A 50-year-old restaurant is celebrating its birthday with a customer and employee appreciation event next month.
On July 5, Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille at 4157 S. Division Ave. in Wyoming will celebrate 50 years of service to the West Michigan community.
The restaurant will host an appreciation reception for its employees and customers from 5-7 p.m. Owner Tommy Brann will be there, wearing his customary blue apron and busing tables.
“I am incredibly proud of my brother, Tommy Brann, for his dedication and commitment to being a business owner and restaurateur these 50 years,” said Johnny Brann Sr., owner of the Grand Rapids location of Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille. “Tommy has made his restaurant a community icon and is known for his service and dedication, not just to the business but, more importantly, to his employees and customers.”
For most of the past 50 years, Tommy Brann opened and closed his restaurant, working from 9 a.m.-2 a.m. six days a week. From cooking to dishwashing to cleaning the restrooms to busing tables, if something needed to be done, Tommy Brann has been there to address it and fill in the gaps, the restaurant said.
“I have been an employee of Brann’s steakhouse for over 40 years,” senior executive server Jennie Lehnertz said. “It truly is a family business. I work here, my daughter works here and now my grandson works here. It is my second home.”
Jermaine Jennings, executive waiter for 30 years, said Tommy Brann “is not just a boss.”
“He works alongside his employees and instills in us a sense of purpose,” Jennings said. “He’s always willing to help those in need and considers all of us who work for him and his customers his family.”
Five decades of restaurant ownership brought many ups and downs, especially during the past 15 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. What kept Tommy Brann going was his work ethic, his tenacity and his belief that he can make a difference in the lives of others, the restaurant said.
“I care about serving my community and helping others in need,” Tommy Brann said. “My wife Sue and I are committed to making our employees and customers our family. We have used our restaurant as a way to provide food to the homeless and provide jobs for those who need one, including those with developmental disabilities. There’s no greater joy to me than seeing the smile on the face of someone we’ve helped.”
More information about Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille in Wyoming is on the restaurant’s Facebook page.