Al Michel said he plans to open a Jet’s Pizza franchise this summer in a building he owns in downtown Caro. He revealed his plans for the eatery to the Caro City Council on Monday night. He said the restaurant will feature seating for customers, and that he’ll install double doors leading from the pizza place into his adjacent tavern, The Pub at The Elbow Room.

Al Michel said he plans to open a Jet’s Pizza franchise this summer in a building he owns in downtown Caro. He revealed his plans for the eatery to the Caro City Council on Monday night. He said the restaurant will feature seating for customers, and that he’ll install double doors leading from the pizza place into his adjacent tavern, The Pub at The Elbow Room.

Pub owner: Jet’s Pizza, 18 jobs, zooming to Caro

Al Michel said he plans to open a Jet’s Pizza franchise this summer in a building he owns in downtown Caro. He revealed his plans for the eatery to the Caro City Council on Monday night. He said the restaurant will feature seating for customers, and that he’ll install double doors leading from the pizza place into his adjacent tavern, The Pub at The Elbow Room.
Al Michel said he plans to open a Jet’s Pizza franchise this summer in
a building he owns in downtown Caro. He revealed his plans for the
eatery to the Caro City Council on Monday night. He said the
restaurant will feature seating for customers, and that he’ll install
double doors leading from the pizza place into his adjacent tavern,
The Pub at The Elbow Room.

A building that has been vacant in downtown Caro for more than 30 years will house a Jet’s Pizza franchise within six months, its owner, Al Michel, told The Advertiser on Monday night.
Michel, 71, said he plans to open the pizza place by late July at 147 S. State St. in a building adjacent to The Pub at The Elbow Room, a tavern owned by Michel at 133 S. State St.
“That will employ roughly 18 people, seven days a week,” Michel told the Caro City Council. “Jet’s is the hottest pizza going right now. I bought the franchise probably six months ago and paid for it, but I’ve been waiting for some business things to get straightened out, which they finally have gotten straightened out.”
Michel said he plans to invest about $75,000 to make the Jet’s Pizza location a reality, knocking out a wall to allow customers at his pub to visit Jet’s Pizza, and vice versa. He plans to offer seating in the pizza place, located inside what once was The Elbow Room tavern. Fire struck the 7,200-square-foot building in the early 1980s, causing The Elbow Room to close, and the storefront has been vacant since then. “That will be the new concept with Jet’s, where half of that (former Elbow Room) building will be for seating, not just takeouts,” Michel said. “Youth soccer teams can come in. Just like Pizza Hut. Same kind of thing. We’ll serve alcohol. If it’s requested, it will get served out of The Pub.”
Jet’s Pizza locations exist in Clio, Bay City, Saginaw, Lapeer, Imlay City and Port Huron, among other spots. Michel said he’ll preserve the wooden floors inside his building.
“I’m going to have them redone, have them sanded and varnished,” he said. “I’m going to leave as much of the old mosaic as there is. The architecture is really beautiful.”
Michel told the Caro City Council of his plans for part of the former Elbow Room tavern Monday night after telling the council he needs its approval to relocate his car importing/exporting business in the other portion of the former Elbow Room. He said that business, and its two employees, will relocate from Marlette to his building in Caro.
“There will be no transport trucks,” Michel said. “I don’t sell (cars) to the public. All I do is the paperwork. We do roughly about 800 cars a month.”
Michel said he’ll bring documents to the next council meeting regarding his request to bring the car importing/exporting business into the building.
He said he doesn’t believe he needs to seek Caro City Council permission to serve alcohol in the Jet’s Pizza franchise, which would become accessible — after part of a wall is demolished to create a double-door entrance — to his tavern which already operates under a state liquor license.
“If I did (require council approval), we’ve had no violations at (The Pub at The Elbow Room),” Michel said. “We’ve had no police calls. I run a straight joint. I’m too old and too ugly to get hit.”
“Glad to have the business,” said Caro Mayor Joe Greene. “More business, more employment — it’s good for Caro overall.”
Michel said he picked up the idea to operate a Jet’s Pizza with seating for customers after eating many times at a Jet’s Pizza in Macomb County’s Shelby Township, along 23-Mile Road east of Schoenherr Road.
“It’s a good atmosphere for the kids there,” Michel said. “The kids come in and get a pizza, they have a pop.”
Michel said he’ll work at the new eatery after taking a 30-day training course on operating the establishment. “You have to be active or (Jet’s Pizza) won’t give you the franchise,” Michel said. “I’ll be there daily.”
Michel believes the pizza place could cook up even more business in downtown Caro, a locale with numerous vacant storefronts.
“I said it one time in a council meeting (in Caro) — when you get a snowball and it’s rolling down the hill, it keeps getting bigger,” Michel said. “Now if we can get some things in Caro to start rolling, everybody likes to jump on success. It keeps rolling and it keeps getting bigger.”
“Look at Vassar,” added Greene, referring to the fact seven new businesses opened in a one-block stretch of downtown Vassar in 2016.
“A couple deals get going, and it just snowballs.”
Michel said he’ll have to request approval for his eatery from the Caro Planning Commission.
“I don’t know on everything yet. Joe (Greene) will help me, but I’ve never been through it before,” Michel said. “I’m improving everything, it’s a viable business and it will have more employees, and as everybody knows, I run a straight place at The Pub.”
Michel has been vocal about how elected officials are running the city of Caro. He previously threatened to lead recall efforts against former mayor Dick Pouliot — ousted by Greene in the Nov. 8 general election — and said he will do the same to other elected officials if they don’t change.
Tom Gilchrist is a reporter for The Advertiser and can be reached at gilchrist@tcadvertiser.com

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