Zingerman's Deli expansion opening in October will double indoor seating
Daniel Brenner I AnnArbor.com
The plan to remove a fire-damaged house on Kingsley Street and replace it with a substantial addition was approved by the Ann Arbor Historic District Commission in September 2010. Since then, the $6.7 million project has slowly progressed as the original store and Zingerman’s Next Door stayed open to serve an always-hungry customer base.
“We currently have 95 indoor seats; after the construction is completed we will have about 200,” Singleton said in an email.
“When our full patio was open before construction we had about 130 outdoor seats. We will have these again once construction is completed and with the new building we will add 60 outdoor seats on the second-floor deck.”
In addition to a new kitchen and expanded indoor and outdoor seating, the new building will house a basement connection to Zingerman’s existing storage areas and will be attached to the original store by a glass atrium. The original building will then undergo renovations to the kitchen and sandwich line.
Even before the addition, Zingerman’s has grown astronomically since it opened in 1982, from 2,000 sandwiches sold in its opening year, to 300,000 last year. Singleton anticipates that the increased space will mean even more increased business.
“The kitchen and seating capacities have been the areas of limitation,” she said.
“We are hoping that we can increase our sales by over 10 percent the first year in the new building, and that by year five we will have close to a 50 percent increase in sales overall.”
In order to handle that increased business, Singleton said the company expects to expand Zingerman’s 200-person workforce by hiring up to 65 new staff members within the next five years. Immediate hires will be to staff the new building, and more will follow as business expands.
The design also will make things easier for current deli employees. While ingredients used to be moved up and downstairs multiple times during the preparation process, the new building will allow for a more logical workflow.
Zingerman’s also is aiming to receive a Silver LEED certification for efficiency in the building. Sintleton said the certification can’t be awarded until a few months after construction is completed, but the building plans are very environmentally conscious.
“We are capturing waste heat from the refrigeration equipment to offset the energy needed to heat our hot water, there are well-insulated rooms, and we have the ability to use natural ventilation and cross breezes to keep the building the correct temperature,” she said.
Other Zingerman’s brand locations also have been expanding recently. ZingTrain recently opened a new expanded location in Pittsfield Township, and Chef Alex Young of Zingerman’s Roadhouse expanded his Cornman Farms with the purchase of adjacent land west of Dexter.