Now open: Buddy's Pizza, Ann Arbor {+ win a $25 gift card! Ends 10/22}


*Disclosure: I received a gift card in exchange for this post. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Buddy's Pizza, as well as a huge Ann Arbor fan—I lived there from 2005-09 when I attended the University of Michigan.

As of this Friday (aka today), the wait for Ann Arborites who want their Detroit deep dish fix is over! Buddy's Pizza has opened at 3153 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd., Pittsfield Township, near the Meijer plaza.

I was able to attend the media event today and sample some of their yummy pizza.


About the restaurant:
After 71 years of serving pies throughout metro Detroit, the family-owned business is expanding to Wolverine Country as the restaurant opens its 12th location in Ann Arbor. The 6,500 square foot location opens to the public at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13 within the Pittsfield Plaza at 3153 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.

Guests who visit the new location during its grand opening will be supporting a local veteran peer-to-peer support program, Buddy-To-Buddy. On Oct. 13, $2 from each pizza will be donated to the nonprofit to further train veteran volunteers in supporting and offering resources to fellow Michigan veterans in need.

“We’re excited to offer the original Detroit-style square pizza in Ann Arbor and look forward to building relationships with customers and other community-minded organizations in the area,” said Wesley Pikula, Buddy’s Pizza vice president of operations. “Ann Arbor residents have supported our pizza for a long time, and now they’re able to enjoy Detroit-style square pizza right here in their backyard.”


Designed by Joy Walker Interior Design, Inc., the new location pays tribute to Buddy’s’ Detroit heritage with urban industrial decor and design elements reminiscent of the original Buddy’s Pizza on the corner of Six Mile and Conant in Detroit. Rich, warm colors will enliven the space while metal, brick and wood detail will evoke Detroit’s urban history. The full-service location will seat 200 patrons in a main dining room and feature a main lobby, an outdoor dining area, main bar, banquet room, carry-out area, restrooms and kitchen.

Conveniently situated near I-94 and just minutes from the Big House, the new location in Pittsfield Township boundary will provide Ann Arbor residents with a new tradition for football Saturdays and the Buddy’s Pizza flavors they know and love, much closer to home.

During its opening week, Buddy’s Ann Arbor will operate:
  • Friday, Oct. 13 – 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 14 – 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 15 – 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 16 – Closed
  • Tuesday, Oct. 17 – 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 18 – 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 19 – 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
For a complete list of temporary and normal hours, please visit buddyspizza.com or click here.

My thoughts:
The pizza, as always, was delicious. There were 8 or 9 varieties to choose from, but all of them had pepperoni on it. My favorite was a variety that had the pepperoni on top—as you may know, Detroit-style pizza usually has the toppings underneath the cheese—and some basil with it as well.

I've been to the Farmington Hills, Detroit, Royal Oak (carry-out only), Novi, Dearborn, and now Ann Arbor locations, and this location definitely has a unique vibe to it. Whereas the Novi location is more flashy (blue seems to be their signature color), the A2 location is more "woodsy"—the signature colors were browns and muted tones, and it pays homage to its Detroit roots.

Many of the lighting fixtures were also pretty cool, as they were made out of bottles and other unusual items.

I anticipate that this Buddy's location will do VERY well, since it's so close to the UM campus, and also to the Big House—it would be a great place to stop by before or after a football game.

Welcome to Ann Arbor, Buddy's!

Some fun facts:
  • Buddy's Pizza originally opened in 1946, at the original Six Mile and Conant location.
  • The location was initially a tavern, until Gus Guerra purchased it and turned it into a family-restaurant (Buddy's)
  • Buddy's is the creator of what would later be called "Detroit-style" pizza: a square-shaped, Sicilian-style pie, made with crumbled Wisconsin brick cheese. 
  • The restaurant was purchased in the 1950s by Jimmy Bonacorse and Jimmy Valenti, and again purchased in 1970 by William and Shirlee Jacobs. Their son, Robert Jacobs, continues to own and operate the brand today, and it now has 12 locations.


GIVEAWAY:

Two of my lucky readers will each win a $25 Buddy's gift card, to celebrate the new restaurant!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Sunday, October 22nd, at 11:59pm EST, and winners will be emailed the next day, and must respond within 24 hours, or an alternate winner(s) will be chosen.

Must live within the metro Detroit area to enter this giveaway. I already have the gift cards in my possession, and will be mailing them to the winners. Gift cards are valid at any of the 12 Buddy's pizza locations.

Good luck!

$25 Buddy's Pizza gift card - 2 winners!

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