Lansing

Downtown Lansing residents and workers can once again get their pie and eat it too. On July 5, Grand Traverse Pie Company reopened its Washington Square store following nearly two years of being closed due to the pandemic.

“With a lot of people working remotely, there just wasn’t enough of a customer base to keep the store open during those times,” general manager Nik Parkinson said. “However, with state workers starting to return back to work part time, and some full time, and with other offices opening up over the last six to eight months, we decided it was time to reopen and give it another go.” 

The café serves sandwiches, soups, salads, quiche, pot pies and desserts like cookies and, of course, their famous pies, by the slice or whole.  

“Besides our dessert pie, our chicken pot pie is our best-selling item,” Parkinson said, “We make dozens of them every day. They’re savory, hot and delicious.” 

Other popular menu items include the cherry chicken salad with cucumber, tomato, feta, Michigan dried cherries and berry cherry vinaigrette. Other go-to’s are quiche by the slice and chicken fiesta salad with cheddar cheese, black bean and corn mix, tortilla strips and chipotle ranch dressing. Pie-wise, the cherry crumb pie made from Michigan Montmorency cherries, topped with a layer of rich chocolate ganache, takes the cake as the most popular.  

Aside from simply tasting good, sourcing regional ingredients is also important to the Traverse City-based company, which also has locations at 3536 Meridian Crossing Drive in Okemos and 1403 E. Grand River Ave. in East Lansing.  

“All of our apples, blueberries and cherries are all Michigan fruit,” Parkinson said. “We’re super proud about that.” 

While the lunch rush is always busy, the café also offers customers breakfast items like muffins, turnovers, cinnamon rolls, scramble wraps and coffee, starting at 8 a.m. daily.  

“We do more than just lunch,” he said. “Right now, we’re running a promotion Monday through Friday from 8 to 10 a.m. where customers can get a free coffee with any purchase.” 

Inside, the downtown space seats about 80 people. Outside, the sidewalk patio includes umbrellas, tables and chairs for about 24. For those still not comfortable dining in, Grand Traverse offers takeout, delivery through DoorDash and catering.