Fricano purchased the Spring Lake Township restaurant late last month and is in the process of renovations. He's already torn out the former hostess station and plans to move the wall back that separated the lobby from the kitchen.
His plans are to open Ted's (which Fricano says stands for “talk, eat, drink”) by early September. Originally, Fricano had hoped to open in May or June, but closing paperwork, title work, appraisals and bank commitments took longer than expected, he said.
“We're going to do a complete renovation,” Fricano said. “The four walls are the same, the footprint will be the same, the bar will be the bar and the kitchen is the kitchen.”
Fricano plans to move the large wall that faces the entryway back to create a more open and inviting space.
The menu isn't set yet, but Fricano said he will not be serving Fricano's pizza at Ted's. He will serve lunch and dinner, and may retain a couple of Vic's popular menu items. Breakfast is not part of the plan at this time.
“It's not a gastro pub, it's not farm-to-table,” Fricano said. “It's 'let's go have a couple beers and some simple food.' It's just a simple place. 'Let's go out to eat.' That's the style. It's a very simple menu that no one will have trouble identifying. It's a family restaurant menu. It's a family restaurant.”
Fricano said he has no menu specifics yet.
“I just dropped a lot of numbers on this place,” he said. “There are a lot of priorities on my mind other than what kind of salad dressing I'm going to offer.”
Fricano said the restaurant's name choice is a tribute to Vic's.
“Going from Vic's to Ted's is not a stretch,” he said. “Vic's is a three-letter name with an apostrophe.Ted's is a three-letter name with an apostrophe. There is nostalgia with Vic's. There is a magic at Vic's that exists today and I'm very respectful of that. I do not go in there thinking Vic's is gone and Ted's is there. I still hold onto that nostalgia factor that Vic created back in the ‘80s.”
Fricano also owns Fricano's Muskegon Lake and Fricano's Place, a 70,000-square-foot building and event center with multiple businesses and tenants at 1050 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon.
“I've been wanting to expand my business portfolio for about two years,” he said. “My staff and I have created a remarkable success story in Muskegon. If I'm going to grow my staff, I have to expand, and that's my intention.”
Fricano said he gave Vic's owners Fred Sears and Roger Susterich his word that he would give current Vic's employees the opportunity to keep their jobs. But, because of the extensive remodeling, he understands some may not want to stick around and wait.
Fricano said he's designing the 6,000-square-foot restaurant space for “high volume.”
“It seats potentially 200 people,” he said, and an existing small banquet room “will be remarkable,” he added.
Fricano's dad, Gus; his grandmother, Phyllis; and uncle, Tom, opened the original Fricano's in Grand Haven in 1949. The Fricano family still owns the Grand Haven and Holland locations. Ted Fricano owns the Muskegon pizzeria. His brother Phil owns locations in Caledonia and Kalamazoo, and brother Doug owns the Alpine Avenue pizzeria in Grand Rapids.
Ernest “Ernie” Victor opened the original Vic's Restaurant in 1972 at 15281 Cleveland St., where Music Everyday currently resides. Vic's had operated in its current location since 1990. Prior to Fricano's purchase, the business had been for sale for several years.