Bar and Grill fills empty Cardinal’s Nest

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The lot located at 2903 Pierce at the Pierce-Bay intersection that previously held both T-Dubs and Cardinal’s Nest Tavern will soon re-open as Pierce 101 Bar and Grill.

Jack Leuenberger, 77, said he is reopening the bar in part for financial reasons, but more so to provide great service and great food to the people of the area.

“We feel that we can do a better job of providing good food, good portions and good service,” he said. “That’s what my intent is.”

Leuenberger, who is a part owner of both Campus Village, Cardinal View plaza and several other tri-city businesses, is opening the bar with an SVSU alumna. She will be primarily responsible for the management of the bar and grill. He stressed the importance of quick service, a clean restaurant and a friendly environment.

The lot will now house its third bar in the last three years. Last year, Cardinal’s Nest Tavern opened there and saw some success. However, owner Tony Gojcaj died Jan. 26, and the Tavern was closed by the end of the winter semester.

Leuenberger said he hopes the bar can attract college students but also older adults and seniors that will support the bar during lunch time and the summer months, when students are less likely to visit.

“I want a mixed crowd,” Leuenberger said. “I’m hoping some of our weekly specials will really put us over the top with an older age group.”

The menu will feature hamburgers, steak sandwiches, wraps and a variety of salads, along with other food and a large variety of drink selections.

Pierce 101 Bar and Grill hopes to offer specials on a regular basis, including options like Taco Tuesdays, all you can eat spaghetti on Mondays, College Night on Thursday and an all you can eat fish fry on Friday.

Leuenberger also said he plans on having live country music bands on Friday and Saturday nights to draw attendance from both college students and adults.

He also noted that the bar and grill will have 17 televisions, six of which, including the largest, will be high definition. He said pay-per-view events such as boxing and MMA will be shown at no additional charge to customers and that a private area for meetings and a snack bar could be in the works as well.

The Cardinal View plaza currently has three spaces available for lease. Gretchen Witherspoon is the real estate broker for the plaza and said that the space that currently hosts Dogg Houze, along with the space that used to house New Kitchen and the space next to Common Grind are all available for lease.

“There is interest in both the Dogg Houze and the old New Kitchen lot,” Witherspoon said. “I’ve received a call or two on both of those locations.”

Being the third bar in the location in three years doesn’t phase Leuenberger, and he is confident the bar and grill will be a success. He said the bar will open within 10 days of obtaining its liquor license, the only thing hindering its introduction.

“Good food and good service is what will make this place successful, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “Owner presence will also be a priority for us.”

Students such as senior exercise science student Dylan Seeley are hopeful that the bar will keep the elements of Cardinal’s Nest Tavern that they enjoyed, while bringing new ideas that are appealing to students.

“I hope the new bar takes a similar approach to Cardinal’s Nest and listens to what the SVSU students want given that we are so close,” he said.