GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -The owner of a popular downtown deli will soon have to move out of his current location to make room for a new restaurant.
The Skywalk Deli has been in the Comerica building for ten years. But soon it might make way for a chain restaurant.
"It's really sad, we've got a great following, wonderful clientele," says owner Chris Fehsenfeld. He says the new owners of the building, Franklin Partners, want to renovate the space. The Skywalk Deli doesn't fit into those plans.
"We heard rumors about a month ago that a Panera Bread is coming in."
The available space is located on the first floor of the Comerica building. It's considered an ideal location because right across the street is Rosa Parks Circle and Monroe Center.
"They want to do a lot of nice changes. Unfortunately, we're not going to fit in to their plan. But, we have to tip our hats to them for thinking of our city," says Fehsenfeld.
But don't tell that to his customers. "When they started talking about it becoming a Panera, it's sad to hear because it's unique and Grand Rapids likes unique," says Joy Zelenock.
Fehsenfeld should be moved out by December. He says it will be sad but hopefully he kind find an investor and re-open the deli in a bigger and better space.
WZZM 13 News contacted both Panera and Franklin Partners for a comment, but neither called back.