Sitting at the corner of W. Main and N. Broadway Streets, Larkin’s Restaurant has been a local mainstay since 1978. It has undergone transformations over the years, and a new chapter for the business is now beginning.
The restaurant has been purchased by BGR Investments, the same firm that owns Big Boiler Brewing and is developing Rio Plano Taqueria as well as a mixed use property on Riverside Drive.
“Recently, we found ourselves in a position to buy another property,” explains Brent Slagell, managing partner with BGR Investments. He knew Larkin’s had been on the market for some time and reached out to the listing company to discuss a sale.
Fans of Larkin’s don’t need to worry about losing their favorite downtown spot though. For now, Larkin’s is expected to keep the same hours and menu although changes may eventually be made.
What’s Happening with Larkin’s Restaurant
While the sale of Larkin’s is complete, the business has been leased back to former owner Mike Larkin through January 29, 2022. That is to give time for the new owners to secure approval for their liquor license. Once the new owners take over management, nothing is expected to change in the foreseeable future.
“We’re trying not to disrupt anything in the short-term,” Slagell says. The pool leagues that currently meet at Larkin’s will continue to do so, the menu should stay the same and employees will be given the opportunity to remain in their positions.
Even the name may stay the same. “We may just try to keep it Larkin’s,” Slagell says. However, that needs to be discussed with Mike Larkin first, he adds.
The long-term plans for the building may involve a change up to the menu and atmosphere. “We think Lowell could use a really nice sit-down pizza place,” Slagell says.
An Italian restaurant would provide a new dining option for residents and fill a niche not currently served in the community. “Whenever we do anything, we try to add value to the town,” according to Slagell.
However, no definite plans have been made about the menu, and there is no timeline for when any changes could occur. Before updating Larkin’s, Slagell says his company is focused on another Lowell project – the revitalization of a parcel on Riverside Dr. that previously housed a utility line shack.
When work does occur at Larkin’s, it will include a complete historic remodel and likely involve the development of three apartments above the restaurant.
Status of Other Lowell Projects
Progress is steadily taking place at Rio Plano Taqueria, which is located on Main Street over the Flat River. Slagell says he wants the restaurant to be open by Cinco de Mayo, and the construction manager has told him that should be able to happen.
While there doesn’t seem to be much work happening on the exterior of the building, the previous interior has been removed and framing for the new space has been completed.
The other BGR Investments project is on Riverside Dr. The firm has an agreement to buy the former Lowell Light & Power line shack that sits along the Flat River.
Slagell says the plans are to construct a new building that will have indoor parking, a retail space and an accessible apartment on the ground floor and four additional apartments on the second floor. The company is currently working to secure grant money from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and there is no firm timeline on when work will begin on the new building.