ENSO, the new 9,500 square foot restaurant and night club on the north side of East Lansing, definitely brings a little something the Capital region that’s been lacking. Not only is a reasonably priced, high-end restaurant, it’s also a nightclub.
“During all of my travels, especially in the Mediterranean, any restaurant that enters the area and is popular has the right location, the right owners and converts their restaurant to a nightclub,” says Dennis Branoff, ENSO principle. Harry Saites is the other principle.
Branoff grew up in Flint, has lived in East Lansing since1975, partnered on two Planet Hollywoods — one in D.C. and one in Hawaii — and owned Weight Watchers in Indiana, Italy, Greece and Sypris.
ENSO has a 3,000 square foot patio. It’s non-smoking indoors, but has a humidor to accommodate outside cigar smokers. ENSO also has its own in-house DJ and turns into a nightclub at 11 p.m. every evening.
“We wanted to have a patio, and this had enough space for one,” Branoff says. “It’s a growing area with homes and neighborhoods and office buildings. The MSU Federal Credit Union has a huge facility here.”
One of ENSO’s most remarkable features is the 150 square foot waterfall in the dining and bar area. Branoff and Saites completely renovated the space to give it a New Age atmosphere.
ENSO opened Oct. 1. Branoff says business is doing very well.
“The response has been tremendous,” he says. “Even as we were in the build-out phase, we were booking Christmas party lunch reservations.”
Most of ENSO’s 60 employees live in the region, but chefs have been brought in from Las Vegas, New York City and Traverse City.
ENSO is in East Lansing’s Northern Tier area with an address of 16800 Chandler Rd., Suite 101.
Source: Dennis Branoff, ENSO
Ivy Hughes is the managing editor of Capital Gains and can be reached here.
All Photographs © Dave Trumpie