Pig cafe undergoing renovations

Published 3:00 am Friday, July 5, 2019

From having a catering trailer stolen to opening a new Italian restaurant downtown, to now finally following through on renovations at the Pig Café, the Tempelises have had a busy few months.

“It’s been a roller coaster of a year,” said owner Yanni Tempelis.

Tempelis came before the Troy City Council back in May 2018 to request help funding the renovations to the restaurant. The city unanimously granted 10 percent reimbursement on capital materials for the expansion, up to $50,000.

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“Mayor and council gracious enough to assist us with that,” Tempelis said. “It takes quite a bit of money; sometimes people don’t understand what construction like that takes.”

Tempelis said the building was built in 1996 and needed to be updated. And with an increase specifically in catering, Tempelis said they jumped on the chance to go big and completely overhaul the restaurant.

But Tempelis said after receiving the help from the council, a special opportunity put the renovation plans on pause for a few months.

“At the same time, we had an opportunity downtown that presented itself where we opened Francesca’s,” Tempelis said. “We had to pump the brakes a little bit. If we did not take action on Francesca’s then, we were going to miss it.”

With the Italian restaurant now open three days a week and going steady, Tempelis said it was time to move forward with the renovations.

“We’ve completely gutted the place,” Tempelis said. “We’re not adding any square footage, but it will seem bigger because just taking out some walls and moving things around, we’re going to make it much more efficient.”

Tempelis said the renovations will also allow for new products as the kitchen is going to be improved as part of the process. The space will also be designed to better serve customers, Tempelis said.

“We’re going to have an extra checkout line up front,” Tempelis said. “We only have one right now and it gets very hectic when it gets busy. We’re going to be more efficient and a lot better at taking care of our customers.”

With the expansion, Tempelis said the business will be adding about 15 new employees when considering in-restaurant and catering employees.

Tempelis said the closing surprised some customers that didn’t realize the restaurant was about to close to renovations, but he said everyone is working as fast as possible and expects the restaurant to reopen its doors the week of July 15.

“We want to get back open as soon as possible for our customers,” Tempelis said.