Ted Fricano aims to purchase Vic's Restaurant

Marie Havenga • Jan 18, 2018 at 1:00 PM

SPRING LAKE TWP. — Ted Fricano won't tip his pizza pan on the full details since he hasn't closed on the deal yet, but the Muskegon restaurateur and businessman has his sights set on Vic's Restaurant for his next venture.

“I've got great plans,” Fricano said of the restaurant at 14977 Cleveland St., east of Spring Lake. “It's not legally mine yet. I could get hit by a bus or something ugly could surface, which I'm not anticipating. I just chatted with the right people today and they all believe this is going through.”

Financing is already in place.

“That's huge,” said Fricano, who 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'm very motivated to get this done.”

After major remodeling that will close the business for about two months after the transfer of ownership, Fricano said he plans to serve lunch and dinner at the Spring Lake Township restaurant. Breakfast is not part of the plan, at least initially.

There will be a full menu and bar, he said, but he wouldn’t confirm that Fricano's Pizza will be served there.

“I'm not going to walk in there and turn it upside down,” Fricano said. “It's clearly going to be different cosmetically, but there is a magic that is kind of an intangible good thing there.”

Some of Vic's menu items, including some Mexican dishes, likely will remain.

“There is a certain science to doing a menu correctly,” Fricano said. “I'm not 100 percent there yet.”

Fricano said he's ready for a new venture.

“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 the restaurant’s current employees the opportunity to keep their jobs. But, because of plans to close for several months for remodeling, he understands some may not choose to stick around.

He hopes to reopen the restaurant in April or May.

Fricano said he's designing the 6,000-square-foot space for “high volume.”

“It seats potentially 200 people,” he said. An existing small banquet room “will be remarkable,” he added.

Fricano's dad, Gus; his grandma, 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 another brother, Doug, owns the Alpine Avenue pizzeria in Grand Rapids. All use Grandma Phyllis' original recipe, and offer only five topping choices on a signature wafer-thin crust — pepperoni, sausage, green peppers, mushrooms and anchovies.

Ernest “Ernie” Victor opened the original Vic's Restaurant in 1972 at 15281 Cleveland St., where Music Everyday currently resides. Vic's has operated in its current location since 1991.

The business has been for sale for several years.

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