Manager Paul Hannah explains that selling pies is no longer the core of GT's business. This store and the one on Zeeb Rd., both of which are franchises owned by Beth and Dave Ziegler, are more restaurant than pie shop. And the company has already proved that that model can work near campus--East Lansing has had one since 2008.
"We serve breakfast all day long, and lunch and dinner," says Hannah. "It's comfort food. And that isn't always easy to find in Ann Arbor, where we have so many bars, coffee shops, white linen [tablecloth restaurants], and not much in between. Nothing we have on the menu is cutting-edge culinary art, but it's honest food, well made and really reasonably priced."
Hannah can parse restaurants like a sociologist parses ethnic groups because he's worked at Vinology and Zingerman's.Before this, his most recent job was helping Sava Lelcaj set up her gourmet dine-in grocery, Babo.
Of course, pie, too, is comfort food. GT has about sixteen flavors available at any time, by the pie or the piece. The rest of the menu includes breakfast sandwiches, wraps, quiche, lots of hot and cold sandwiches in the $6-$7 range, salads, and, Hannah says, "amazing" pot pies.