Sterling Heights

Buzz builds as Jollibee announces its first Michigan restaurant to open in Sterling Heights

What’s happening: The news of a fast food restaurant going up in Sterling Heights has been making waves across the internet this week. Jollibee, a Philippines-based fast food chain, will build its first Michigan restaurant on the site of an old Denny’s near Lakeside Mall.

Why it’s important: Jollibee is the type of chain restaurant that garners big crowds lining up in anticipation of its opening, a destination for “fast foodies” who want to see what all the buzz is about. While the company boasts approximately 1,500 restaurants worldwide, there are just 57 Jollibee locations in the United States, according to the company’s website. Press releases from the company promise many more; the Sterling Heights store will be its first in Michigan.

Big plans: “The big vision of our company is to become one of the top-five restaurant companies in the world, and North America for one is going to be a key market for that international expansion,” Maribeth Dela Cruz, president of Jollibee, North America, told QSR Magazine in August.

The menu: Jollibee restaurants are known for Chickenjoy, their unique take on fried chicken. Other popular items, and often with a Filipino twist, include the Chickenwich sandwich, Jolly Spaghetti, and Peach Mango Pie.

The buzz grows: News of Jollibee coming to Sterling Heights was first reported in the Sterling Heights Sentry in September 2021 and things really took off once Crain’s Detroit Business reported on its opening earlier this month.

Goodbye Denny’s, Hello Jollibee: The Jollibee announcement is no doubt welcome news for the owners of the old Denny’s site. That Denny’s — Macomb County’s last Denny’s restaurant, no less — closed in 2020.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.