The Big Salad restaurant chain is expanding to Detroit and Traverse City, with more on the way


  • Courtesy of The Big Salad
  • The Big Salad.

A homegrown restaurant chain that may or may not be named after a Seinfeld episode is expanding to Detroit and Traverse City this summer.

The chain of build-your-own-salad restaurants says that it plans to open its Traverse City location in July at 332 E. Front St. and its Detroit location in August inside University of Detroit Mercy Law School on Jefferson Avenue.

“With so many restaurants closing, we are excited to be expanding in our home state of Michigan,” owner and founder John Bornoty said in a statement. “We believe the restaurant industry is coming back and feel it’s our role to feed our community.”

The University of Detroit Mercy Law School store will be open to both students and faculty, as well as the general public. The company says it plans to offer delivery, curbside, and catering for downtown businesses.

Another location is planned for Novi or Farmington, but the company says a final site has not been chosen. That site is anticipated to open in the fall.

The chain was founded in 2008 and has four locations in Michigan: the original in Grosse Pointe, Woodhaven, Charlotte, and Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan Hospital. It also has a location in Spring, Texas.

The company says it closed two stores in Michigan and one in Pennsylvania that relied heavily on workers who were no longer working in their offices during the pandemic.

All of chains' restaurants are open for indoor dining at 50% capacity in addition to offering carryout, delivery, and curbside service.

The company also says it has upgraded its online ordering system, and has created a program called EMILYS to feed frontline workers during the pandemic, named after the owner's niece, who is a nurse.

“I can’t say enough about our entire team and all of the communities who love and support The Big Salad,” Bornoty said. “The pandemic has challenged everyone in the food industry, a business I have a real passion for. Being a Michigan-based entrepreneur, I’ve seen it all first-hand. Now is the time to rebuild and expand, and that makes me excited.”

More information including all locations is available at

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