Lansing Area Loses Another Longtime Restaurant
For the last 20 years, Champps Kitchen + Bar has anchored Eastwood Towne Center in Lansing Township. On Thursday, that all changed.
The restaurant at 2800 Preyde Boulevard has permanently closed, according to signage hanging on the building's front door.
We regret to inform you that this location has permanently closed. With the difficult last couple of years and uncertain future due, we unfortunately had no other option.
We are sad to lose this location and thank the countless staff and guests who have made our restaurant feel like home throughout the years.
Champps Kitchen + Bar's website confirms the news, with just three locations — Brookfield, Wisconsin; Eden Prairie, Minnesota; and Indianapolis — currently listed. The Lansing Township location first opened in 2003, according to the Lansing State Journal.
Now that I think about it, there were signs that this was coming.
I first got to this area in 2006 when I began my freshman year at Michigan State. My parents visited frequently, regularly making the two-hour drive from Southwest Michigan to East Lansing on the weekends. Whenever they did, it seems like my dad almost always wanted to go out to eat at one of two places, both of them in Eastwood Towne Center — either Smokey Bones, which is still open nearby at 2401 Lake Lansing Road, or Champps.
Back then, Champps was a hot ticket. I can't remember ever getting seated without at least a 10- or 15-minutes wait. And if you dared to go on an MSU football or basketball game day you could practically forget about getting in.
The place was always packed. It even had a DJ inside who took over the sound system to hype up the crowd and play music when MSU games, which were being shown on Champps' giant big-screen TV in the center of the establishment, were in commercial break.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I last visited Champps in 2019. There was no wait then, and the place was pretty quiet. I also noticed the menu had been culled significantly.
Champps also worked with us here at The Game 730 AM during our Burgers & Brews event back in 2017. They helped Brock Palmbos and me, who argued every weekday morning for three hours on this station's airwaves back then, to craft our own concoction. We aptly named it "The House Divided Burger," in theme with our chief and defining difference.
Turns out making a burger that's two completely different sandwiches — that do NOT complement each other in the slightest — crammed into one doesn't make for an appetizing meal. But that wasn't the fault of the folks from Champps. They were great. They did all they could to make the god-awful concept Brock and I came up with work.
Anyway, RIP to Champps here in the Lansing area. It's too bad, but it's a sign of the times.
I never did find out why there were two "Ps" in the name. What a shame.