The existence of pizza that can satisfy meat eaters and vegetarians is something Mike Lambrecht, owner of Nick’s Pizza, is out to prove. Lambrecht opened the second location of Nick’s in Ferndale in November of last year.
The first location is in Hazel Park and was opened in 1962, just nine years before Lambrecht started working there in 1971. “I was running the store for three years, where the owner had other interests…he always promised that one day he would sell it to me.” Lambrecht said.
In 1980 the owner asked Lambrecht if he wanted to purchase the restaurant. With a loan from his father, Lambrecht bought Nick’s Pizza and made his father his business partner. “This has always been a family-oriented business,” Mike Lambrecht said. Lambrecht’s kids worked for him growing up and his brothers did, too. His wife, co-owner, and daughter-in-law currently help at Nick’s Pizza, continuing the family tradition. “With family you expect more.” Lambrecht said. “You drive them much harder than what you do with someone else, and it’s probably not fair. I think other people, a lot of times, they look at it to the point where family members get special treatment and it’s not that way. They actually have to work much harder.”
Lambrecht has carried over his signature style pizzas to the Ferndale location and added a few new ones to satisfy Ferndale’s craving for vegetarian pizza. “What we have found in this location, that is much different than the Hazel Park location, [is] a lot of vegetarians,” Lambrecht said.
“So what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to change the menu somewhat to be a little bit more vegetarian- friendly.”
Lambrecht said he wants to give vegetarians more topping options than the usual vegetables, so he added spinach, fresh basil, green olives, roasted red peppers, and more to the menu shortly after opening. One out of three pizzas made at the Nick’s Ferndale location is vegetarian Lambrecht said. Nick’s also offers gluten-free dough for those suffering from food allergies.
Nick’s was opened in Ferndale because the contract lease for its Hazel Park location is in negotiation, and the outcome is uncertain. So Lambrecht decided to open a second location in Ferndale in case the contract isn’t renewed. “We figured it’s still close enough that we would have name recognition. A lot of people in the area know who we are, a lot of people don’t know who we are. But I figured that would be the first step,” Lambrecht said. If the Hazel Park location does close, Lambrecht said he’d try to service Ferndale and Hazel Park residents as best as he could from the location at Nine Mile and Hilton.
Even with two locations, the food is still the story at Nick’s. The top sellers are the regular round pizzas and Nick’s Super that includes pepperoni, ham, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and bacon. Nick’s Pizza offers round, square, and thin crust pizza in small, medium, large, and extra large sizes. Nick’s flavor crust selections are butter, garlic butter, parmesan, Cajun, and sesame. Pizza topping choices are Italian sausage, ground beef, hot peppers, pineapple, anchovies, black olives, chicken, feta cheese, onions, ham, pepperoni, and more. In addition to homemade pizza, Other menu options include pizza turnovers, Nick’s stix, salads, subs, grinders, sandwiches, cakes, and cheesecake.
Lambrecht said he still loves pizza after all these years and eats pizza three-to-four times a week. His favorite toppings are pepperoni, bacon, and banana peppers.
Nick’s Pizza is located at 745 E. 9 Mile Rd. on the northwest corner of Hilton. For more information visit www.eatnickspizza.com or call Nick’s Pizza in Ferndale at (248) 584-3125.
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