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Posted on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 5:55 a.m.

Domino's Pizza plans to relocate and expand on Ann Arbor's Plymouth Road

By Lizzy Alfs

Looking to bring a better restaurant experience to his customers and employees, Domino’s Pizza franchisee Dave Cesarini plans to relocate and expand his longtime Plymouth Road store.

Cesarini signed a lease to relocate Domino’s from Plymouth Road Mall, where it has operated for decades, to the neighboring Traver Village Shopping Center, in the newly reconfigured space formerly occupied by Blockbuster.

The move will give Domino’s more square footage and direct visibility off Plymouth Road.

“The location we are moving from served its functionality, but we need to catch up with the times,” Cesarini said. “We’re bringing a more social experience so customers can interact with our servers in a bigger, brighter, more comfortable site.”


Domino's plans to relocate from Plymouth Road Mall to Traver Village.

Lizzy Alfs |

To enhance that “social experience,” Cesarini plans to have some seating and an open kitchen so customers can see servers making their food.

“When you walk in, you’ll be able to see people press out the fresh dough and people topping pizzas,” he explained. “We’re hopefully going to have a lot more fun with spinning the dough in the air and interacting.”

Last year, Traver Village landlord First Martin Corp. started the process to reconfigure the 6,960-square-foot former Blockbuster space. They relocated the site’s frontage to face Plymouth Road, divided the space and constructed a parking lot and driveway in front of the retail building.

The goal, said First Martin’s Chris Grant, was to attract tenants interested in smaller retail spaces. Bank of Ann Arbor has since moved from a space at the rear of Traver Village to occupy about a third of the former Blockbuster.

Cesarini said he plans to start construction work on his new space soon and hopes to open in January or February. His lease in Plymouth Road Mall expires in the spring, so he will operate that store until the new one is ready to open.

As part of the move, Cesarini plans to hire 10 to 15 employees in all departments — delivery, management and pizza makers. (Apply here)

“The landlord we had was great to us, I’m just excited to be visible on the road,” he said. “Of all the projects I’ve done, I’ve never been more excited (as I am) about opening up this new location.”

Vern Hutton is the owner of Plymouth Road Mall. It's unclear if Hutton has secured a new tenant for the Domino's space yet.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

Cottage Inn on Broadway beats them all. Bring back the buy 1 get 1 for $3!


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

That's a lot of new expenses for this store. Seems like theyve operated successfully out of the old store for a while and with Little Caesars opening on Plymouth rd there's Just going to be more competition. Maybe another pizza store will open in their old location.

Haran Rashes

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.

Little Caesars is no longer planning to move into the Plymouth Road Plaza:


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

Be nice if the pizza would improve also... the new and improved version is not that much better than they old stuff, although the recently introduced handmade pan pizza is a cut above the other mediocrities on the menu. Jets and Marco's definitely better choices in that part of town, though.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

I find Domino's Pizza slide into the void interesting to watch. For the last few years all we've heard is that Dominion's is hemorrhaging cash trying to stabilize sales of it inferior product through new media blitz campaigns. Yet, nothing seems to stop the steady decline. Will Domino's run out of money? Probably not, they have a ton of it, but I don't see them gaining market share anytime soon.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 6:37 p.m.

Where have you heard any of this? It is just plain not true If that is running out of money, please let me run out of it too.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

It remains a mystery to me that anyone would order a pizza from Domino's in that area. Domino's wouldn't even enter my mind when ordering pizza since Marco's and Jets are soooooo much better.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 10:45 p.m.

I don't care for Jets. Got the worst pizza ever there. :P


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 6:13 p.m.

Try Domino's new pan pizza, it's really good! Can't stand Marco's.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

Frank - you might want to give it another try. It's pretty darned good now.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

Domino's usually doesn't cross my mind, but I ordered from there a few months ago and it was surprisingly good. They have a much bigger variety of pizzas now, and they taste better, too. Obviously they're getting enough business, because if they weren't they'd be closing instead of relocating.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

This is a fine article, Lizzy, but you might clarify the headline a bit. It sounds as if the Domino's Pizza headquarters, also located on Plymouth Road in that iconic building inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, is making a move to new digs, not a less newsworthy franchisee moving their outlet. Just a bit confusing.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

It's actually on Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, which is off of Earhart rd, which is off Plymouth rd. I don't think dominos HQ is even visible directly from Plymouth rd.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

Actually it's located on Frank Lloyd Wright drive off of Plymouth

Brigid Kowalczyk

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.

I'm sure a nice clean kitchen will help greatly. And being observed by the public can't hurt either. I'm looking forward to the new visibility. But that area is getting pretty congested. I think the speed limit needs to be brought down a notch. Left turning, pedestrians, I was stopped at that very exit from the mall when an accident occurred a couple of weeks ago. Maybe NO LEFT turns would be helpful.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 11:46 a.m.

Hopefully they can improve their health dept inspections in a new space. 3 critical and 6 non-critical in July, 3 critical in January also...