By Sarah Finn
Last semester, news broke that the beloved Albion restaurant Gina’s would be changing locations. Six months later, the new Gina’s is almost ready to open its doors to customers again.
Inside, the new layout invites the community. The décor is fresh and more industrial-inspired than the old Gina’s, but it maintains all of the old charm. It can host easily twice the amount of customers as before with a kids’ reading corner near the center of the restaurant where young readers can grab one of the many illustrated books.
Gina’s moved to this new location largely due to overcrowding. According to owner, Gina Pritchard, the new building can hold around 120 people, over double the amount that the old building could seat
“We outgrew it,” said Pritchard.. “Our lunches were filled up, and a lot was happening. Staff and different business people would get their food to go because all 50 seats were taken.”
Pritchard hoped that the transformation would be completed by the time classes resumed at Albion, but it has taken longer than expected. Luckily, according to Pritchard, there are only a few more steps to take before the new Gina’s will be ready for business. This includes cosmetic adjustments such as lighting and the new menu board, and a final approval from the health department.
Once it is officially open, the new Gina’s will have updates to the menu including a coffee and ice cream bar and a new appetizer list, including a Brussel sprout dip and caprese salads.
“We’re still going to have our same menu that we did before, that everyone loved. We’re just going to add a few additional good things,” said Pritchard. “I think it’s going to be a destination place for people when they come to Albion.”
Pritchard is hopeful the new location will be an improvement for customers from both Albion College and the surrounding community. She plans on providing services that benefit students such as free delivery and later hours.
As for the community, Pritchard believes the more centrally located space will allow for more business from downtown and the West side of the town.
But out of all the great changes happening for her restaurant, Pritchard is most excited for the look on the customers’ faces when they enter for the first time.
“I just love it,” she said. “We’ve taken an old, dilapidated building and made it into this. I just think it’s so cool.”
Although there is no exact date set for Gina’s official opening yet, the restaurant is currently available for reserved parties and catering. Pritchard is planning to host a grand opening shortly after they open, complete with a celebration and something free for everyone on that day.
Photo by Sarah Finn