Buddy’s Pizza, the acknowledged inventor of Detroit-style pizza, will join together with the Grand Rapids Griffins hockey team and Grand Rapids Children’s Museum to celebrate the opening of its new carryout-only restaurant on Alpine Ave. in Walker, Michigan.

A grand opening celebration is slated for 11 a.m. on Monday, March 6, and will include a visit from Grand Rapids Griffins Mascot Griff and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Buddy’s will donate all opening day sales to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

The new restaurant is the 22nd Buddy’s location in Michigan. It’s also the third in west Michigan, which includes two full-service restaurants—one in Grand Rapids and one in Portage. The Walker store will be the first Buddy’s carryout location to open in west Michigan.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support of the community since opening our first Grand Rapids location in 2019,” said Buddy’s Pizza Chief Brand Officer Wes Pikula. “Expanding in Grand Rapids will help us further connect with the community and provide Detroit-style pizza fans a convenient carryout option close to home.”

Buddy’s began its partnership with the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum when it opened its full-service location in 2019 and has continued the partnership through sponsorships and programming, including the “Little GR” museum exhibit, which incorporates Grand Rapids favorites like Buddy’s Pizza.

Related: What are the elements of an authentic Detroit-style pizza?

“The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum is thrilled to partner with Buddy’s Pizza,” said Grand Rapids Children’s Museum CEO Maggie Lancaster. “We love seeing our guests bake pizza dough, place toppings and deliver pizzas to adults at the Buddy’s Pizza Exhibit. Exploring food preparation through play grows the next generation of culinary arts. Our goal is to have more families play at our Buddy’s Exhibit and then go experience the real thing—because it’s the best pizza.”

The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum has two floors of hands-on interactive exhibits and daily drop-in programs that encourage discovery and learning through play. Designed as an environment for play, it advocates for the value of play and builds minds through play.

Buddys’ partnership with the Grand Rapids Griffins began in November 2021. The company sponsors a variety of the team’s programs, including Griffins Kids Club and Hometown Heroes, an initiative that honors local veterans during home games. Buddy’s is also involved with the Griffins through the Friends and Family 4-Pack, which can be purchased at every Saturday game and includes four or more game tickets, $20 or more in concession cash, and a coupon for a free cheese pizza from any participating Buddy’s location.

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