Sterling Heights

It's happening: Buzz builds as Jollibee prepares to open its doors in Sterling Heights

As October became November this past fall, an audible sigh could be heard throughout metro Detroit as the hoped-for grand opening of Jollibee in Sterling Heights came and went. Word on the street was that the first Michigan location of the increasingly popular fast food chain would open sometime in October, but time proved otherwise. The shiny and brand new Jollibee built in front of Lakeside Mall would remain closed for another two months, but that didn’t stop fans of the brand, and those curious to try it for the first time, from driving around the empty parking lot and recording videos of the drive-thru menu to post on social media. People – as social media and everytime we write about Jollibee demonstrates – are very excited for the first Michigan location of Jollibee to open.

Well, wait no more. Jollibee, the Phillippines-based fast food company considered one of the fastest-growing restaurant companies in the world, is officially opening its first Michigan location in Sterling Heights on Friday, Jan. 12. Jollibee is the type of chain restaurant that garners big crowds lining up in anticipation of its opening, with lines of cars stretching far beyond its own parking lot. The restaurant is both a destination for “fast foodies” who want to see what all the buzz is about, and for Filipino Americans with familiar and favorite dishes of their own.

"We are so thrilled to be opening our doors in this magnificent state for the very first time, as Michigan is a key market in our accelerated U.S. growth strategy," says Maribeth Dela Cruz, Business Group Head, Honeybee Foods Corporation dba Jollibee. "We look forward to seeing both familiar faces and first-time customers at our first location in the close-knit Sterling Heights community, where we can't wait to create many new joyful moments for those who call the Detroit area home." 

Some of Jollibee’s most popular items include the Chickenjoy, their signature crispy and juicy bone-in fried chicken; chicken sandwiches both standard and spicy; and peach mango pie, which includes real Philippine mangoes. And to add to the excitement, Jollibee plans three days of giveaways as they open for business, available to the first 100 customers each day who spend $20 or more. 

So just how excited is everybody? Let’s check it out.

Though we were a long way from the Jollibee rumor mill to start turning, Michiganders like the Detroit Foodies team were already turned on to the restaurant as far back as 2018.

Even the Jollibee mascot, a red bee named Jollibee, has its own dedicated fanbase. And that includes those kind enough to introduce the mascot to another local favorite for international cuisine.

The rumored grand opening in October 2023 didn't happen, but is instead scheduled for Friday, Jan. 12. And people are ready for it.

And three days of giveaways will no doubt prove an easy sell for the Jollibee faithful.

Even Detroit Lions fans, with the team's first playoff appearance in years on the very near horizon, have excitement to spare for the Jollibee opening.
Jollibee is located at 44945 Woodridge Dr. in Sterling Heights.
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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.